It’s time for SLO voters to remove turncoat Democrats

November 1, 2016
Allan Cooper

Allan Cooper


Over the past several years, I and a not-very-small group of registered Democrats here in San Luis Obispo have been fighting our City Council over their loose interpretation of the general plan. This has resulted in “spot zoning” and incompatible development.

Four of the five members on the Council are also registered Democrats. The local SLO County Democratic Central Committee not only endorsed these Council members but are now endorsing our mayor and two candidates for council.

These candidates appear to be “in bed” with the chamber and the business community because they are outspoken advocates of bringing more jobs to SLO and building more housing even though this runs counter to their questionable stance on protecting the environment and our moral obligation to live within our means. They have been fed the city’s “kool-aid” on climate change…that it won’t adversely affect SLO and that we need not worry about running out of water even if our population grows another 25 percent.

Our group calls these people “BizDems” and they presently share Governor Jerry Brown’s disdain for CEQA, local General Plans, design guidelines or any other planning mechanism that serves as a necessary check-and-balance to poor quality, rampant development. Governor Brown and his “BizDem” cronies are intent on speeding up the permit approval processes (particularly as it applies to housing) by leaving local residents out of the decision-making loop (if you’re unclear about this, read up on California’s “Anti-NIMBY” law, Government Code section 65589.5(j)) or click on the this link.

We know all of this about our governor because he was quoted telling Jim Newton as recently as spring 2016 in an issue of “Blueprint,” “…it’s easier to build in Texas.

And maybe we could change that. But you know what? The trouble is the political climate, that’s just kind of where we are. Very hard to — you can’t change CEQA…”

Brown naively believes if we build more housing (everywhere in California…not just in the Inland Empire where housing would naturally be cheaper) the prices will come down. Has it ever occurred to him or to his followers that most people would rather live along the coast of California and – to partake of that privilege – pay higher prices for housing?

And that, short of another major recession, our housing prices will remain the same or rise even higher no matter how many more housing units are built. The net result of this Sisyphean task of over-building will be a population that will overtax our existing infrastructure and depreciate our quality of life.

What is the answer to all of this? Write letters to the editor excoriating our turncoat “BizDems” and work to elect local politicians, irrespective of party lines, who will represent local and not state-mandated interests.

With this in mind, we are recommending that you vote for Mila Vujovich-LaBarre and Mike Clark for San Luis Obispo Council this Nov. 8.

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Sadly those who are in favor of more housing and more development have lost sight of why this place has been a special place to live for years without the big city congestion and pollution. Sadly the quality of life will immensely deteriorate but the more critical issue that no one talks about when they talk about more development is . . . . seriously, where is the water going to come from? Doesn’t anyone get that? Is everyone really so busy they fail to care about the decisions being made that have a huge impact on all of us who already live here? VOTE RESPONSIBLY!

Mr. Cooper is right on with his analysis of showing where the thought process of the current Council members is going. Build, baby, build! Has anyone noticed the plethora of new employees at the City? That’s right, the last few Council meetings Mr. Codron has trotted out all the new employees in HIS planning department. What do planners in THIS city do? Grease the skids to allow developers to build any development they wish without regards to future water consumption, NEW roads to carry all the next 20k new residents, or any other rational requirements. This City and its Council pretend that they are operating at a 1% growth rate. Check this website, this is way more than 1 %.

These projects are virtually flying through the process with nary an objection. And are all with the “approved with a categorical EXEMPTION from any and all CEQA requirements. Handy phrase there! I believe that is more the modus operandii of bizdems who appear to believe we can support an infinite number of new residents. We are geographically limited AND water limited, Oh, and the bicycle community is all for new developments too, which seems incongruous to me and others . The 22 Choro project developer was just approved for many deviations from a rational project, due to a few extra bicycle parking slots in the project, and yet, likely all the residents will own cars, they will just park them in the local R-1 neighborhood due to the lack of on-sight parking. The Council refused to listen to its citizens. Just angrily refused to entertain any rational notion from the residents of this town.

We are in trouble folks. There hasn’t been a new road in this town in forever. If all those projects at the above website are built, there will be absolute gridlock here. Where is the voice of reason here? Not in the current Council, nor most of the current crop of candidates OTHER THAN Ms. Vujovich La-Barre and Mr. Clark.

Since I am one of the candidates that Allan mentions I will post the same response I have put up when he posted this to Nextdoor and on Facebook. i do have one question why does he focus on name calling rather than telling us about Mike and Mila’s policy goals…

Here is my response: Allan,

As I have continued to say, I appreciate your involvement. I do not appreciate your continued attempts at character assasinations. You continue to create divides when as a species we need to create better communication. We are in a unique time in the history of the human race. A time that we now understand we cannot continue living the way that we have. Our third and second world countries are paying for the conveniences of the way the first world lives. The poor in our country pay for the conveniences that the hyper wealthy create. Calling for a moratorium on building in our city not only doesn’t solve our drought issues it also doesn’t create a solution to our housing crisis.

