LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Chamber Should Endorse Baker 1, Hamm

One San Clemente resident says she the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce made the wrong decision in deciding to endorse Jim Dahl and Bob Baker for San Clemente City Council.

The following is a letter to the editor from Mary Ann Comes

Recent published comments from the chairperson of the Chamber of Commerce start out with, “The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce is entrusted with the responsibility of looking out for the welfare of our local merchants and small business.”

The chairperson goes on to endorse Jim Dahl and Mike Mortenson for city council.


Of course, all San Clemente residents want to “look out for the welfare of our local merchants and small business.” But why the chamber would endorse these two particular candidates for that job is a mystery.

Both of those candidates have, in no uncertain terms, rejected the recommendation of the General Plan Advisory Committee (which speaks for the citizens) to limit downtown buildings to two stories. The GPAC made its recommendation after a study showed that residents want to “maintain -- rather than change” San Clemente’s existing character.

It appears the Chamber of Commerce, which has over the years received hundreds of thousands of dollars in free rent from the citizens of San Clemente, has conflated business development (which everyone wants) with real estate development (which no one wants, except maybe a few landlords and architects.)

Think about it: If you owned a downtown business, would you benefit from someone living above you on a third floor? And do you think your rent would go down? So much for “looking out for the welfare of our local merchants and small businesses.”

Downtown real estate development could destroy the small town atmosphere most of us cherish about San Clemente. The only two candidates who have expressed serious reservations about the wisdom of three-story buildings downtown are Bob Baker 1 and Chris Hamm.

The Chamber should endorse the two candidates who are truly best suited to “entrust with the responsibility of looking out for the welfare of our local merchants and small business.” Bob Baker 1 and Chris Hamm.

Moonshine October 18, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Mary- No offense, but this letter is much like Baker and Hamm "Too little, too late." The endorsements have been made. The Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the best two candidates for our city of San Clemente. Thank you to the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce for your endorsement of Mike Mortenson and Jim Dahl. The residents of San Clemente respect and support your decision.
Allison Winters October 19, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Bob Baker has campaigned he is against three stories downtown even though Bob owns a four story mega mansion down on T-street blocking his neighbor's views. There are currently several beautiful three story downtown buildings, more beautiful than older two story buildings counterparts. But wait, wouldn’t tastefully done three buildings add value and encourage investment in our downtown. Yes, it would help the downtown businesses and if tastefully done, three story buildings would help improve downtown business economic viability, add to, and preserve our village character. That makes sense. Of course, Bob Baker is against that! Bob against everything. Bob doesn't listen to anyone which explains his horrible voting record on preserving village character. Bob won’t know village character if it slapped him upside the head.
Allison Winters October 19, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Anybody but Baker, worst councilmen ever! Based on Bob Baker's voting record, can anyone explain how all of sudden Bob is going to do the right thing after four of horrible anti-San Clemente votes. Here's my top 10 example of horrible misguided NO votes pulled from the SC City Council meetings. Anyone can check on this. 1. No to continuing the Sunday Morning Farmers Market on Del Mar. 2. No to the San Clemente Sports Hall of Fame which is nothing more than pictures on the wall of the Vista Hermosa Aquatic Parks of outstanding SCHS athletes. Bob Baker#1 was the sole dissenting vote 3. No bathrooms for handicapped kids at Courtneyʼs Sand Castle. He said they can go down the street. 4. No to building sidewalks at Max Berg Park near the Las Palmas Elementary School.Kids don't need sidewalks and beautifying our town isn't a priority. 5. No to protecting our coastal canyons by dividing a critical coastal canyon lot which opens up all lots to be split up. 6. No to provide parking in North Beach in support of parking needs for commuters and to provide parking so our the nearby historical buildings can be revitalized. 7. No to banning smoking in public parks where kids play. 8. No to banning single use plastic bags. 9.No to local art project by painting electrical boxes. 10. Cost the City of San Clemente $1000ʼs as part of ethics investigation for leaking confidential information from a closed session meetings. Bob Baker #1 the worst council member in the history of San Clemente.
george gregory October 19, 2012 at 03:30 PM
the anti residential club called the chamber of commerce is a bought and paid for business snobbery with opinions going to the highest bidder or favor just a few words to help people understand the camber pays a dollar a month for rent of their city owned building and has had a street blocked off so they may have a big parking lot the farmers market lease holder pays less than 300 a month for the Sundays event and shakes the farmers down for Hugh profits his rent should go up to 500-1000 per Sunday not by the month the sand castle is a great endeavor but its decadence is expensive and there is a need for improvement elsewhere in our community the misappropriation of safe walk to school moneys for max berg park was and is a crime and should be punished ...tiled sidewalks do not make children safer....many folks where looking for how far a walk would be built for our community ,,I was,, I use many of the same routs as far as champions of business in our community the camber is not , I know I'm a business man that has been denied and abused numerous times , in my home city
george gregory October 19, 2012 at 04:37 PM
hey allison how much are you being paid your not even registered to vote under Jim daghls tutelage we the city of san clement have gained some interesting gifts we paid to have a bike lane removed from in front of a school we have gotten no lobby to push the i-5 development and hoa lanes through all of san clement we've seen misdirected walk to school money spent 300,000 dollars to find bird poo 200’000 for a special election we've seen a very expensive brand new sidewalk replaced by another very expensive side walk all the while some of our communities are just waiting for some kind of sidewalk we've see him at parties ,brought by out of town developers that have sued the city several times and his signs at out of town developers properties that have sued the city (FRIENDLY FRIENDS) does Jim Dahl love us ,, I think not,, he loves our 100million bank account and our potential to become a truly great society that he can wreck for his and his friends profit some other gifts are gambling fortune telling tattoos parlors and a ever growing violent sheriff department laws against tradesmen and their ladders and barbers and barber poles how petty and has backed every attempted development of open spaces undergrounding and removing poles from alleys and not our communities sidewalks poorly spent moneys on the beach trail in places only 60 inches wide where's the health and safety
Bill Hart October 19, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Ms. Comes presents interesting logic. The three-story ban should be embraced by downtown businesses because it, well, infringes on their property rights and devalues their assets. Also, the Chamber of Commerce should thank Baker and Hamm for championing this proposal. I think not. But it's not about what I think. Look at whose banners are displayed all over downtown (when they're not being stolen by the Baker/Hamm crowd).
Kerry Sink December 16, 2012 at 02:29 AM
How long have you Owned in San Clemente? Kerry Sink. 498-8319
Kerry Sink December 16, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Look everyone, San Clemente can be a Prosperous and Thriving place without any of this Nonsense of Who did What to Who. And In My opinion, with just a little less Emotion. Short Term Gain is not going to Fix San Clemente. Mr. Baker just does not want to Waste Money. Throwing Money at your Problems does not make them go away. Take an Hour to look at your Investment, your Future and your life. Then ask yourself if you want our City to be the one you fell in Love with or the one we created because of our excitable Passion.
Kerry Sink December 16, 2012 at 03:06 AM
George, I agree with you on Most issues but I must tell you this. Please check your spelling and correct your Grammar. It sounds like you are just Parroting what others have Said Before.


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