Letter to the Editor: Mayor and councilmembers deceive Martinez voters

We are disappointed to report that Mayor Schroder and Councilmembers Gipner and McKillop have just broadcast totally untrue accusations about Measure I—The Citizen Initiative. They are saying certain private property will be banned from any kind of development and turned into public open space. The accusations are ludicrous, but people have been scared by them.

This is the latest attempt by the City Council to confuse Martinez citizens and undermine Measure I. That will keep developers in the driver’s seat on converting open space to big developer projects— without approval of Martinez voters.

Civic leaders, respected environmentalists, legal experts (including a renowned Stanford University legal authority) and concerned citizens carefully prepared Measure I over a period of many months. Over 4000 Martinez voters reviewed it and signed the petition to put it on the ballot.

We know what measure i does and does not do. The City Council does not.

Measure I does not restrict any property owner rights. Whatever can be done on any property in Martinez, open space or otherwise, under our current General Plan can still be done under Measure I. If you can graze cattle now on your open space, or do agriculture or recreation uses, that will remain exactly the same under Measure I.

If you can build housing on your open space—limited housing is currently allowed on some open space—that will remain your right under Measure I. Measure I does not in any way restrict what our current General Plan says you can do on private property. That is not what Measure I is about.

Measure I DOES ONE THING: It gives Martinez voters the right to approve any City Council vote to convert any open space or park in Martinez to more intensive development, like developer big housing or commercial projects.

The City Council has been spreading false and misleading information for months, including: (1) the biased taxpayer-financed report the Council prepared (it parrots accusations from developer lawyer letters), (2) the lawsuit the City filed against the three proponents of Measure I, and (3) the Impartial Statements in your Voter Information booklets—which the City got to write for BOTH their Measure F and the Citizen Measure I (so much for ‘impartial’).

The Contra Costa Superior Court ruled against numerous allegations the City Council made against Measure I on March 6, 2018. The Court found all of them baseless and threw them out of court.*

Do not trust what the city council is saying. They are attempting to confuse and mislead Martinez voters. And more of the same will be on the way. We should expect better from our elected officials.

The real question is: Why is the City Council working so hard to keep it easy for developers to buy Martinez open space and convert it into development projects—without approval of Martinez voters? Who are the City Council really representing—their developers friends or Martinez voters?

Measure I is by and for the citizens of Martinez.

Vote yes on Measure I—the citizen initiative

Vote no on Measure F—the developer trick

*Unfortunately other allegations will not be heard by the Court until after the election. They are equally baseless. Several of the allegations are the same as in developer lawyer documents.

– Tim Platt

One Reply to “Letter to the Editor: Mayor and councilmembers deceive Martinez voters”

  1. posted this on the Martinez Rants and Raves Group on Facebook and felt compelled to share it here as well. After watching the video debate between the Mayor and Mr. Platt, a production which I really appreciated as it gave me an opportunity to hear both sides of the argument, I thought this….

    I really appreciate the video and the opportunity to hear from both sides. I feel that both gentlemen were civil (unlike some of the posts elsewhere in R&R) and made strong arguments for their side of the issue. Personally I am not sure how I’ll vote, but leaning in favor of Measure I. Before those who disagree start berating me about my lack of concern for private property rights… hear me out. I agree that allowing 5 individuals on the city council to have the power to decide to change zoning on a property (and actually it would only take a majority of 3 of them) is a lot of power and however honorable our current city council members may be, there is the potential for future corruption and financial enticements by developers. So, giving the citizens of the city a chance to weigh in on these big things will simply hold our politicians accountable. On the other hand, I agree that someone who wants to add a small in-law house to their property shouldn’t have to go through an election to get permission to do so. But, I don’t see that Measure I is preventing someone from doing that now…. if their property is currently zoned to allow it. So, if it wasn’t, they’d still have to go at least through the city to get a rezoning. This primarily, in my opinion has to do with large parcels and substantial changes in use… like converting a huge golf course into a housing development… something which will impact traffic in the area, add more kids to our schools and affect the density of our area, the wildlife, etc. I would be open to a more modest residential proposal in Pine Meadows which the developer could propose and, I believe if reasonable, the citizens of Martinez would approve. I did take issue with the Mayor’s statement that the zoning of pine meadows on old maps was a mistake. I haven’t looked into all of the details of this, but if it’s been that way on the maps for 50 years or so, enough people have seen it and agreed with it, that it likely was correct. Lastly, is there a fear that the citizens of Martinez would not vote in favor of things that are in the best interest of the community? If that interest is more development, I believe the citizens will support it. But, I also believe there are plenty of old industrial and derelict residential properties in this city that could be converted to meet the needs for more affordable housing and thereby avoid bulldozing and building on large open spaces. I bought my home in Martinez, specifically because the community was not over crowded and has a lot of open space. So, what about the rights of people like me who invested hard earned money to live in a community that isn’t over crowded? You can look all over the Bay Area and see communities that did not restrict growth and allowed development on every hillside and open area. Concrete and buildings everywhere! I say we try to avoid that here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *