Letter to the Editor: Mayor and councilmembers deceive Martinez voters

| May 2, 2018 | 1 Comment

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

Tags: ,

Category: Opinion