Dear City Councilmembers,  (see video – Agenda Item #3)

Dear City Councilmembers,  (see video – Agenda Item #3)

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to get to know each of you better since Laurie and I  started San Clemente Green. You are each fine people and I am certain that you always have the best interests of our city in mind. I want to take this opportunity to clarify my point of view to make sure there is no misunderstanding as we navigate a difficult part of our journey together. We are considering different paths right now. You are on the one people have taken for years and years, and I am calling for a detour. I am in a position where I can hear and see some of the people below you calling out that there are signs of an impending avalanche headed their way if you continue on the path you are on. Your way is shorter and proven to have been safe over time, but rocks are beginning to tumble, little ones for now. My way is rougher, less popular, more time consuming and expensive to SONGS. My sources are questionable to some, and I’m sure there are those in our community that question my own motives, too. I don’t want to be controversial. I don’t want to be the messenger. I don’t want to be responsible for those who stand in harm’s way. But I have at least 379 reasons to do what I can.

At the previous city council meeting there was a clear consensus that the siren misfire was definitely something that needed to be resolved, and emergency preparedness was going to be the biggest priority. I wasn’t expecting that to change in two weeks and it really caught me off guard. I hope there will be another opportunity in the very near future for us to be on the same path again. We need your help, and this problem is much bigger than any one person can deal with, especially me. I’m asking you to ignore the reassuring words spoken by those who have failed to resolve the issues so far, and try to imagine the unthinkable happening. Once you have that picture clearly in your mind, please reconsider your position. Do you really believe we are prepared for that kind of disaster? Is it worth the risk?  Would it not lift you up in the eyes of the community if you put their safety first, even if things go smoothly as planned?
 
We ought to be able to rely on the experts who know how to read the signs, who are trained to respond under extreme conditions, who are willing to accept responsibility for the safety of the masses and even future generations. It is an impressive system with overlapping, redundant, high tech processes that have served us well over time, with few exceptions.  Unfortunately, those exceptions have become more frequent lately and that lasting, comfortable sense of security has rightly come into question. The natural tendency is to trust the system as we always have especially when the alternative  would be extremely difficult and probably unnecessary. The unfortunate truth that my life experience points to is that the hard decision is most likely the right one.

The best way I can describe my frustration and fear is to compare our situation to that of the Christmas terrorist attempt. A father had to make the incredibly difficult choice of turning in his own son to the authorities due to information he just could not ignore. He attempted to take every possible action that the system allowed for, and it still failed him. Due to his persistence, we almost had it right. The system almost worked. Officials were on the ground, ready to arrest his son when he got off the plane. The only problem is that it was too late. We only got lucky. I feel the same kind of pressure that father must have felt, and I don’t know where else to go right now. Something really needs to be done about this, and like the father of the Christmas terrorist, I will continue to seek ways to be heard. I understand the pressures you must be under to even consider another route at this time, but I must admit that my frustration and disappointment is hard to contain. All I had hoped for was symbolic support from our city leaders to give more weight to our message of concern. Please reconsider and join us in calling for a delay so we can prepare for the unthinkable, no matter how unlikely it may seem.

Thanks,
Gary

PS – If you need more reasons, please consider this voice mail I received from yet another senior official (the most recent stone to fall)…
?Thanks for keeping us honest. We are embarrassed by the stupid things that are taking place. The recent unusual event should never have happened . It is disappointing to those of us that hold ourselves to higher standards when some of our colleagues don?t get it right more frequently. Now, we expect things to appear even worse with more inspectors. If you bring in more guys to do inspections you are guaranteed to find more problems.?