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7 Council Candidates Share Views at Forum

About 100 residents listen to seven candidates talk about their stances on city issues at an evening event hosted by the Lake Forest Community Association.

Staking out stances on everything from term limits to marijuana dispensaries, seven candidates vying for two Lake Forest City Council seats sought to sway a crowd of 100 people at a candidate’s forum hosted by the Lake Forest I Community Association Wednesday.

In colorful and sometimes heated exchanges, the candidates often disagreed on how the city should move forward on major issues. The city is caught in an expensive tug-of-war between the state and federal government over the legality of medical marijuana dispensaries, and the new council will have to decide whether to continue spending money to fight the shops or allow them to operate in town. Additionally, huge housing developments and traffic challenges loom before Lake Forest, and the next council will play a pivotal role in managing the city’s growth spurt.

Among the evening’s notable moments, candidate Kathy Zechmeister announced that her husband, Planning Commissioner Jerry Zechmeister, will step down if she is elected. Five of the candidates would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in Lake Forest. And one candidate would halt the Portola Center housing development, pending a traffic plan addressing congestion.

None of the candidates were supplied questions prior to the event, which was moderated by Lake Forest Patch editor Sarah de Crescenzo. The seven candidates included incumbent Marcia Rudolph and challengers Jim Gardner, Adam Nick, Ken Carrell, Kathy Zechmeister, Planning Commissioner Terry Anderson, and Dwight Robinson.

It was the first such forum hosted by the homeowners association at the Beach and Tennis Club.

Early on in the forum, challengers Gardner and Nick positioned themselves as chief critics of the current council’s decisions and were often at odds with Rudolph, the panel’s sole incumbent.

Gardner concluded the forum on a theatric note, removing his suit jacket to demonstrate that he has no strings attached.

“There’s no strings on me. Vote for Terry or Kathy, and decisions about Lake Forest will be made in the living room of (Councilman) Peter Herzog. Vote for Dwight or Adam, decisions about our city will be made in the Living Room of (Councilman) Scott Voigts,” he said. “The only endorsement I care about is your endorsement. The only puppet I’ll be is your puppet. You give me four years and I will give you the most productive time this city has ever seen.”

Zechmeister was quick to respond.

“Game on,” she stood up and told Gardner. “I’m a grassroots girl…I don’t have ties to Peter Herzog or anyone like that.”

A 25-year-resident of the city, Zechmeister emphasized her volunteerism and efforts to help Lake Forest incorporate into cityhood.

Similarly, Rudolph, a founding councilwoman who has served all but two years since 1991, noted her track record of service and involvement in almost every major project and decision in the City Council’s history.

Conversely, Carrell, the owner of a local architectural firm, and Nick, an accountant and owner of a Lake Forest Drive gas station, both emphasized their involvement in the city’s business community. Anderson and Robinson, on the other hand, both emphasized their roles as youth sports coaches in town.

Each of the candidates agreed that traffic is a significant issue that the council must monitor carefully. However, that was the only issue they all agreed upon.

Marijuana Dispensaries

Lake Forest spent two years and more than $900,000 to close 38 medical marijuana dispensaries. Federal officials assisted the city at its request in closing down the last few operating in late 2011. One last holdout was raided thrice before closing its doors for good earlier this year.

Zechmeister and Anderson both sided with the federal government and endorsed efforts to close down the dispensaries.

“We have no business getting involved in this mess, and we should keep it out of our community,” Anderson said.

Without directly endorsing the dispensaries, Rudolph said she supports the property owners’ right to operate their business.

The remaining candidates argued that dispensaries are inevitable and several questioned the wisdom in spending money to fight them rather than taxing and regulating them.

Robinson suggested a zone change to corral the dispensaries into a single section of Lake Forest, where the city could locate a police substation to discourage anyone tempted to use the drug for recreational purposes.

Term Limits

Each of the candidates said they would consider some type of term limit except for Rudolph, who has served five terms on the council.

“As far as term limits are concerned, I have been against them since day one,” said Rudolph. “We have term limits ― they are called elections.”

“I think we should have term limits,” countered Carrell. “I think if you can’t do what you intend to in eight years, you are doing something wrong."

El Toro High School Stadium

The Saddleback Valley Unified School District proposes to revamp El Toro High School’s football stadium by adding bleachers to seat thousands and lights that would allow teams to play nighttime home games and El Toro to host graduations.

