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Municipal Advisory Council Discussed at Special County Planners Meeting

Carmel Valley News, Feb. 2010

By Lawrence Samuels

A special meeting on Jan. 6 was held
with the Monterey County Planning
staff in Salinas to discuss road traffic
and future development as they
relate to the latest version of the
General Plan. Both proponents and
opponents of CV cityhood were there
in equal numbers. The proponents
wanted to explore ways to lower the
traffic trigger numbers to stop most
development. This seemed like an odd
request, since pro-city candidate Karin
Strasser Kauffman, during one of the
incorporation debates, had argued for
more “in-fill development” in Carmel

As the four County Planners were
discussing the General Plan and what it
would mean to Carmel Valley residents,
the meeting turned to another subject.
Cityhood proponents brought up the
establishment of a Municipal Adversary
Council (MAC).

Kathleen Lee, an aide to Supervisor
Dave Potter, said that Potter supported
the creation of a MAC in Carmel Valley.
Ms. Lee explained to the crowd how to
begin the process and get the proposal
before the five Supervisors, but that
it could take two or three years to
complete the process.

At this point Glenn Robinson talked
up the advantages of a MAC and said
that stronger land-use control was what
they really wanted in the first place, and
not necessarily a new city. If this were
the case, why did city proponents spend
almost $250,000 in their cityhood
campaign, when they could have spent
almost nothing to establish a MAC in a
far shorter period of time?

After the proponents of cityhood had
their say, a number of incorporation
opponents voiced their concerns about
establishing a MAC. They argued that
since the voters have decided against
a city of Carmel Valley, why should
the county spend time and money
on an organization lead by the losing
side of the measure? Another city
opponent said that a MAC controlled
by the incorporation crowd could easily
become a shadow government with
five council member seats, serving as a
stepping stone to put the incorporation
issue back on the ballot.

Cost was another issue. With
Monterey County experiencing large
deficits for the foreseeable future,
a MAC would take considerable
taxpayers’ money and county staff time.
County staff is already overloaded with
resolving the many issues in the 5th
version of the General Plan.
Others pointed out that Carmel
Valley already has a citizen’s land use
organization – Carmel Valley Land Use
Advisory Committee (LUAC) and a
Carmel Valley Road Committee. So, why
re-invent the wheel?

One anti-incorporation leader
noted the complete irony in having
the Supervisors establish and appoint
the pro-city candidates to a MAC.
After all, during the campaign, it was
the pro-incorporation leaders who
repeatedly trashed the Monterey
County Supervisors as poor stewards
of the valley, careless and clueless
leaders, and nefarious shills for out-of-town

Every MAC is different. Will this one
have a budget to put out expensive, but
biased newsletters? Will this MAC have
some binding authority? Will the fi ve
positions be appointed by the Monterey
County Supervisors or elected? And
will the council members be appointed
or elected at large or by district?
The discussion meeting ended with
no action taken. The aide suggested
that the MAC proponents clarify their
desires and complete the required
paperwork before bringing the issue
up again

Last Updated: Feb 01, 10

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