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The City as I See it: Election Time

Discussing Aliso Viejo

Some will call it bragging, but after being involved here for over twenty years, I may have earned the right to provide a point of view of this community that is slowly diminishing.

I love Aliso Viejo.  

Since I never was able to have a family of my own, the City and community of Aliso Viejo has become my de facto child.  When people say I am the mother of Aliso Viejo, I smile to myself and think, I could have done worse!

I hear parents hate to see their children fighting amongst themselves.  I hear people give advice that family is the only thing you have in the end, so cherish your family.

Ok Aliso Viejo--let's cherish each other.

While it may be election time, that does not mean it is ok to perpetuate lies or half truths.  My council colleagues will be the first ones to tell me that's am extremely quick to stand up for our staff members at City Hall.  Darn right-I have walked in their shoes.

So when I read on Facebook that our Code Enforcement department had been directed by council not to remove campaign signs for incumbents, I had enough.
No one gets to insult the integrity of my family.  That post was simply a fabrication-a lie.  City staff did not break any laws by not going out to remove campaign signs on private property.  To the contrary, they followed the law and respected private property rights.

And by the way, removing campaign signs from somebody else's property?  That is against the law.  

So, if you find someone placed a campaign sign, youth sports sign, garage sale sign on somebody else's property?  Let the property owner know.  It happens all the time, particularly during campaign season.  We tend to look the other way when we agree with the message, but if we disagree...look out!

My family also includes my council colleagues.  Sometimes it feels like I have several brothers- and for the most part we all agree on the direction of the City and how to get there.

At other times, we disagree.  But unlike siblings, we walk away with mutual respect after disagreements and live to stand together at the next issue.
I have seen my colleagues taken to task on the Patch.  Phil Tsunoda is being vilified for bringing to light violations of election law by a candidate.  People responding to those articles are calling for his recall because of his "behavior." What about the issue he brings up--someone breaking the law?

I have seen Mayor Garcia blamed for what Phil Tsunoda is talking about.  Again, I wonder why people are dragging the Mayor into the discussion when Phil has been the only one discussing the violations.  Again, why are people blaming the Mayor?  Are we becoming blind to the issue at hand and, instead, focusing on how the message is delivered?

It is a challenge to be an elected official.  You are stifled by state law, by public opinion, and self-control.  Elected officials really have to think before they speak.  But, bloggers, regular people, anyone can say anything they want, often with no repercussions, about an elected official.  While you may disagree with where he said it and how he said it, nothing he says is untrue.  A candidate did break the law.  That candidate did remedy the breach.  But, recall Phil Tsunoda because he spoke the truth at a council meeting?

I challenge you, Aliso Viejo, lets raise the bar on our discourse.  Let's look through the method of delivery, and examine what is really at issue.

Life in Aliso Viejo is fantastic.  We have a healthy economy in our city.  It is a gorgeous city.  People are excelling here.

All of that makes me proud to be part of the Aliso Viejo family.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