The project has raised the ire of neighboring residents worried about the traffic and noise and light pollution from games.

“I am not for it,” Nick said. “I believe it will negatively impact the neighborhood.”

Noting that the city doesn’t have final say over the project, both Zechmeister and Anderson said the council’s role will be to carefully review the project’s traffic and environmental report to make sure negative impacts are mitigated for the surrounding neighborhood.

Portola Hills Development

Residents, developer Baldwin and Sons and city officials are in talks to find a way to minimize the impact of the Portola Center development—which will add up to 930 homes to the city—in the Portola Hills community. New residents will jam up traffic and further impact Lake Forest schools, opponents argue.

Robinson said he worries the project will crowd the city’s roadways and Portola Elementary. The city will have to make sure the project addresses the infrastructure improvements and classroom additions needed to accommodate the new families, he said.

Nick, on the other hand, said he completely opposes the project.

Gardner criticized the city for not adequately addressing the project’s traffic impact as well as preexisting traffic problems. He argued for putting the project on hold until a better plan is developed.

“It’s going to impact us all very, very badly,” he said.

Is Lake Forest Business Friendly?

The candidates were divided on whether the city does enough to attract businesses and help them thrive in the community.

Robinson* had harsh words for the city’s track record with businesses. He cited the anecdote of a restaurant owner who hired 150 employees in preparation for a grand opening only to be forced to wait six weeks because of a hold-up at the city.

Nick, who is fighting the city to reverse approval given to a 7-Eleven near his gas station to get an alcohol license, criticized the city for playing favorites within the business community.

Rudolph, Anderson, Zechmeister and Carrell all gave the city passing grades for supporting businesses in a myriad of ways such as recruiting big retailers, not requiring business licenses, and partnering with the Chamber of Commerce.

“We bend over backwards for the businesses to come to this city,” said Carrell.

* Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the speaker who gave the anecdote about a restaurant owner's experience with the city.

