Mission Viejo Dog Park - final vote!

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November 20th, 2012 - THIS IS IT!  The final vote on our dog park in Mission Viejo will be voted on at the Monday, Dec. 3rd MV City Council meeting.  The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and the dog park will be on the agenda around 6:30 p.m.  The city council chamber is located across the parking lot from the MV Library.  When you arrive at the city council chamber, please fill out a "Request to Speak for" on the agenda item and hand it to the city clerk, Karen Hamann.  She is the person at the far right of the dais.

If you are uncomfortable with public speaking (I know I am), we can have someone else read your email or letter to the council.  Please just let me know - thank you!

I cannot stress enough how important it is to attend this meeting, voice your support and to email the council and staff.  Please note that you do not have to live in Mission Viejo to attend the meeting and send your email to council.

Please attend the meeting and voice your support for the dog park.  If you have a dog park t-shirt, please wear it. Otherwise, please wear a blue shirt.  I will have a couple extra t-shirts with me, outside of the city council chamber before the meeting.  Please encourage your friends, family and neighbors to attend this meeting and show support for our dog park.  

It is also crucial to send an email voicing your support to the following city council members and staff:






rreardon@cityofmissionviejo.org (has voted against it)

cschlicht@cityofmissionviejo.org (has told the residents of MV that we will never get a dog park and that we don't deserve it)


krattay@cityofmissionviejo.org  (Director of Public Services)

khamman@cityofmissionviejo.org   (City Clerk) 


I would like to address the concerns of Quail Run and Pacific Hills residents.  I am aware that Cathy Schlicht and company have been going door to door in these neighborhoods and telling lies and misconceptions of what a dog park will do to our community.  

1.  The dog park will be at least 1000 feet away from Quail Run.

2.  It will include parking which will also help with parking for baseball, soccer, dog lovers and to help alleviate parking issues on Felipe.

3.  It does not use taxpayer money at all.  It will use 9% of the Parks & Recreation money the city has coming in and will not touch any reserves.  Money is not an issue.  The dog park issue has been going on for over 10 years and will cost more and more each year.  We could have had a dog park for much less a couple of years ago but Cathy Schlicht and gang made sure to go door to door telling residents lies and misconceptions of what a dog park would have done close to Oso Viejo.  It is a positive asset, not a negative one.  

4.   It will beautify a ugly barren hump of a hill.  The city is going to accomodate those who live across from Felipe who didn't want to see the dog park by leaving part of the hill and surrounding the dog park with bushes and trees.  It will give more of a view of the arroyo when it is done then there is now.

5.  The residents who live across from Felipe won't even hear anything as the traffic on the street creates ambient noise. Plus, if you have ever been to a dog park, it is not noisy.  Dogs are happy to be off leash and bark less as opposed to when they are leashed and encounter other dogs on leash.  

6.  The dog park will only be open during daylight hours.

It will be a gorgeous park that our residents can enjoy and take their dogs to run freely and play with other dogs.  It will be great for residents to come together.  It will be great for MV businesses as people will stay here to go to a dog park and spend their money here, as opposed to traveling to Irvine, Laguna Beach, etc. and spending their money there. 

