Transcript: Council Member Accuses Another of Lying

Lawsuits are insinuated, points of order called, and lots of heated debate over a fire maps designation.

Editor's note: This is a transcript from the Aug. 20 Mission Viejo City Council

During the sixth hour of the Monday night meeting of the Mission Viejo City Council, the following exchange took place. The exchange is unusual in several ways.

In this transcript, Council Member , who often votes with Council Member , this time accuses Schlicht of lying.

The following debate also involves a dispute about who has the right to speak, about what, and when. Schlict also insinuates a future lawsuit against the city as a result of the vote against her position.

Both Schlicht and Mayor are running for reelection this November.

Following a 4-1 vote approving the designation of a fire map zoning designation. ():

Schlicht: “I’d like to make a statement please.”

Ury: “That was what the past eight months were all about—"

Schlicht: (interrupting) “—I have a right to make a statement—”

Ury: (interrupting) “—You can make it during closing comments." (He attempts to move the discussion to the next agenda item)

Schlicht: (with the microphone off, asks for a point of order) “Mr. City Attorney, am I not allowed to make a comment following a vote?”

City Attorney William Curley: “Well, I know it’s in here somewhere. Hold on. Your local rules—“

Ury: (as an aside) “Because there’s something that’s been unsaid.”

Curley: “Your local rules give the opportunity for the council members to give a brief explanation for their action. I’ll find the precise language, but I know it’s in here. So my recommendation is ‘take the comment.”

Ury: “Fine, we’ll go ahead and have the comment if it makes you feel better. I think the only thing that’s happened over the past eight months is everybody watching, everybody on this dais, all the work that’s been done says that Cathy can make her own decision, but what you’re saying is incorrect. If you would like to buttress your incorrectness, go ahead. It’s all yours.”

Schlicht: “OK, well, I recognize the importance of proactive fire control measures in hazard mitigation measures. But the public has to be part of the process. And the public doesn't understand—it’s never been disclosed to the public that there are liabilities that go along with this zone. And I think we’ve had a flawed process. We should have had workshops where the public could have been educated along the way. And as a final comment, it was the fire authority, Cal Fire, says public involvement updating these fire maps—I’m sorry—It’s important that those interests be heard. And those interests are the public. And they, they have been misled. And I’ll end it with that. Thank you.”

Reardon: “Council member Schlicht, it is, it is very important that the residents understand that the liabilities that you just mentioned—and you didn’t enumerate them—I did read through your documents three times—they are liabilities you have stated, and you have made as liabilities. They are not true, they are not accurate. You’re entitled to your opinion. You are not entitled to your own set of facts. And we have said over, and over, and over, the only reason that, that we even thought about and considered this option is because it was transparent for our homeowners. And to say anything other than that is wrong, it’s inaccurate, and I, I, I just can’t let it stand.”

Ury tries to move to the next agenda item, but is interrupted by Schlicht.

Schlicht: “I would like to respond. Mr. City Attorney, can you explain what ‘negligence per se’ is?”

Curley: “Negligence per se, I’m not even sure how it would apply in this situation, but it’s a mandatory finding of negligence, an action that doesn’t need to be proven in the sense that it isn’t something where you have the usual formulaic duty, breach, all of those you have to prove up—the mere fact that the action happened proves that it’s negligence. Now negligence is an omission, a failure. Honestly, not trying to be at all pugnacious, I don’t see negligence applying in this situation at all, but I’m sure there’s somebody else who has a different view.”

Schlicht: “It just takes one lawsuit.”

Curley: “That it does. It’s one that I relish challenging because—“

Ury: (interrupting) “—and as I mentioned, after eight months, I think the city has done its due diligence in terms of sparing the residents from the state mandate.”

AmandaM August 21, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Context would help. It's impossible to comment on the issue if we do not know what spurred the debate.
Peter Schelden (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 09:16 PM
That makes sense, Amanda. Please check back this afternoon--I'm still working on the story that brings in context. Should be up by 5 p.m.
Peter Schelden (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Meanwhile you can get familiar with the issues involved by checking our side bar: "SEE MORE ON PATCH" includes all of past stories on the fire maps issue.
Dan Avery August 22, 2012 at 12:17 AM
I'm glad you published this, Peter. Thank you. I've been going to council meetings since a few months before the recall that Schlicht organized. She lied to people about Lance MacLean. She lies often at the meetings, making up facts. You can see her in the back talking with Larry Gilbert and she's clearly being told what to say. I think all residents should attend one council meeting before the election. It will open your eyes. It doesn't matter which one you attend.
Frustrated Resident August 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Just another slick more or it is another Schlicht move................... The Gilbert / Morton / Pilger / Tyler posse (with their current spokesperson / Council person because they couldn't or didn't get voted into office, an elected office by the people of Mission Viejo) is trying to run our city after most of them have tried running for city council and have not being elected. It reminds me of the bully on the playground that doesn't like being beaten so they pick up their ball and take it home or hold it over our heads so we can't get the ball. What a waste of time. The so called themselves city activists. I call them the PITA Group. People from surrounding communities tell their friends if they want a good laugh go to a Mission Viejo City Council Meeting. Unfortunately, I don't find it funny at all!!!
Claire Vinet August 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Cathy Schlicht simply wants what she wants and makes up the "facts" to suit her agenda. She has repeatedly proven herself to be a poor representative of and decision maker for the city. I really hope she isn't reelected. Mission Viejo deserves better.
Victoria Avery October 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Council meetings should be renamed "The Cathy" show. In the last two years I have watched most meetings and am amazed at what comes out of her mouth. She has sued the city while in office because a vote didn't go her way. She has misrepresented most issues and calls what she does "transparency". It is sad that her and her friends have to mislead to get attention. They are true Mission Viejo Drama Queens!


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