Report From The Stop Summerhouse Rally

A large group of Temecula Residents united in their solidarity against the Summerhouse low-income/transitional housing and Rescue Mission gathered at the corner of Margarita and Dartolo roads; despite heat and humidity. What brought them out? The opportunity to publicly express a resolute stance against this project, as well as the effort to raise awareness that this project will bring a direct, negative impact on local residents and businesses; if forced forward by the Temecula City Council.

These united individuals are savvy, hard working folks who not only vote but view this project as a city council-authored strike against the hard-earned tranquility and security of their families and businesses. No amount of staged photos, crafted studies or statistical charts will deter these determined residents from the truth; that this housing project will negatively affect the quality of their lives.

There is a collective outrage among Stop Summerhouse supporters city-wide, that the low-income portion of the plan was approved without reasonable due diligence by an out-of-touch City Council, to post public notice about this hot button issue. In a moment of classic irony, an employee of the city of Temecula showed up in midst of the protest on Saturday afternoon to finally, and at long last, post public notice signs. Where were those signs prior to the August 11th vote? Adding to the irony of the moment was the presence of Councilman Naggar who was on hand to witness this long, overdue public notice posting. One wonders if council members have bookmarked the Stop Summerhouse site and finally gotten the message regarding their overt negligence in posting notice to the public.

Councilman Naggar was recognized as he rode past the protest on his bike and was called out by one of the protestors on the sidewalk. Councilman Naggar did stop once recognized and proceeded to conduct a half-filibuster, half- Q & A ‘back and forth’ with local residents. While Councilman Naggar is to be commended for stopping to talk at length; it is clear that the Council is intent on citing statistics from their $100,000.00 city report on the project instead of listening to local residents. A $100,000.00 city report that states no negative impact of the surrounding area. A report, according to Patrick Richardson, that states that the project will relieve traffic, decrease crime in the area, and raise property values.

Despite assurances from council members all but guaranteeing a near Utopian outcome, residents remain resolute in their stance against every part of this project seen as a threat to local security. Truth gained by life experience will trump table after table of statistics; no matter how sunny the hard sell might appear.

Residents were overheard stating that they had moved to Temecula to get away from the crime associated with housing projects like Summerhouse. The impact to the immediate area would completely change the area and not for the good. There are other areas with far greater need and this busy residential/new business area is not suitable for the nature of this project. While Naggar counseled area voters against expecting Council members to vote on Summerhouse in response to promises from voters to vote them out if Summerhouse goes forward; residents present said that was exactly what they expected from representatives on the Council. If any part of plan does proceed, protest participants vowed to definitely vote council members out. Sadly, emptying the Council of these out-of-touch members would hardly make up for having to deal with the constant security threat posed by Summerhouse, but at least those members would no longer have the power to force additional ill-conceived projects on local residents.

In addition to the ride-by from Councilman Naggar, there was a woman ‘posing’ as a government teacher although she refused to give her name or cite where she taught as she took photos of signs and protesters.  We have her picture as well.  She looks familiar for some reason.  It was evident to everyone that she was dispatched by someone expressly for this purpose. Another magical moment occurred when suddenly the local Press appeared soon after Councilman Naggar appeared. Coincidence? I think not.

A more disturbing turn of events during the protest on Saturday concerned the sudden appearance of an inebriated individual. This person was obviously drunk and very aggressive towards one of the women present at the rally who had her grandson with her. She continued to be aggressive going so far as threatening another protester with mace. Her stance is in favor of the Summerhouse project so as you can see, the afternoon was rife with irony. By the way, the majority of the Stop Summerhouse supporters had no choice but to watch the video from this council meeting due to the fact that the Council failed to notify the public about this vote that would negatively impact their lives for the next 55 years. No wonder they didn’t want to tell the public about it!

Here is how The Californian saw it:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/temecula/article_cffcc268-63a1-5aa8-aadc-93a36b6e3800.html

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