(Editor’s Note: Michael O’Connor is a retired 32-year Escondido firefighter who is a Valley Center Community Planning Group member. The dispute concerns reporting about the defeated Measure B in the November 2016 election that would have allowed the Lilac Hills Ranch housing project to be built in rural Bonsall and Valley Center. )
I responded to a story written by editor David Ross of the Valley Center Roadrunner. Seems my letter to the editor didn’t appear in the last two issues of the local paper. I decided to turn to social media to get my response out; so here it is, folks …
— Michael O’Connor
After reading your article on my visits to city councils in San Diego County in regards to public officials (mayors) using their position of power to endorse Measure B:
First, and foremost, I use the word I have used (downright) DISGUSTING.
None of these mayors and council members ever contacted anyone that is involved with the Valley Center Planning Group or local officials about the issue.
Residents of Valley Center and San Diego County, I ask you to Google a PAC (Political Action Committee) called North County Leadership Council.
You will find every mayor I visited on the mailer sent out to the whole county. This mailer, among others, came from this council to the cost of $31,102.52 endorsed by them and paid for by the developer (Lilac Hills Ranch.)
This group goes hand-and-hand with developers to push projects through, using power; spreading smoke and mirrors about growth in their neighboring communities with tactics to skirt around the General Plan and bully planning groups and commissions.
As far as (Escondido) mayor Sam Abed goes, I did not throw papers around, as stated by David Ross. I just ripped in half the trash mailer endorsed by North County Leadership Council.
Not only did mayors and ex-mayors get on board with scam Measure B, but also local chamber of commerce groups including Valley Center’s.
I get only three minutes to express the anger our community has about this Lilac Hills project that continues to try and divide our community with its bag of money. I could care less how many times they say they will have me escorted out of their chambers.
I will express my freedom of speech rights and tell them it is DOWNRIGHT DISGUSTING to take up hands with a developer that only cares about the color green.
We are not in a “Housing Crisis.” We are in a “Leadership Crisis.”