The Libertarian Party of Monterey County has taken the following positions on local ballot measures:
No on Measure M
Yes on Measure K
Please read the following articles for additional information and reasoning.
By Lawrence Samuels
Letter to the Editor-- Monterey Herald
Posted: 10/6/13 Monterey Herlad
The “To the heart of Fort Ord measures” article by the Herald was interesting but failed to mention that the supporters of Measure M have broken the intent of the Monterey County's General Plan agreement. Environmentalists, developers and other groups came together and decided that any new development would be limited to Fort Ord and in and around cities. The rest of Monterey County's unincorporated land was severely restricted, making it nearly impossible to subdivide, and therefore unavailable to development.
With the opening of the Fort Ord National Monument, around 70 to 75 percent of the former military base is now permanent open space. For an area that was supposed to accommodate most of the new construction in the county, very little of the Fort Ord land remains available to provide job growth and new housing. This was not the plan agreed upon by all parties not long ago.
The question now becomes this: since Measure M leaders have broken this agreement, does this mean that all of Monterey County should be reopened to all kinds of development?
By MARY ANN LEFFEL and PHYLLIS MEURER
Guest commentary-- Monterey Herald
Common sense. Balance. Rationality. Sadly, these have all been in short supply from one side of the discussion about the future of Fort Ord.
Measure M is neither rational, logical nor balanced and should be rejected by voters.
• Some 21,000 acres of Fort Ord's total of 28,000 acres are permanent open space. Is that really not enough for hiking and biking? Should another 540 acres in the middle of an area always planned for economic redevelopment be put off limits?
• The Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan, adopted in 1997 and reassessed in 2012, was put into place following years of open public meetings and hearings and full environmental review. The Sierra Club supported the adoption of the plan and signed a legal agreement saying so.
• The Fort Ord Reuse Plan is balanced. About 21,000 acres are permanently preserved open space. About 2,300 acres are for educational institutions. About 3,340 acres are for economic revitalization and job creation.
• Without the planned reuse of the 3,340 acres for economic redevelopment and the development fees to be paid by that development, there will not be adequate funds to clean up the remaining blight at Fort Ord. Measure M throws the entire base reuse plan out of balance.
• The language of Measure M is vague and there is wide agreement that years of expensive wrangling and litigation will likely follow if Measure M is approved.
• Full access from the beach to the new Fort Ord National Monument is guaranteed by the base reuse plan. Any development on the 540 acres covered by M — or anywhere else — is required to provide this access.
• Most of the Fort Ord area that has old concrete paving or old Army buildings — the "blight" — is under the control of CSU Monterey Bay and is not part of the 3,340 acres identified for economic revitalization.
• The successful completion of the veterans cemetery and Monterey Peninsula College's public safety training facility of about 200 acres are thrown into question by Measure M's vague language regarding legal land uses and roads.
• Backers of Measure M have filed numerous lawsuits against implementation of the adopted base reuse plan and have made numerous public statements and postings objecting to the location of the veterans cemetery and the MPC public safety facility. Now they want voters to believe they have changed their minds. Have they?
The bottom line:
About 21,000 acres of permanently protected open space are there now. Monterey County needs jobs. The recent Applied Development Economics study said Measure M would cause a loss of 20,000 jobs. Everyone has agreed that 3,300 acres of Fort Ord should be available for job creation. Measure M would change all that.
Measure M's vague language and its backing by no-growth organizations should cause voters great concern. It is bad public policy.
This piece was written by two local citizens who agree that balance and common sense lead to the best decisions. One of us is a Republican, one a Democrat; one is a former elected city council member, one is a private sector and business professional; one is a 45-year member of the Sierra Club, one is president of the Monterey County Business Council; one lives in Salinas, one in Monterey. If we can agree on this, we believe voters will too.
We agree that Measure M is a threat to healthy economic revitalization. It is an overzealous attempt to stop long-planned economic redevelopment and job creation on the 12 percent of Fort Ord set aside for that purpose. Environmental protection is important.
Twenty-one thousand acres of open space is real environmental protection.
Vote no on Measure M and preserve rational and balanced reuse of Fort Ord.
Mary Ann Leffel lives in Monterey and is president of the Monterey County Business Council. Phyllis Meurer is a former Salinas City Council member and Sierra Club member.