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Public Shouldn't Be Left Out of the Equation

January 05, 2003

Re "O.C. Planning Chief Quits Amid Crisis," Dec. 19:

The situation with the Orange County Planning Department is very unfortunate for county residents and taxpayers.

County planning efforts have been off-base for years. Development after development has been approved without much consideration for community input. We witnessed a similar situation just a few years ago when county staff mishandled the El Toro airport fiasco. Again, county staff ignored community input.

County Supervisor Tom Wilson clearly understands the need for public participation in major issues affecting our quality of life. He took a bold step a year ago and created a public participation process related to the planning of the Rancho Mission Viejo development. He also heard the public's concerns about El Toro and played a leadership role in that important issue.

We look forward to his leadership to ensure new county planning officials embrace his approach to public participation in the planning process. The quality of life for our children and future generations depends on it.

Carolee Merrill

Laguna Niguel

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