John Fleigel October 12, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Anyone running for City Council should know that posting signs on public land is illegal. Everyone's used to seeing some signs here and there on streetcorners and front lawns. But his uglifying of our beautiful city with signs every 100 feet on every major thoroughfare that he intended to remain there for five or six weeks was ridiculous. Hopefully, it backfired.
Ken Carrell October 12, 2012 at 04:46 PM
All candidates are given information on where they may post signs, how big the signs can be and where they may not be posted. Signs can not be posted on public land. Lake Forest I and II also have their own rules on where and when signs can be posted. The city will remove the signs and let the candidates so they can come and get their signs. The signs are not thrown away unless the candidate decides not to pick them up.
LakeForest Lifer October 12, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Rose, your comment: After reading Gary's above about the reason for Mr. Nick's frustration - "Seven-Eleven only paying $100 for their liquor license while others like him paid hundreds of thousands of dollars? " I have a better understanding of his actions last night. It seems Gardner is correct about the corruption in the city council. Please look deeper into this claim. Since the city does not issue liquor licenses (California State agency, ABC, does that) Mr. Nick's claim just does not make sense. ABC does not operates the way he claims and the city appears to have had no basis for denying 7-11.
Rose T. October 12, 2012 at 07:29 PM
LakeForest Lifer, thank you perhaps Mr. Nick was referring to a zoning permit that is required to obtain a liquor license which would be issued by the city? http://www.licensesandpermits.com/how-to/get-local-zoning-permit-approval.aspx . In any case, I still think that Gardner would be a good councilman. I liked his response to the compassion question. There have been many articles written which state compassion in politics is the way to a "compassionate city" and world. "We" as a nation need to stop giving our power away to money and that is partly what politics is about. We need compassion in the mix also because we are dealing with living beings not inanimate objects.
John F October 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Mr. Nick, Please comment on my understanding that, had you gone to the state for your license rather than purchasing it as part of your AM/PM package, you could have gotten it for the same $100 as 7-11. Did you actually write a check to the state for $250,000? Thank you.
Jenn Nguyen October 13, 2012 at 12:50 AM
The City is in trouble. It's time for a change in the City Council and at City Hall. People are being fired and contracts not renewed for the wrong reasons. It makes us as a City look corrupt, lost or confused. We cannot have this happen. The City of Lake Forest is built on looking forward to the future and challenging it. Right now, we're stuck and we cannot shake it one bit. It is up to putting aside emotion and looking at the facts about the candidates based on the real deal of each of them. Only then, can this City shine again as we did before. We have contracts we broke for no reason. We have others that have bullied us to taking on WAY more than we need and we're wasting millions of dollars. We are not even going out to bid at times and that's illegal and wrong. That has to change and to do that it takes a strong City Council.
Jenn Nguyen October 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM
About the candidates (candid, factual and real) Terry Anderson: Not bad person, but not CC material nor a leader. If Terry thinks everything is Peachy in Lake Forest, then you're wrong. The reason we run is not for fun. We run to make a difference. Terry, do the time and go to meetings for the next 2 years and see how the process is and see what's wrong. Then run. You're not ready. Ken Carrell: Either you were no prepared for this or you are not a public speaker. Either way, this doesn't cut it for CC. You have to lead otherwise, you will be led by others and that's not what our great City needs. We need to be real and we need change. I suggest you too spend time at CC meetings and learn the issues, review the public records and then run when you're ready and you know it all. As that's expected of a CC leader. Adam Nick: If you are passionate about your City, you do not sue it because you feel competition is unfair. First, the County handles Liquor licenses. Fair competition in business allows EVERYONE the chance to rent space and compete. That's why there are more than one grocery stores, gas stations, etc. You're running for the wrong reasons and while you're a business owner, you do not have experience and have only been at meetings to threaten the City.
Jenn Nguyen October 13, 2012 at 01:04 AM
About the candidates (candid, factual and real pt2). Marcia Rudolph. It's time for you to step aside for the benefit of the City. You gave us ALL so very much for so long and now it's time to let change take its course. We will always be grateful for everything you have done, however it is time to change your role. You can volunteer and still contribute to the City, but you really need to look inside yourself and see that it's time to say goodby to CC. You struggled at this event and performed very poorly. You have struggled at CC meetings lately too. It's time that give up your CC seat and let someone else come in with a new perspective enter the arena. Marcia, you're a great person, a kind soul and you deserve a break. You also deserve a medal from the City for your honor, kindness and honesty. You're a rare bird. We all respect you. However, every good CEO, businesswoman, etc. We all know when to retire. I retired and I've never been happier and I am now putting myself first. I believe you owe it to yourself and the City. Dwight Robinson: Effective City Council is not about being there for anyone else but the local businesses & residents. You need to regroup, distance yourself from others and focus on politics for the City & only the City. If you can do that, then run again. If you cannot, then do not run. No room for hidden agendas
Jenn Nguyen October 13, 2012 at 01:11 AM
