Thursday, October 7, 2010


Murrieta City Councilman Gary Thomasian went and did it now.
In an interview with The Californian, Thomasian outed the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority and his own council for conspiring to ignore more than 100 property owners, known as Murrietans for Quality Life, rightfully upset by the abuse of their property rights by government.
He's a member of both bodies: an authority appointee (in fact, chairman this year) and the Murrieta City Council.
The way this violation of the people went down was, the council secretly voted unanimously not to meet with the residents, and then instructed the city manager to convey to the authority the city's desire for it to do likewise.
He did. It did.
Also on the sly.
The council justifies its cowardice, citing Calvary Chapel's pending suit that charges the two bodies with extortion. The church seeks $25 million recompense.
The church claims the council and the authority tried to hold it up for the majority of its 118 acres in return for permission to develop the remainder. The church had intended to create a 95-acre campus.
Regardless of the politics, the cliched larger problem is transparency and accountability.
It's worth noting that authority members are not elected, but according to the Joint Powers agreement, must be elected to a position on the body ---- like the LAFCOs and many of the other outfits that take away our say over our lives at our expense ---- that appoints them. All five supervisors sit on it.
Anyhow, Thomasian has done a rare thing in opening the inside game to scrutiny.
The ubiquitous "they" are cringing.
Upon Thomasian's spilling the beans, some of the "they" in this case, namely Randon Lane and Doug McAllister, the two incumbents not up for re-election, refused to endorse him and threw their weight to a challenger.
Lane reportedly because Thomasian outed them. McAllister felt "uncomfortable." Yeah, no kidding.
Certainly the council has ducked its constituents' darn good questions about this outrageous and costly (up to six figures for a landowner) scam by which their rights are usurped.
For whatever reason, Thomasian finally took exception to this seizure-by-fiat of the landed's rights and said "No."
Come to think of it, if those residents paid for a lawyer rather than fees ...