600 to 6.
In the February water bills this year, some residents received an invitation to come to the March 25th Planning Commission meeting and hear a presentation on the new draft General Plan. About 5 people showed up including me, all against the plan. I came and spoke out against the political nature of the plan. I was the only speaker, either for or against. I asked for a town hall to discuss taking out the political framework. I was told by the Director of Development Service basically, "we are not going back, we are not having a town hall, this plan is being implemented nationally, it is a done deal." 1 against the plan. 0 for it.
I spread the word as fast as I could and told people what the city was up to. 60 people showed up at the next meeting on April 22. Many voiced that they didn't want the plan with its political agenda. The residents had many questions and concerns including: who were the stakeholders who formed this plan, how will there be water for 8,000 new residents, and why does the plan promote reduced car use? At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Bill Velto took the opportunity to demean the 60 who came out to oppose the plan and said, "50-60 people??? There are 71,000 people in this city!! We have to assume that either a lot of people are satisfied with the plan or they don't know what's going on..." 60 against. 0 for it.
The Planning Commissioners and staff were now getting worried. We had put our grievances in writing and turned them in to the city and were promised our answers at the May meeting. They canceled it. This made citizens angry and over 120 showed up to the City Council meeting on May 26th to cry foul. Standing room only. A handful of people, who obviously hadn't read the plan, stood up for the plan. Over 100 against. About 5 or 6 for.
On June 22, Republican Women Federated presented the Mayor and City Council a resolution against Agenda 21 and the principles of Smart Growth in the Plan. This document represented the vote of 140 women.
At the July Planning Commission meeting, residents presented petitions and a survey they had compiled in only 2 weeks that represented almost 600 residents including the 140 women, against the plan. The same six residents, who had STILL not read the plan, spoke up for the plan. The labor union, SEIU, paid about 24 union members (including illegal immigrants) to sit in the audience. 3 that spoke English, read carefully crafted excerpts of the plan that had been written for them. Almost 600 to 30. If you subtract the paid plants (24 paid union lackeys), we're back down to 600 to 6.
At the August 26th Planning Commission public hearing on the plan, there was again standing room only. When the hearing for the Plan began (almost 3 hours into the meeting) speakers again brought up the fact that almost 600 people were documented to be against the plan and that residents were spreading the word and the number of people opposed to the plan was growing weekly. This time, only 4 of the usual 6 stood up FOR the Plan.
This time it was Chair Schwary that took the opportunity to demean the citizens. He chided those against the plan asking about the 70,000 residents that were NOT there. He continued with his tongue lashing to say basically that even if we had 1,000 residents at the meeting it wouldn't have changed their minds.
He, nor any of the commissioners acknowledged that only 30 people tops (and that's counting the 24 paid SEIU union plants) ever stood up FOR the plan. And yet, we had standing room only with people against the plan and petitions, surveys and resolutions and we were told our opinions were meaningless. So I guess they were right from the beginning. It WAS a done deal. They had already decided before we came to any meeting, this plan would pass.
600 to 6. During this political season, surveys abound. Surveying 600 people is a very acceptable survey number. So if those attending the meetings were part of a CNN poll, they would say the outcome was only 1% for the plan and 99% against the plan. But in Upland, what citizens want, no matter what the number, it doesn't count any more.
Come to the September 14th City Council meeting at 7 pm and help us make it matter.