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Letter by Michael Addison to LAFCO on EIR

Submitted in 2005



Commissioner Louis Calcagno
Chair
Monterey County Supervisor
District 2
1061 McDougal St
PO Box 787
Castroville CA 95012

Commissioner Vince DiMaggio
1611 Bunker Hill Way, Ste. 250
Salinas, CA 93906

Commissioner Anne D. McGowan
27185 Prado del Sol
Carmel CA 93923

Commissioner Jim Costello
City of Pacific Grove
300 Forest Ave.
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Commissioner Jerry Smith
Monterey County Supervisor
District 4
26161 1st Ave.
Marina, CA 93933

Commissioner Anna Caballero
City of Salinas
200 Lincoln Ave
Salinas CA 93901

Commissioner Tom Perkins
1107 Presidio Blvd
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Ms. Kate McKenna AICP
LAFCO office
P.O. Box 1369
Salinas, CA 93902

Dear Commissioners and Ms. McKenna;

The Environmental Initial Study published by LAFCO, in which the Commission decided that a full environmental report for incorporation of Carmel Valley was not needed, suffers from a fatal flaw in logic – the time frame is too short.

On page 13, the report states:

“The act of incorporation of a new city or town is an administrative action that, by its implementation, does not affect the environment”.

By viewing the change as an administrative act, LAFCO is saying that the change is no more significant than changing the driver of a car. This view may be true for a short time following the change but ignores the longer term impacts. Any argument that fails to consider the ramifications past the act is or should be doomed. The race is not over until the checkered flag is waved.

By taking this tack, LAFCO has implicitly endorsed incorporation and misled its constituents in a very subtle manner.

A proper position would be to expand the time horizon and analyze the likely ramifications of the decision.

Let us march down the time line in a hypothetical scenario that considers some of the possible events. If Carmel Valley incorporates

There must be an election – impact is $$$ and entertaining a whole cadre of people who like to control;
the new officials will want to hire a city manager – impact is $$$;
the city will have to negotiate with Monterey County for services or hire more workers – impact $$$;
the state will levy requirements such as affordable housing and other mandates – impact $$$ and people;
municipal works get lots of benefits and great retirement – impact $$$ now and much more later;
the roads will need to maintained and/or upgraded – impact $$$
oops, the city needs money;
the city encourages development of projects that generate revenue;
the roads need improvement to handle the development – impact $$$
a city as fancy as Carmel Valley will need a fancy city hall- impact $$$
and so forth.

Others have written persuasively regarding the panoply of costs and issues that face a new city.

I submit LAFCO made a serious mistake in issuing this report and must rescind it. The people of Carmel Valley deserve a full exposure of the issues so that they can fairly evaluate the costs and benefits that incorporation entails.

A full environmental impact report is the only way to assess the impact of incorporation.

Any recommendation short of this would be an abrogation of the commission’s responsibility to the electorate.


Michael Addison
Carmel




Last Updated: Dec 06, 08

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