Saturday, April 07, 2007

Coto de Caza’s Bastard Child – Public Safety

Coto de Caza’s Bastard Child – Public Safety

April 7, 2007

In just 15 short months, the community witnessed the absence of the CHP for proactive traffic patrol followed by two tragic traffic accidents. In the last one, the board blamed the victim, although the teen driver eventually pleaded guilty.

Then there was the firing of the public safety chairperson, allegedly because of the potential for “undue concentration of power”, when in reality it was because she refused to place the board’s personal agenda over public safety.

When the board was coerced into bringing back the CHP after the first traffic fatality, the property manager allowed road certification to expire, nullifying any legal pro-active traffic patrol. Instead of anyone having the intestinal fortitude and admit accountability, the blame immediately went to a missing tickler file.

Then there was the board’s initiative aimed at training the private security guards after numerous complaints. This was followed by an announcement of a new deployment of the security guards to help kids cross the street and the Sheriff’s mounted units to patrol the horse trails. Meanwhile the crime and vandalism data shows the highest rate for the community, ever.

The CZ Master Association’s May 2006 Newsletter prominently announces that the Board of Directors “is formulating a Public Safety Committee in an article with the ambitious title “CA Master Association Champions Public Safety Committee”.

During the July 2006 General Session, the board unanimously approved the appointment of an interim Chair of the Public Safety Committee. Then in the August 10, 2006 General Meeting, the board names 8 members to the Public Safety Committee. Most with little to no experience in public safety, while at the same time denying membership in the same committee to a career public safety professional.

We will not go into the “paraphrased story” by the Orange County Register on the firing of the CHP.. But, then the board tightens the strings on the CHP and holds them to a three-month contract renewal period.

When the board is asked for the 2006 public safety committee meeting minutes, the response is: “Because the Public Safety Committee does not have any records of minutes prepared from January 1, 2006, it is not a committee of the board”! – does this mean that Public Safety is Coto’s Bastard Child?


When is a retraction not a retraction? When it comes from the OCR! In the August 4 issue of the OCR’s CanyonLife, hidden under a picture of the Pet of the Week, appears an inconspicuous paragraph titled Clarification that reads”

“Coto resident Ed Caruso and Board President Bob Varo of the CZ Master Association disagreed on whether Varo, in a private meeting, told Caruso that he planned to fire the California Highway Patrol from traffic duty within the community. A story in the July 14 edition of Canyon Life/Rancho Santa Margarita

Coto de Caza’s Public Safety, A Job For The Mounties - A Paraphrase of the Orange County Register – But, why waste scarce, precious resources patrolling horse trails?

It is no secret that the Orange County Register has been an ardent supporter of the Varo/Mezger administration. There is evidence that the editor collaborated with the board to silence critics, including the CotoBuzz Journal: The OCR board of directors failed to respond to the CotoBuzz Journal complaints for depraved indifference exhibited by the Coto de Caza administration, immediately after the first traffic fatality in December of 2005

First 2006-2007 Coto de Caza Board of Directors Meeting, Standing Room Only! - The first 2006-2007 Coto de Caza Board of Directors Meeting, can best be described as standing-room only, with the local media well represented. A political junkie would have felt right at home, as you could sense the excitement, the energy and the tension in the air!. Failed candidate Dr. Betty Olsen thanked Yocham and Zipperman for their success and wished them the best.

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