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'Dire Economic Warning'

September 13, 1987

Your editorial "A Dire Economic Warning" failed to place the blame for the good news-bad news scenario that faces decision makers in Orange County.

The dire economic warnings have been flashing for many years in a county of affluence and hectic materialism where spending has outpaced planning for the future.

For the last decade county planners have long ignored the statistical data from the Development Monitoring Report and Balanced Land Use Reports, which point directly to the problems The Times now grouses over, to wit: We have been creating too many jobs, too much economic growth, too much development for our infrastructure to carry; and, we have been spending too little time analyzing, with too few specialists, with far less monies than we realistically need to get out of the deepening hole we've created. Thank you, of course, to the Board of Supervisors for another fine mess.

We have long been guilty of pandering to current development at the expense of quality-of-life planning. The Times has a rap sheet filled with special-interest panegyrics. So it is somewhat auspicious that The Times wants to warn us about climactic consequences of our decade-long economic binge.

Sandwiched in between the expansive real estate sections, booming business news and social happenings to the haughty social climbers in this county's "Age of Asparagus" is a true story that never makes the pages of The Times. Faced with an inadequate transportation system, a crisis in all general plan categories and a diminishing supply of low- and moderate-income housing to match the explosive job creation imbalance, what do we do?

Well, the Southern California Assn. of Governments, started circulating a "low-growth analysis" for draft discussion only! Get it. It's too bad the Board of Supervisors doesn't get the message.

RUSSELL BURKETT

San Juan Capistrano

Burkett is executive director of Orange County Tomorrow.

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