MotherMayI October 28, 2012 at 05:25 AM
I am aghast. These people are supposed to be civic leaders and they are playing house.
Capo Parent Too October 28, 2012 at 06:12 AM
There is so much wrong with this Councilwoman Cave, I don't even know where to begin. It this a letter regarding a Facebook post or a City Council meeting or both? And you imply that a candidate broke the law but it's so unclear. Is this about a public records request or lawn signs? And you are not a family, you were elected to serve the city and the constituents which you seem to look at with disdain. And anyone who dare run for city council who has not been anointed? They aren't family. Is this a civic office or the mafia? "But, bloggers, regular people, anyone can say anything they want, often with no repercussions, about an elected official." Yes, that's one of the awful things that comes with the privilege of serving. It's not fair, but not everything in life is fair. But your letter comes off as someone who has served without being challenged and who sees their service as if you are doing us a favor. Many our grateful for what you've done for our City, but it doesn't give you the right to insult us "regular people". They call election time "silly season" for a reason. It's unfortunate that you've gotten caught up in the silliness along with Mayor Garcia and Councilman Tsunoda. I see this is your first post here, I guess there is nothing more important to share on the Patch about our fine City? I'd like to think that are more pressing issues than disputes on Facebook about candidate signs and perfectly LEGAL record requests by city residents.
Ken Lopez Maddox October 28, 2012 at 02:28 PM
CPT- Online forums can quickly become a form of online restroom wall where anonymous accusations can be spewed sans any evidence or well thought out argument. I've watched posting after posting dedicated to Mayor Garcia where he is vilified for not signing a petition to recognize gay marriage. He cited his reasons which were quickly dismissed as drivel. Phil Tsunoda is one of the most respected people I know. He is often the go to guy in local government when things go awry. Aliso Viejo has a highly talented city council. Each member brings a wealth of talent to the dais. We as residents receive that talent on the cheap. Online forums make it easy to engage in the public dialogue and to question, complain, encourage and lobby our civic leaders. This would be a much better use of today's technology and would serve to improve our community.
New2AV October 28, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Who is this nutjob, 'cause she ain't my mama.
MP3 October 28, 2012 at 03:21 PM
This whole column makes me sad for her.
New2AV October 28, 2012 at 03:32 PM
In Huntington Beach we had leaders who governed, and critics who commented. This role-reversal is unique.
JOHN STED October 28, 2012 at 06:37 PM
WATER RATES HAVE DOUBLE DURING THE LAST FOUR YEARS...AND THIS IS THE SUBJECT OF POLITICAL DEBATE IN ALISO VIEJO? Upload Photos and Videos John Steward John Steward Just reviewed the O. C. property tax bill. Moulton Niguel Water has a BOND DEBT assessment of $ 167.23...I suspect it only applies to Aliso Viejo rate payers. While employees pay NO PART of RETIREMENT, MEDICAL, DENTAL for themselves or family while 1/3 of employees earn more than $ 100,000.00 in ANNUAL TOTAL INCOME. VOTE FOR WAYNE POSEY MOULTON NIGUEL WATER DISTRICT DIVISION 6 The current Director has not eliminated the SEWER ODOR at Glenwood-Pacific Park/ Aliso Creek Road. Yet, water rates have more than double...and we still pay Mello Ross.
caramelditto October 29, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I get very concerned when politicians get so comfortable in their positions that they start thinking like this. Does anyone really think she is the mother of the city, or is it just the voices in her head that are telling her it's so. It might be time to move on.
theriversedge October 29, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Is this woman actually saying she wants to lead the city because can't have her own family?
Kathi October 29, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I don't know all the details on this, but I have been unhappy about the way the rates are done. I am a townhome resident & a very small user. The majority of my bill is the fixed portion of the bill, very little based on usage. & then it seems that the new rate structure was to help out the larger users.
Kathi October 29, 2012 at 07:49 PM
You have a point. I was an original resident of Aliso Viejo back in 84 before most people had even heard of Aliso Viejo. & then circumstances required me to move from where I have now returned to but I have continued to live in the area. I remember reading about her involvement in the cityhood push, etc. But one thing I am dismayed by is that when I have gone to the city website they don't have a way to contact city council or others via email. So that gives the impression that they don't want to hear from busy people who do not have time for phone calls during business hours or who for whatever reason prefer to communicate via email. I did find a list of emails for the various council members & I sent her one on an issue of concern to me--the way that cox has a monopoly & doesn't give very good service. I never received a response from her!
Kathi October 29, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Sounds like it, but I can understand that in a way. Not having her own family she finds a substitute to devote her time & energies to. That is not necessarily bad. But being a very early AV resident (June 1984 before most people even knew the name of the community & of course before it became a city) & then having moved to MV before AV became a city, I have observed from across the freeway & now back where I used to live. I don't see that it is very easy to contact the city about anything--such as by email which I find the easiest way to contact about issues--especially if I think of something outside of business hours. They don't seem to make that easy. I did find a list of email addresses for the individual board members, but when I emailed her about an issue, I never got a reply--not even a form reply like I get from our CA US senators who of course have way more constituents. So I don't know, does she just want to hear from the "in" group who are politically active in the community?
Green Mavin October 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM
This self-proclaimed "mother of Aliso Viejo" should re-examined her motivation for seeking her elected position. The city council are public servants, and I am shocked to see this attitude, speaking to the citizens with such contempt and disdain.
Kent Loven November 02, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I am 'Regular People" I have lived in Aliso Viejo since 1988, volunteered with AVCA, Little League, ANHS, AYSO and the City of Aliso Viejo. Don't tell any children, but I was Santa Clause for a number of years when asked by AVCA to wear the suit. I appreciate the time and talents given by all of the Aliso Viejo "Regular People" and AVCA directors & AV City council members. In the last few years we have seen the City, AVCA, ANHS & Youth Sports Organizations work together for the benefit of all of our community members. I would go so far as to call our AV City council members & AVCA directors "Regular People" too. Here's to the "Regular People" who get things done and make things happen!
Greg Gantman November 04, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Dr. Cave - it's time to stop defending and begin supporting a great candidate for Aliso Viejo City Council, Ross Chun. I know from experience that "Your City" has great talent and its time to bring them forward. Ross Chun was selected by Mayor Garcia for the Planning Commission. You have certainly mentored him when he was fulfilling other volunteer positions, and it's time. It's time to bring forward ideas for the ranch, historical museum, engage with education, business and our seniors. It's time for more cooperation and communication. Ross Chun will provide that. Ross will make sure all those coffee tiles hanging on my walls and all other volunteers proud they've served the City of Aliso Viejo. Mayor Garcia is a fine and decent father, husband, and professional but its time. It's time to bring forward a new candidate who is involved, who has time to commit, and has the talent That's why I have supported and voted for Ross Chun. It's time - Vote Ross Chun for Aliso Viejo City Council Tuesday, November 6th
Kathleen K November 05, 2012 at 04:10 PM
These councilmen don't own their seats, but behave as if only they know what the city wants or needs. Look how they cover for each other at election time, and in council meetings. Read this article again, and consider whether you want this kind of attitude choosing how to spend your tax dollars. I Do Not!

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