And that is the biggest divide that we see between the candidates running for city council. Rather than trying to over simplify it by name calling why don’t we simply look at the reality of our housing issues and how that plays in to the overall sustainability of our city/county/state/country/world. Access to shelter is a pretty basic part of life for humans. Our world population is growing at 1.07% annually, we are averaging .37% annually. We simply are not doing our part as a city. With a 1% annual growth cap and a population cap that was just lowered from 57,200 to 56,000 (according to our Mayor) nobody is asking for a population explosion. Keep in mind at our rate we wont hit peak build out for another 20 to 30 years. Add in that over that 20 years significantly more student housing will have been built on Cal Poly’s campus. Smart growth is planning accordingly to mitigate the needs of every day people with our available resources. The two candidates that you support have both said they would like to see a moratorium on building. One of them also said, “I could care less if SLO grows anymore” at the RQN candidate forum. I know this because he was sitting right next to me when he said it. If that is a viewpoint that you support, then by all means vote for them. Personally I think that would be a HUGE mistake.

Prematurely capping our growth will have major consequences and will further exacerbate our wealth distribution, our CO2 emissions do to commuting, and create greater traffic issues. Not to mention the economic impact during a time that we are struggling to find a solution for the Diablo shut down. One of the main reasons I love the urban design model is because it reduces a person’s carbon footprint. To claim that advocating for greater affordability of housing is somehow against the goals of sustainability is just simply false. We cannot just turn our heads to the greater realities of this world. The human population is growing. As much as we want that to not be the case, it is the reality.

The argument is continually brought up that we are just highly desirable that is what makes it so expensive. Has a partial truth, but we have also made it extremely expensive and very time consuming to build in SLO. The consequence of that is an expensive finished product that very few people in this city can afford to purchase. That then creates a place for wealthy people to relocate to and a great place for investment property, for wealthy people. Who does that leave out of the equation: the average working people of SLO. That is not a sustainable model of growth.

Calling us “turncoat BizDems” is not exactly a constructive way to dispute our policy goals. What I really scratch my head about is the fact that you do not even live in SLO year around, yet it seems to be your mission to be the voice of “locals.” Your organization is Save Our Downtown, but you rarely get the perspective of Downtown Business owners. How do we save Downtown if we do not have a functioning economy?

As I always urge people to do when you go on the attack: I urge everyone to look at each candidates actual platform. Allan’s mislabeling is unfortunately probably as old as humanity. I am always open for an open dialogue in which we actually discuss the topics. But simply throwing a label on someone so we can dismiss them does nothing for the evolution of our species.

I hope people vote for a vision that includes a diverse spectrum of people and doesn’t just close the door on working families.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a Candidate would at least Sign his name to his response, so we know who is espousing every left wing socialist talking point in the book and can vote accordingly?

Wow! Rich in MB can’t figure out that “aaron g” is council candidate Aaron Gomez? That is pretty pathetic.

Well, Aaron you’re a man who has been handed a paid for house and business (including the downtown building) in SLO by mommy and daddy and never really had to make your way in the world thanks to your family trust. You’re very lucky. You sell jewelry in a first world country and espouse a philosophy that sounds like you really think you’re a person of substance, when you are not. There’s no reason to downplay your family’s financial success, they’ve made good in SLO. How’s that new wonderful kitchen in the house that daddy gifted ?

When you appear at Candidate Forums and obviously are not informed on what’s really happening in our City it appears that your education has come from the Builders’ Exchange,U40, Dwell Forward and the Chamber of Commerce. If you think Allan Cooper is “name calling” you’re incorrect, he’s telling the truth.

I guess it must be frustrating to not have all the democrats be in lock-step anymore, consequences be damned? Next thing you know, the democrats will actually BE tolerant, educated and open-minded like they falsely have been professing for so many years.

You can’t just build “affordable” housing along the Central Coast and expect it to remain affordable. I’ve seen it first hand in Paso. A moderately priced dense housing unit was built with prices ranging from 250,000 to 300,000. From the beginning people bought this housing for investment, planning to rent the house. Some moved in for a while and then sold it for profit. Prices for housing have also gone up naturally.

So, now the houses sell for 350,000 to 400,000.

In San Luis Obispo, it will be worse. There have to be some restrictions on making sure that the housing is not bought solely for investment by the rich. Home owners should be required to live in the home for a certain period of time to keep investors out. Of course, there could be exceptions when people have to move, etc.

Why…is buying a house to rent as an investment a crime and against the law….

Why does the left hate Freedom so much?

As a Proud Democrat, I hope you are firmly behind your man Adam Hill.

He’s a great poster boy for Democrat corruption.

Are we in Chicago or SLO?

But it gets better.

I can’t wait to hear the Good Drs rant about apealing prop 13 on Dave’s show today.

Everything Dave has the Good Dr on his show, the local Dems lose votes.

Good choice, those are the two that I voted for….hopefully there will be a major change on the SLO City Council. Please also voted for a change in the mayor’s seat….Heide Harmon.

What an arrogant load of clap trap. Sadly he does represent the limousine liberal that makes up so much of SLO. NIMBYs, now that they have theirs.