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Ask for the source of facts when deciding on Measure D

I don't know how many people read these posts and comments. I can tell from what I have seen that some don't bother with credibility in their content. Using the word "FACT" in all caps does not make a statement true. I offer a couple of examples below. Consider them and the endorsement of the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers to vote Yes on D to determine whether you would like to make sure that there is a full vetting of any changes in the community and County plans that were adopted with the interests of all parts of the community being considered.

1) The County's initial effort to purchase the San Geronimo property included $1.4 million from the County's General Fund. The General Fund is available for a broad range of services and expenses of the County.

2) On March 27, 2018 the Marin County Parks department asked for an open ended authorization to use County funds to hire consultants and do studies on changing the use of the property. Only after objections to the request did they change to a first step of $150,000. They would come back for more as needed.

3) In mid 2017 Max Korten of the Marin County Parks in an e-mail prepared a rough initial estimate of the costs for the early stages of changing the topography and nature of the San Geronimo property. It was from $7-$10 million. He hoped to get support for that amount from sources beyond the County's funds. At that time he did not make any estimates of additional work needed or the cost of maintaining the property after any changes.

4) The golf course was always profitable until the County limited its operations at the request of what is now the No on D faction. When the County started operating the golf course in early 2018, at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the salmon lobby claimed that it had some people who wanted to walk on the course on the weekends without golf being played. Rodoni and crew quickly instructed the golf course operator to provide such access. This resulted in the golf course being closed to play every Sunday afternoon from 1:00 on as well as on certain Friday afternoons. Both are very popular times for golf. The result was that the County gave up over $1,500 an hour in revenue from golf for what turned out to be mythical walkers who rarely showed up. This same approach caused the golf course to become unprofitable for the first time in 9 years. The County then used the losses as an excuse to close it.

Closing the course cost 30 Marin residents (many of whom were people of color) their jobs. It cost the county the sales taxes from the business operations. Of course the hundreds of golfers that use the course at those times were unable to play there. All of those interests were rejected because the No on D group wanted another 157 acres for a walk in addition to the 2,236 acres of public dedicated open space in the San Geronimo Valley.

For those who object to their group being called a "lobby", the definition includes people "who work or conduct a campaign to influence members of a legislature to vote according to the group's special interest." Communicating their position to the various supervisors and the County staff qualify the salmon lobby for that definition.

The salmon lobby is entitled to argue for its special interest. Measure D protects the process so that the entire community gets to weigh in on the choice of decisions after hearing their arguments and the positions of others that may prefer to have public dollars spent for the underprivileged rather than for the latest experiment on the salmon front.

I recognize that the salmon lobby in Marin is unfamiliar with having anyone challenge whether they are the preferred use for Marin resources. The people in need don't have the time or the resources to come to Board of Supervisor meetings in the middle of a weekday morning. Many of those residents may not vote. But they deserve more compassion from the community and more consideration in the spending of the County's resources. That is why I urge people to investigate the facts and proposed use of funds so they understand the reasons for voting Yes on D.


San Geronimo, Measure D