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December 3, 2023

Letter: Don’t let developers decide on growth

As a supporter of “Yes on Measure Q,” I get upset when I read the unsupported claims that the opponents of measure Q are using to promote their cause. 

This raises the question, what is their cause and why are they willing to go to such extremes of truth bending in their attempt to shut down measure Q? I suppose it comes as no surprise that they really don’t have a “message.” They are simply concerned that the passage of measure Q will make it more challenging for developers to turn our county into something more akin to Silicon Valley. 

Their message, if they had the integrity to promote it, might be, “Don’t let the voters decide, because the voters don’t want unchecked growth.” Maybe an even more accurate message of theirs would be: “let the developers decide.” I don’t think either of those messages would resonate with voters. 

It is true (from two recent ballot measures) that a majority of voters in this county are concerned about unchecked growth and the resulting increase in traffic and congestion, lack of water, over-crowded schools, loss of open space, etc.

My best guess is that the No-on-Q campaign advisors have devised a scheme to confuse voters since they really don’t have a message that resonates with voters. Their signs read “Measure Q Will Hurt Farmers,” when the reality is that Q will only really hurt land speculators. They claim that Q will increase traffic, yet we know well what increased development has done to traffic. 

The latest mailer claims that a No-on-Q vote will protect San Benito County from outside interests. It is clear that their No-on-Q campaign is being paid for by an outside developer. 

Facts are facts—this is public information. Their mailer clearly states that their No-on-Q campaign is supported by major funding from Newport Pacific Company located in Newport Beach, California! 

The Yes-on-Q campaign is an all-volunteer grassroots campaign funded by regional conservation groups, small donations and a payout from the Betabel developer over a legal dispute regarding the right to referendum a zone change during the Covid lockdown. No one involved in the Yes-on-Q campaign stands to gain financially should measure Q pass—this is the fundamental difference between the two sides of measure Q. 

Measure Q, besides giving voters a voice in future development, also amends the general plan to remove all currently designated highway commercial and highway thoroughfare “nodes” as outlined in the General Plan. I clearly understand that this General Plan amendment could be quite disconcerting to anyone who would be on the profit end of development. The nodes are a road map for sprawl growth and loss of farmland. 

While the No-on-Q campaign has co-opted many of the Yes-on-Q messages and goals in an attempt to confuse voters, the one message that is clearly absent from the no-on-Q campaign is “slow the growth.” 

Let’s slow the growth by letting voters decide. Vote YES on Measure Q.

Jim Leap


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