Traitor Tavaglione Turns On Temecula

Traitor Tavaglione Turns on Temecula

Supervisor John Tavaglione listens to public speakers. (FILE PHOTO)

By Paul Jacobs
There is a new coward of the county to be crowned, and his name is John Tavaglione, Chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Tavaglione is now the king of cowards in the Inland Empire for weaseling out of a vote and undermining a seven-year public process.
The last time I accused a political body of cowardice, it was in a newspaper column I wrote for The Californian in August of 2010. I called the Temecula City Council cowards for not fighting the county Local Agency Formation Commission decision that denied only a tiny bit of Temecula's annexation of 4,000-plus acres so that the county could protect a pending land-use project called Liberty Quarry for Granite Construction.
The City Council trusted the county process I was sure would betray the local communities most impacted and opposed to the proposed rock-blasting quarry immediately outside and upwind of the Temecula City limits - and next to the pristine Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve - and in the middle of a thriving wildlife corridor.
I was truly and pleasantly shocked when the Riverside County Planning Commission voted 4-1 to deny Liberty Quarry. At the time, I was thrilled beyond belief to have my jaded opinion of the integrity of the Riverside County planning process proven wrong.
Taxpayers pay the salaries of county planning staff, but they are owned and operated by the development and construction industries.
When it came time for the county supervisors to vote on the quarry, I was sure Temecula was toast, but I was happily wrong again - almost. With one vote, Tavaglione went from hero to zero.
Traitor Tavaglione proved that Riverside County is no place to find integrity. In a weaselly way of voting, Supervisor and congressional candidate John Tavaglione voted twice to deny the Liberty Quarry project, but then voted to keep the project alive. Tavaglione slipped Granite Construction a get-out-of-denial-free card by voting to approve a dusty seven-year-old Liberty Quarry Environmental Impact Report (EIR), just as the final nail was about to be hammered into the quarry's coffin.
Seven years is a long time for an environmental impact report to collect dust. Supervisor John Tavaglione decided to blow it.
On his first vote denying the quarry on February 16, Supervisor Tavaglione said, "In this project, there are just too many uncertainties for me. I just cannot support this project at this point in time."
One of the blatant uncertainties, besides Tavaglione's sense of time and duty, was the flawed EIR that was prepared by a consultant that previously work for Granite Construction.
The most telling part of the devious vote last Tuesday was utter silence from Granite Construction. Nobody from the company spoke to request approval of the EIR, yet Supervisor Tavaglione delivered it to them anyway on a silver platter. The City of Temecula and the Pechanga tribe threatened litigation to urge denial of the EIR along with the denial of the quarry, but Tavaglione had other plans.
As if there had been previous preparation in a backroom, county staff preemptively asked Granite Construction if they would step up to pay legal fees to defend lawsuits against the County. Granite's legal counsel popped to the podium and agreed faster than a super hero for corporate greed.
In a Temecula Patch blog prediction before the supervisor's February vote on Liberty Quarry, I compared Tavaglione to a poker player, but nobody expected a cheat with a wildcard up his sleeve.
In a May 16 Press-Enterprise article, Tavaglione offered a tortured explanation for splitting his own vote, calling it a "compromise." The next day, columnist Dan Bernstein for the same newspaper provided an excellent and more believable exposé of Tavaglione's duality and deceit. Hopefully, Tavaglione didn't get seasick when the pro-quarry political supporter took him for a ride on his yacht.
Congressional candidate John Tavaglione forgets that voters put people in office to make the tough decisions, not squirm out of them. We don't need any more spineless pawns of lobbyists in WashingtonD.C.
Rather than a political promotion, Tavaglione is more deserving of a demotion to manager of the café at the County Administration Center. With him in charge, the specials of the day would always be waffles and pigs in a blanket.
Perhaps crooked players are destined for congress where votes are just something to be gamed and bartered. But those votes impact people living in communities that politicians call districts. A way of life is a precious thing that citizens expect politicians to protect. Families that invest in a community are often all-in. In the callous game of politics, precious things are something to be gambled away by heady politicians.
Kenny Rogers sang the "Coward of the County" and "The Gambler." Tavaglione has a band. I wonder if they play those tunes.



LIBERTY QUARRYProject denied, but environmental study certified

Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione was the swing vote in the board of supervisors' February rejection of the Liberty Quarry. He was the swing vote again on Tuesday, May 15, voting to certify the quarry's environmental impact report over the anger of quarry opponents.

Riverside County supervisors Tuesday, May 15 formally rejected plans for a Temecula-area rock mine, but their decision to certify a quarry-related study shocked and outraged opponents who threatened legal action and questioned whether backroom deals were made.
The Board of Supervisors' 3-2 vote finalized its February rejection of Liberty Quarry, sought for a 414-acre site bordering Temecula to the south.
But in a surprise move, the board voted 3-2 to certify the quarry's environmental impact report, an 8,500-page study of the project paid for by the developer and vetted by county planning staff. The report concluded that a smaller version of the quarry would be better from an environmental standpoint than not building a quarry at all.
By certifying the report, Temecula City Attorney Peter Thorson said the door was left open for the quarry to come back, this time with an approved environmental study in hand. All that would need to happen, he said, is for a new quarry plan to come back within three years' time and for the finding that nothing has changed since the report was certified.
Temecula Mayor Chuck Washington and Mark Macarro, tribal chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, urged supervisors not to certify the report. If that happened, they said they would have little choice but to go to court to block certification.
In certifying the report, supervisors tacked on a condition requiring developer Granite Construction to pay the county's legal expenses in the event of a court fight.