About the candidates (candid, factual and real pt3). Jim Gardner: Jim, you're very qualified and you are the person that will fight for what's right and the City needs this. The City Council needs to be cleaned up and it needs leadership. I know that you will respect this post and earn it each and every day. As long as you always remember you represent us, the residents and businesses in the City of Lake Forest. If you do that (and I feel you will) then you are the candidate to join City Council. You point out that Kathy has a big photo of Peter Herzog on her flyers. In marketing, you always lead with whatever tools you have. You know that as a smart business person that's how you market yourself. Not everyone has your diverse and generous background and heart. However, Kathy is the closest thing to that next to you. Yes, she knows the City inside and out. She knows what's wrong and how to fix it. The two of you would be great for the City. Kathy Zechmeister: Not one family has every given more in recent years than the you and your husband. If there was a way to elect a husband and wife, we'd be honored to have you both on the CC. But that's not how it goes. I know you are honorable, dedicated and driven for the benefit of our City. That is what the CC needs ** Disclaimer. I do not know ANY of these people. I just did my homework and I believe that we need change and the people that will lead us are crystal clear. Jim and Kathy.
Jim Gardner October 13, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Hi Jean, Thanks for your kind words. I will try my best to live up to them. I don't know Kathy at all and Jerry and I have only met a few times, although I have watched him on several occasions at the Planning Commission where I believe he has done a good job. I like them both and I know that both of them have worked hard for the well being of the City. My concern about her links to Herzog are not meant to detract from her qualifications but it's my fear that Herzog will put pressure on her (and Anderson) to continue the kind of in fighting that has marred Lake Forest politics for two decades. If Herzog were not in office my view of the entire situation would change dramatically.
Joker Joe October 13, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Any one for more construction doesn't have my vote. More construction equals more traffic, more pollution and more crime. I did not move here for an L.A. atmosphere.
LakeForest Lifer October 13, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Bo Bo: So your recommendation would be to stop the development that has already been approved (some of it long before we were a city), then have the city be sued by the developers for breach of contract, thus potentially forcing the city into bankruptcy because of a court judgement against us - just like Mammoth Lakes, CA. Do I have that right?
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM
To John F: John, you wrote, “"Mr. Nick, Please comment on my understanding that, had you gone to the state for your license rather than purchasing it as part of your AM/PM package, you could have gotten it for the same $100 as 7-11. Did you actually write a check to the state for $250,000? Thank you." First, thank you for DIRECTLY asking me your question rather than pontificating as I have seen done by others in several occasions both here on patch and elsewhere, notwithstanding their ill-conceived motives and agenda. The short answer to your questions is: Yes, I did first go the State but the State (i.e. the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department (or ABC in short)) in 2001 denied me a NEW license for a mere $100 based on the very laws that ABC denied 7-Eleven Inc., a NEW license in 2010. So, I had no choice but to purchase an EXISTING license in the open market and pay the Fair Market Value for it ($250,000.00). This is exactly what 7-Eleven should have done but the City Hall intervened and, with the issuance a particular letter by the City government to ABC, 7-Eleven Inc., successfully circumvented the State law and did receive from ABC a NEW license for the very $100. (To be continued in a separate post due to space limitation)
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:17 PM
(Continued from the previous post) You see John, this is not about competition. It is about UNFAIR competition. It is about favoritism. Any decent, conscionable person would agree that, no matter you are a small business owner or a large corporation owning about 6,300 stores nationwide, everyone should play the same game by the same rules. NO ONE IS OR SHOULD BE ABOVE THE LAW, AND THAT IS MY STAND. That was the short answer to your questions. Now, if you care, you can read the rest as I will elaborate on the matter. (To be continued in a separate post due to space limitation)
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM
(Continued from the previous post) Imagine the financial burden on me as a businessman of the hefty price to purchase an existing alcohol license to be metaphorically a fifty-pound weight or a three-foot rope burden to an athlete by the use of metal plates adding onto the athlete’s weight or tying one or more of the athlete’s limbs. Do you think, even for a split second, that if you had burdened Babe Ruth, Mohammad Ali, Michael Jordan, or Michael Phelps with either tying the fifty-pound weight onto their back or tying even one of their hands, let alone tying both hands, behind their back with the three-foot rope, they would have succeeded and become who they became? Now you may say, “Well, the fifty-pound weight or three-foot rope should NOT exist. Period.” And, even if one agreed with you on that, then one would say, “Well it DOES exist and because it does exist, anyone who wants to play must be bound by it.” For God’s sake John and the people who read this, ALL I HAVE ASKED FOR HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. ISN’T EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITIES WHAT AMERICA IS ALL ABOUT? (To be continued in a separate post due to space limitation)
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM
(Continued from the previous post) John, equally important to me is that you know that first all of I am NOT asking for any money in punitive damages, and Second of all I have done is that I filed a petition to have the actions of the City Council examined because the Council helped a competitor of mine secure a particular license with the payment of a mere $100 in spite of the State laws, in contravention to public policy, despite an overwhelming community opposition, and notwithstanding my legitimate protest on file. In their advocacy of 7-Eleven Inc., the City Council members put their own selfish interest first, interfered with free enterprise with a “government knows best” approach, disregarded State laws, and unfairly tipped the balance to the favor of my competitor, while effectively crippling my business threatening its viability and continuance. I am merely asking for the Council’s ill-conceived decision to be examined and if, indeed, it is unlawful, as I contend, for the decision to be set aside. THAT IS ALL. (To be continued in a separate post due to space limitation)
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM
(Continued from the previous post) It was in this pursuit of my lawsuit, that I discovered what I had experienced personally was not an exception at Lake Forest City Hall but the norm. The more I looked into how decisions are made at the City Hall, the more I discovered influences of Especial Interest, Cronyism, Incompetence, and Wasteful Spending. There's no doubt in my mind that the taxpayers and Residents of Lake Forest deserve better. And to that end it is that I am willing to take away from my own life and from my own businesses to serve the very community that has been home to me for 30 years, the better part of my life. I would be happy to provide you via email all there is (nearly four thousand pages in total that I have filed, thus far). Although I do not dare suggest that you read them in their entirety, glancing at them may help you understand, if you like to know, some of all that has taken place and the extent to which I have been wronged by certain individuals at the City Hall for my refusal to “play ball”. At a minimum, you should read the letters that I drafted and forwarded to the Council to no avail. If you are truly have no ties with the select group of individuals at the City Hall and can be objective and are conscionable, you will be hard-pressed not to see how decently I have behaved and to what extent I have been grieved by this secret group. (To be continued in a separate post due to space limitation)
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM
(Continued from the previous post) Again, reading, at a minimum, the letters will help you understand why I believe I have been right and righteous in my firm standing against the tyranny of the political machine at the Lake Forest City Hall. The truth is that I have learned now that for nearly two decades there has almost always existed a de facto government in Lake Forest. Believe me that the more I got involved the more I realized that my case has NOT been an isolated one, rather a frequent occurrence by certain individuals to cater to special interest for their own personal gain. The only difference between my case and the many before me is that this time around they tried to victimize the wrong guy and ended up having to put forth a real fight (incidentally, on Taxpayers’ dime), much to their disbelief. And, believe me, this narrative is not even the tip of the ice-berg and nor, for that matter, are the nearly 4,000 pages that I have thus far filed with the Superior Court and the particular State Agency involved. (To be continued in a separate post due to space limitation)
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:35 PM
(Continued from the previous post) The truth of the matter is that the City Hall functioned as an advocate of my competitor, for reasons not unknown to me at this point in time. This is while all the particular City officials had to do, especially given all the objections on the record against granting my competitors, a national chain with horrible track record of violations, was to just let ninety (90) days post the City’s receipt of Notice from ABC lapse, and ABC itself then would have taken up the matter, Inc. Rather, the City’s Development Director issued its ill-conceived letter to the ABC in favor of my competitor in late afternoon of the 90th day, October 4, 2010, under a cloud of specious activities. Again, thank you, John, for your inquiry and your decency to ask me directly your question, rather than opining unintelligently on the matter or disparaging me unfairly and undeservingly. Adam Nick 949-812-0920 adamnick1776@gmail.com
Adam Nick October 14, 2012 at 11:37 PM
(Continued from the previous post) The truth of the matter is that the City Hall functioned as an advocate of my competitor, for reasons not unknown to me at this point in time. This is while all the particular City officials had to do, especially given all the objections on the record against granting my competitor, a national chain with horrible track record of violations, was to just let ninety (90) days post the City’s receipt of Notice from ABC lapse, and ABC itself then would have taken up the matter. Rather, the City’s Development Director issued its ill-conceived letter to the ABC in favor of my competitor in late afternoon of the 90th day, October 4, 2010, under a cloud of specious activities. Again, thank you, John, for your inquiry and your decency to ask me directly your question, rather than opining unintelligently on the matter or disparaging me unfairly and undeservingly. Adam Nick 949-812-0920 adamnick1776@gmail.com
LakeForest Lifer October 15, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Mr. Nick: Help me understand your explanation to John F.'s question. You state, "The short answer to your questions is: Yes, I did first go the State but the State (i.e. the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department (or ABC in short)) in 2001 denied me a NEW license for a mere $100 based on the very laws that ABC denied 7-Eleven Inc., a NEW license in 2010. So, I had no choice but to purchase an EXISTING license..." I see this as you CHOSE to buy an existing license rather than go through the process 7-11 followed. You too could have gone to the City, petitioned for a new license (just as 7-11 did) and then paid the $100 fee you site. I don't understand how the City is responsible for your business choice.