Victoria Avery November 25, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Schlicts group needs to understand that they do NOT have a mandate. Schlict beat Bucknum by a few hundred votes. Now Schlict will try to stop the Dog park for whatever reason. It has nothing to do with how many residents want a park, or will it enhance Mission Viejo, that we are the only city in the area without one and our residents drive all over to use others. Even the new apartment complex's at the Spectrum have dog parks. Cathy misrepresents the budget, the reserves, the noise, and whatever else she can twist to try to turn people against this park. She forgets or maybe never understood, she REPRESENTS people, not just Larry Gilbert, Brad Morton, Francis Holtzman etc...
Shripathi Kamath November 25, 2012 at 06:32 PM
What I do not understand is why, if only TWO council members are opposed, but the other three are in favor, does it take such a long time to make a decision? How would this have changed had Ms. Bucknum been elected? There is no filibuster style rule that prevents a 3-2 majority any more than a 4-1 majority. As far as I can see, whether Ms. Schlicht got elected or not, as long as a majority of the council wants one, they can proceed. I can see three reasons: 1. Perhaps a majority of the council is not quite certain of the dog park. 2. Perhaps a majority of the residents do not want a dog park, and that is why they elected someone opposed to one. Mr. Sachs was against the dog park as well, and he did not win. 3. Apathy. Not enough residents care enough about having a dog park that they'll show up for the council meeting. The longer this is delayed, the more it is going to cost the city. Even if one never gets built.
Dan Avery November 25, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Shri, Those same three reasons apply to why it took so long to remodel your tennis center. In reality there are far more dog owners in Mission Viejo than people who play tennis. Tens of thousands more. Why did it take so long to build the library? Over 87,000 residents of Mission Viejo have a library card and over half the collection is in circulation constantly. There were very few people who vocally demanded a library. Just as there were very few people who demanded lights or whatever it was you wanted for that tennis center. In fact, I bet if we polled every member of the tennis center, we'd find that many of them voted for Schlicht in this last election. Does that mean that those who did were against the tennis center? More likely they are like the vast majority of people in this town. They are clueless because this town is extremely well run. They are not likely to wake up any time soon. Things will have to get bad. Draft offices were blown up in the 60's for two very simple reasons. 1. Records were destroyed so they wouldn't know who to draft. 2. To wake up the citizens to an immoral war. When you want to wake up the lazy of mind there is nothing like a few bombs.
Shripathi Kamath November 25, 2012 at 07:53 PM
a. It is not my tennis center. b. It was not just the tennis center, as *your candidate* Ms. Bucknum reminded us. :-) All the tennis center advocates asked for (ten years) was 1. Resurfacing of the courts 2. Better, efficient lights. The alternative would be let the place run down, and finally be bulldozed for buildings so that we can fight about electronic signs. The tennis facilities had not seen maintenance that you would normally see on 40 year old facilities. If they had done them circa 2000 they would have cost less, and that would have been the end of that. As it turned out, it got rolled in with other projects, and while we have way nicer facilities than we did, we also incurred a higher cost. And many complain that the lights are worse. This, despite the land already being there. The dog park is a simpler project when it comes to construction. It should be a yea-nay vote to do it, with a approx. projected cost and started or nixed. Otherwise you have the silly delaying by "environmental studies" demanded by council members who do not accept science when it comes to the environment. "I bet if we polled every member of the tennis center, we'd find that many of them voted for Schlicht in this last election." I'll take that bet. I'd venture that a larger percentage of the African American bloc voted for David Duke in the Louisiana gubernatorial elections of the 1990s.
Shripathi Kamath November 25, 2012 at 08:08 PM
"More likely they are like the vast majority of people in this town. They are clueless because this town is extremely well run. They are not likely to wake up any time soon. Things will have to get bad." Such harsh words, Daniel-san! I prefer 'apathy' to 'cluelessness' It is not as if people are clueless, as much as it is apathy. The city is well run, which is why strong campaigns are key. Ms. Schlicht vs. Ms. Bucknum. As I have said many times over, the incumbent has a HUGE advantage. You need to outspend one 3:1 (and nowadays perhaps even more) to topple them. In a satisfied city, you then have to draw strong distinction *yourself* with very active campaigning, not leave it to websites and surrogates. If they do not know who you are, they will rather vote for the first name on the ballot. Politically neutral does not cut it for the challenger when the city is doing well. Therefore it is a credit to Ms. Bucknum's campaign that she came so close. Ms. Schlicht did run a good campaign, many were actually contacted by her campaign, and she was more visible. As an incumbent, her GOTV efforts were solid, and the city doing well helped her.
