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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Violations of Low-Cost Condos Not a Surprise

June 08, 2003

Re "Panel Suspects 139 Violations by Low-Cost Condo Owners," May 29:

Society being what it is today, it was naive to expect the owners of these condominiums to act appropriately with no more impetus than their own consciences. When people see wealthy companies pilfering millions of dollars from their employees and stockholders, or political officials acting in an underhanded, secretive manner -- all with impunity -- it is no wonder people cannot be expected to live within the unfamiliar confines of the honor system.

This problem we have with following proper ethical guidelines is a human problem. It has no regard for race, socioeconomic status, gender, religion, etc. So, what do we do about it? We keep trying. Those who attempt to follow proper ethical standards -- you know who you are -- should teach young people the proper way of conducting one's life in relation to others and the environment. This appropriate behavior is the key to our species' survival.

In the meantime, the California Coastal Commission must better understand human nature as it actually exists (this assumes the commission's inaction was based on human trust versus dereliction of duty). There must be safeguards on these condominiums to guarantee the owners cannot complete the sale except with the acceptable titleholder. In spite of the need for these safeguards, I still feel that individuals who broke the rules must take responsibility for their actions. But imagine if your bank had self-service cash withdrawals (from the vault). Do you believe their books would balance at the end of the day?

J.B. Litvak

Costa Mesa

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