Carla T October 15, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Mr. Nick.... WOW!!! All I have to say at his point is WOW and shame on the Lake Forest City Council to allow this to happen in our city...it's so obvious that the crony group headed by HerzHog owes you a huge apology and because the facts are the facts (take a look at who Seven Eleven is campaigning for by seeing the windows to their store) either you should be reimbursed the difference of what you paid for your license versus what Seven Eleven did or Seven Eleven should pay what everyone else has paid in years past or Seven Eleven should lose their license because there is too much saturation of liquor being sold in the neighborhood. We don't want our city to turn into a ghetto. Again, shame on the City Council...what a disgrace! Plus, the kingpin HerzHog should resign...what an embarrassment to our beautiful city! I wonder what the connection is between the property owner where the Seven Eleven store is located and what type of financial support/relationship there is to HerzHog, Anderson and the Zechmeisters??? Another WOW is what Jim Gardner stated - HerzHog spent almost $40,000 in his last campaign! I wonder where he got all that money and what he has to give back in return? There's several rotten apples in the barrel and we need to get them out for the sake and dignity of our great Lake Forest.
Carla T October 15, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Nguyen... You really need to read the comments by Mr. Nick and mentions by other citizens about him. He is "not" going to sue the city...he has submitted a complaint concerning how badly and unfair he has been treated and the obvious favoritism the City Council has given to Seven Elven...someone is getting kickbacks in some form! We need Nick's financial experience to help maintain the best transparency and most "honest" management of Lake Forest. Bottom line is we need to clean up our council before it becomes the City of Bell...take the trash out now! My vote is for Gardner and Nick to start the clean up.
LakeForest Lifer October 15, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Clara, you are so right, if in fact Mr. Nick's claims are accurate. Again I ask Mr. Nick to answer my questions listed above - it appears to me HE chose to buy his license on the open market rather than pursue the license in the same fashion as 7-11. What am I missing here?
Joker Joe October 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM
LakeForest Lifer Where did you read or interpret that? Geezz. I say no more malls, businesses,hotels, gas stations, 7/11 stores, homes, etc. If the contracts are signed, of course I say honor them. We all moved here for the quality of life. Not to be inundated by traffic, crime, and pollution.
Frank Mockery October 16, 2012 at 04:57 AM
The City Councilmembers who've wasted nearly a million dollars in their dubious & reckless efforts to ban legal medical marijuana dispensaries should be arrested for obstructing state law,charged with malfeasance in office & be forced to personally repay to the cities treasury all the taxpayer's money they've illegally squandered by putting their personal & ill-conceived biases before the needs of their constituents & the law !!! The support of any of these callous & despicable politicians should be more than enough to disqualify their chosen candidates in favor of those with much more integrity & a modicum of common sense ! Let's remember who our friends are & who has been waging war on cannabis patients & the dispensaries which supply their doctor recommended medication ! Any elected official who refuses to recognize the authority of the State of California to enforce it's laws & their duty to abide by them & asks the federal government to intercede on their behalf should be charged with treason against the state (a capital offense),tried & jailed for life without parole !
Andromeda October 16, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Did you notice that the city council jumped through hoops and barrels to enforce Federal statutes on marijuana dispensaries yet thumbed their noses at Federal immigration statutes that prohibit illegal immigration and illegal labor. The Council completely rejected any opportunity to mandate E-Verify for the companies that contracts with the city to provide services. So illegal aliens stealing jobs from our citizens was just fine with our Council even if it violated Federal statutes. But those evil medical marijuana dispensaries had to go because they violated Federal law! And Lake Forest even spent $1M of our money to make it happen! Cracks me up how they feel so obliged to follow one Federal law yet completely dismiss another!
Rose T. October 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
The fact the city spent $1M to stop the marijuana dispensary indicates to me the present regime in office are not good stewards of tax payer money. In 2007, the city backed out of an agreement to participate in a four-city study that would examine the need for a local humane animal shelter because they thought $5000 to $10,000 was too much. Many residents felt betrayed. I look around Orange County and see beautiful multi-million dollar homes, state of the art entertainment centers, Honda Center, beautiful yachts floating in the bays, Fortune 500 corporations and I say "wow" that's wonderful!!. Then I see a 70 year old animal shelter where thousands of animals are euthanized every year. To me, what we do with our money reveals our values and also ignorance (lack of knowledge). Just recently, July 2012, scientists (including Stephen Hawking) attended a conference and announced to the world the "Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness" which was the result of decades of research. I invite you to view the brief video filmed at the conference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRi_VIWjJCA .
Joker Joe October 17, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Rose In total agreement with you. You can judge the heart of a man by the way he treats animals. Never was a saying more true.
Merijoe Axe October 17, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Verily, verily. In agreeance with Rose T. (only I wouldn't have been so nice or classy).

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