Susan Sellers November 26, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Please take a moment and visit www.mvdogpark.com. Thank you!
Sandra Stipp November 27, 2012 at 06:07 PM
When oh when is our city council going to wake up and realize that they were elected by the people of Mission Viejo. They are there to represent us citizens. When are they going to listen to us. I'm very pro a dog park. We need one and we want one. I, for one, am tired of running all over O.C. to let my dog have a good run and socialize. I want a dog park here in Mission Viejo where I have lived for over 35 yrs. I pay my taxes. I want my voice to be heard. I don't care who sits on the council as long as they realize why they are there and listen to us citizens. Give us our dog park for goodness sake.
Senica Fontanoza November 27, 2012 at 06:48 PM
We need a dog park in Mission Viejo. I feel that the city is incomplete without one. Pet owners understand how important their dogs are to them and how they are, in many ways, like our children. They depend on us for health and happiness, the need us to care and love them. Imagine not having a near by park for the children to play and socialize on a regular basis! How limited would they be if we had to travel miles away so our kids could play? I am nearly 9 months pregnant and have not been able to take my dog to the dog park as often as I'd like to because of the driving distance. The dog parks in OC are just too far to go to regularly.
Jazz Martin November 27, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I just don't understand why this hasn't been approved long ago. A dog park is an asset to any city! SUPPORT A DOG PARK!!
Shripathi Kamath November 27, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I would suggest that all those in favor (or even opposed) of the dog park show up on Dec 3. Really, it makes a difference. It won't take that much of your time, and whether you speak or not, there are enough activists who will at least collect your signatures (sometimes) and show to the council that you really care. Susan and Dan are currently play dual roles of advocates *and* activists, which I do not recommend, but if they cannot find more people backing their stated opinions here, it lacks the display of will necessary. It is one or two hours of your time. You can either help build the park, or even kill it. Either way you'll be saving our tax dollars, because the longer this drags on, the costlier it gets.
Sandra Stipp November 27, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Totally agree with you Shirpathi. We need the numbers or else the dog park will go nowhere. I was at the last meeting and people poured their hearts out for the dog park. Only a couple of people were against it. It is definitely time for us citizens to get together at the meeting and really show the city council that we mean what we say.
Walt Halagarda November 27, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Like Sandra our family has lived in the community over 35 years. During this time frame three major construction projects (maybe more) took place. The Library, City Hall and the Animal Shelter. Each of these were opposed by a small number with loud voices. Thankfully we moved ahead with this projects and everyone is very proud of them. The Dog Park falls into the same category. Years done the road, almost everyone will be proud of it also.
Susan Sellers November 27, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Shripathi, Please remember that the dog park will not be funded by taxpayer money. It will use only 9% of money coming into the Parks and Rec fund that can only be used on parks. No need to even touch the huge amount of reserves the city currently has.
Shripathi Kamath November 27, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Hey, no need to sell me (even if I note that 9% is still taxpayer money, just not from the reserves). If enough residents want it, then we should have it. I do not have a dog, and I am fairly cynophobic, so you will not see me anywhere close to this park for people with dogs. I am only stressing the point that the longer this drags on, the more costly nonsense we have to endure, and *that* will come out of the reserves. Which is why I am advocating people to come to the council meeting. Especially those who feel strongly. Either way. Bring your pitchforks and torches if you like (Dan can wear his "LOOK AT ME, I AM A SHIRT" shirt instead). I like being entertained in the peanut gallery. This would be a good time to remind people that as few as a couple dozen citizens managed to get the council to sanction the subsidized use of unrented city space for daycare. Be there!
Claire Vinet November 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM
It was quite a shock that someone as mean-spirited and wholly lacking in character as Cathy Schlicht was reelected to the city council. Never underestimate the power of incumbency! Nonetheless, she and Ms. Reardon are still a minority. It's time the majority put an end to their relentless obstructionism and get this important and much-needed park underway.
Susan Sellers November 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM
The dog park will be on the agenda right after public comments, this Monday Dec. 3rd. Please arrive no later than 6:30 p.m. MV City Council chamber. Please check www.mvdogpark.com for crucial info - thanks!


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