County Undoes Quarry Rejection, Critics Say

The Board of Supervisors today voted to certify an environmental impact report for a planned quarry near Temecula. The decision all but gives a green light to the project, critics say. 
County officials today voted to certify an environmental impact report on a quarry planned near Temecula, and critics said the decision all but reverses a previous vote to reject the plan.
The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of certifying the document that Granite Construction, a Watsonville-based aggregate company, used as a basis for its application to build a mine on more than 400 acres just south of Temecula.
Jeff Stone and Bob Buster voted no on certifying the document. John Tavaglione, John Benoit and Marion Ashley voted yes.
When the board rejected the quarry, the vote was 3-2 in favor of rejecting. Tavaglione voted no on the quarry in February, but yes to certifying the document today.
The County Planning Commission also rejected the application last year, but the company appealed the decision, and the Board of Supervisors upheld the rejection in February.
Today's vote was expected to be a technicality to finalize the denial, and the handful of anti-quarry activists at the County Administrative Center during the vote were shocked.
"I just never imagined this would happen," said Jerri Arganda, a member of SOS-Hills, an activist group dedicated to stopping the quarry.
Certifying the report means if Granite decides to reapply for a permit, they will not have to make another report, which is a long, expensive process. The report cost Granite $10 million, according to Karie Reuther, a spokesperson for the company.
The certification means the county accepts the facts presented in the report and reliable. This means critics will be unable to cite problems with the report as their reason for urging the supervisors to reject the project.
"Our whole argument was that (the report) wasn't (reliable)," said Mike Naggar, Mayor Pro-tem for Temecula.
Other officials steeled themselves to launch another campaign of opposition against the plan. "This is a fight to kill. It was before, it still is now," said Mark Macarro, the Pechanga tribal chairman. "This project is a zombie. We thought we killed it... and it's alive again."
Temecula will likely sue the county for its decision, said Peter Thorson, the city's attorney. "We have no choice but to file a lawsuit, but that's just my recommendation," he said.
Granite ruled out taking legal action against the county earlier this year for rejecting the project, and company officials are still weighing their options, Granite spokesperson Reuther said.
"We haven't made any decision at all," she said after the meeting. "(The company's options) should be narrowed down in a couple months."

(Go to Temecula Patch website to leave a comment)
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Paul Jacobs 
Tavaglione voted against the quarry as he voted for it.

Darla Rogers     6:05 pm on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I am in shock!!! There has to be something that can be done about this dishonesty!!

Darla Rogers   6:21 pm on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tavaglione had to have been bribed.
6:28 pm on Tuesday, May 15, 2012
If you had gone to the meetings, you could tell he pretty much was for it all the way. Tavaglione's wife is a teacher and he is voting from his personal perspective, not what is best for ALL residents. Now it is up to the Santa Ana Water Board and Camp Pendleton to hopefully put their foot up Granite's caboose!

Alice Zyetz   6:30 pm on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This is a classic situation of the corporation with the big bucks that can even change a vote when they were defeated. When are the Republicans in Riverside County going to take a stand and say "No More!" Big bucks should not govern. Thanks to Jeff Stone and Bob Buster standing up for the people whose backyard is going to be defiled. Tavaglione should be voted out of office,

Carole Masson   6:38 pm on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I will NEVER vote for him in any situation after this!


Invasive Pest Information: Goldspotted Oak Borer

Good afternoon San Diego County Planning Groups,

Below you will find an introduction to an urgent situation in San Diego County with regards to an invasive pest affecting Oak Trees. While you will generally find largest population of Oak Trees in the east and north east portions of our county; the potential for this invasive pest to spread far and wide through firewood movement is possible. Your help in disseminating this information to your communities is a great step in the right direction towards helping control the spread of this devastating Oak Tree pest. I have also included a link to the main information website, there you will find several resource brochures like the ones I attached to this email to share with your community.

http://ucanr.org/sites/gsobinfo/   once you get to the page, go to the resources tab for all printable flyers and information

Invasive Pest Information:
Goldspotted Oak Borer

Goldspotted oak borer (GSOB) Agrilus coxalis, was first detected
in California (San Diego Co.) in 2004 during a trap
survey for invasive tree pests. In 2008 this borer was linked
to elevated levels of oak mortality ongoing in San Diego Co.
since 2002. Its existence in CA may date back to as early as
1996, based on examinations of previously killed oaks.
GSOB is native to Arizona and Mexico and was likely introduced
into southern CA via infested oak firewood. It is a
serious pest of coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia, canyon live
oak, Q. chrysolepis and California black oak, Q. kelloggii in
CA and has killed more than 20,000 trees across 620,000

GSOB-killed oaks have only been found in San Diego Co. to date, however, it is expected that the area
of infestation will continue to extend north beyond the county line and tree mortality will continue to
increase due to adult flight from infested trees and new infestations initiated through beetles emerging
from transported firewood.

Thank you,

Jeff Stoffel
Vegetation Manager
County of San Diego
Office 619-660-5820
Cell      619-857-0391