Interview with Mission Viejo council woman Gail Reavis who is a candidate for re-election

For those who monitor political calendars there are 108 days until the Nov General election and 20 days remaining to file for local city council races. That said, we now begin to see the flurry of candidates, be it incumbents or challengers, meeting with City Clerks around Orange County, who begin the process of completing their Nominating papers.

Anyone who thinks they can do a better job than the incumbents in your city now is your chance to put on your armor and step into the arena. Unless an incumbent fails to file you have until Aug 8th to submit your document package.

Earlier this week I posted a report on Cathy Schlicht who is running for one of the two seats on the Mission Viejo city council.  This post will highlight incumbent Councilwoman Gail Reavis who was first elected in 2000.

In our discussion today Gail pointed out numerous areas of concern, many of which I do concur. Let me keep this post limited to three of her issues.

One of the main reasons that she chose to run again is her concern that the council will vote to rezone all or some of the open space known as the 18 hole Casta del Sol Golf Course. Sunrise Senior Living has been actively lobbying residents to get support for changes to this key property surrounded by three homeowner associations. Having played that course I have seen Petitions in the clubhouse where local residents and players have signed in opposition to any changes in that golf course or clubhouse. These petitions have been submitted to the city council during Public Comments.

 Gail said “the Moratorium (on the golf course) is meaningless in that a majority can vote to rezone the property at any time.”  Gail informed me that she has stated publicly that she “would not vote to rezone this property now, or ever.”

 As Juice readers have read I have taken the city of Mission Viejo to task for committing $300,000 for a Rose Parade float to celebrate our 20th year of cityhood which by itself is not a significant milestone nor does it send a message of being fiscal conservatives at a time when we anticipate a decline in General Fund revenue.

In discussing the float Gail told me that: “(Mayor) Trish (Kelley) appointed herself and (Councilman) Lance (MacLean) as the ad hoc committee and they do not need to refer anything to the full council unless they have a contract for us to sign or increase in the budget.”

Notes: While I was under the impression that the budget was $300,000 Gail said it is may in fact be $350,000.  Not having seen the Contract I wonder what escape clauses, if any, it contains! Anticipating somewhere over $2 million shortfall this year can we bail out now with limited penalty exposure?
We also made a commitment for space on the parade route where tickets are available at $85 each. That must also be taken into account.

Another area that drew reader attention was a request from Mayor Kelley and councilman MacLean to increase their monthly compensation from $500 upwards of $1,300. Gail said she was “opposed to any increase” in compensation or benefits for that part time public service position.

This is my second report on the November 2008 candidates for the Mission Viejo city council. While the policy of this blog permits anonymous comments let me reiterate our position. No personal attacks and no vulgarity will be tolerated.

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