New county supervisor visits RM and answers development questions
Roberta MacGlashan became Rancho Murieta's county supervisor when redistricting moved the community out of Don Nottoli's district.
Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan introduced herself to the community and provided an update on recent county actions at a meeting Thursday night at the Rancho Murieta Association Building. Much of the meeting was devoted to answering questions about development plans for Rancho Murieta.
After an informal meet-and-greet at the meeting room entrance, MacGlashan moved to the front to address the group, which eventually totaled about 15 people, including some from outside Rancho Murieta.
MacGlashan was introduced by Glen Craig, a former Sacramento County sheriff who is a longtime resident of Rancho Murieta. Craig said he was sheriff when MacGlashan was involved in the planning effort for the incorporation of Citrus Heights and served on its city council.
“We provided the police services for Citrus Heights when they were first incorporated,” Craig said. “While we haven’t always agreed on every issue ... she has an open mind. She will listen. She’s always available for you to make your point and, if she doesn’t agree, she’ll tell you. ... We had a great representative in Don Nottoli. ... I think she is up to the task. ”
After a half-hour presentation by MacGlashan, the meeting was opened up to questions and it turned into a discussion about the history of opposition to development plans the supervisors have approved for Rancho Murieta.
The following topics were discussed at the session, which lasted more than two hours.
MacGlashan explained how redistricting had moved Rancho Murieta to District 4 from Supervisor Don Nottoli’s district.
Redistricting is based on census numbers, she said, adding, “The redistricting process was difficult this time because the changes were so dramatic compared to 10 years ago.” Due mainly to Elk Grove’s growth, Nottoli’s district had to lose about 70,000 people to achieve the goal of making each district roughly equal in size, about 280,000 people, MacGlashan explained.
“We decided that we should try to keep all communities whole ... I believe that was a good decision,” she said. Keeping Elk Grove and Rancho Cordova whole meant moving district boundaries, which meant MacGlashan’s district gained the communities of Rancho Murieta and Rio Linda/Elverta and lost the community of Fair Oaks.
MacGlashan said District 4 has a tradition of community meetings that she has continued since her election to the Board of Supervisors in 2004. She offered this as an option for Rancho Murieta and asked the audience to complete a survey about having meetings and how often to schedule them. “That’s one of the things I’m here to find out,” she said.
People were also asked to provide their email address “only for the purpose of being able to contact you personally if we’re scheduling a meeting out here or for important county announcements,” she said. MacGlashan said she usually has a guest speaker at the community meetings and noted, “In January, I’m having the new county executive come out and speak at each of my meetings.”
General plan and growth
In her opening remarks, MacGlashan, who holds an advanced degree in city and regional planning, said, “I’m a planner by profession,” and later in the meeting, she emphasized “smart growth” in talking about the new general plan the supervisors expect to adopt at their meeting Wednesday.
“When they have a headline that we gave the green light for the development of 20,000 acres, that just simply was not correct,” MacGlashan said in response to a question. “All of our meetings are available on video if you want to see that for yourself. ... What we are set to adopt next week is a set of criteria that an applicant would have to meet for new development, for us to even consider them for new development. ... Contrary to what has been written in the local press, we have not approved -- with the exception of an infill area in North Highlands -- any new areas for new development.”
Rancho Murieta development
During the last hour of the meeting, some members of the audience revisited opposition to development plans for Murieta North that were approved by the supervisors in 2007. Realizing it was “obviously still an important issue out here,” MacGlashan said she had reviewed the planning documents for the Retreat and Residences of Murieta Hills projects.
“I just want to explain to you why I voted the way I did, and I believe I did the right thing at the time,” she told the group. “...The project that a majority of the board approved was a very different project than the original applications and a very different project than the Rancho Murieta master plan allowed. ... There were many, many changes to the projects along the way, and to the conditions of approval, and that all led to a better project. ... With fewer units, it saved a lot more tree canopy, it cut way down on the amount of grading that would be required....”
Resident Don Sams responded, “From a planning standpoint, I would just go back and say, the original thought was a total piece of junk, and what came to pass was a modified piece of junk.”
Sams’ daughter, Julie, a former Rancho Murieta Association director, called the Mutual Benefit Agreement, a 2003 development agreement between the RMA and the Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers, “a boondoggle of a boondoggle.”
MacGlashan fielded audience questions and criticism about development. Julie Sams posted maps and other documents and referred to development plans for "cookie-cutter houses." Others in the audience called the environmental impact review for the projects flawed and said a new master plan should have been prepared before any projects were approved.
Sams maintained the community doesn’t have enough water to support development. “Nobody did the water math,” she said.
The supervisors authorized an independent peer review of the Rancho Murieta Community Services District water and wastewater planning in 2007. When it was presented to the board last year, Supervisor Don Nottoli termed it “a very, very important step as a precursor to doing a master plan update at some future date.”
None of the projects approved by the county for the next phase of development in Rancho Murieta have been built. “Subdivision maps don’t live forever,” MacGlashan said. “...If the developer doesn’t complete the final map, which means complying with all the conditions of approval, at a certain point, that map goes away. It doesn’t look to me like it’s going to happen any time soon.”
MacGlashan was introduced by Glen Craig, former county sheriff and a longtime Murietan.
“The county continues to have budget challenges,” MacGlashan told the group. “From 2007-08, which is the first year we really had to start cutting, through the 2011-12 budget, we’ve cut $150 million from our general fund budget. ... It’s now $475 million. We went from having over 14,000 employees to a little over 11,000 employees. I mean, we have made really serious cuts over the years at the same time while we’re trying to maintain basic services for our residents and as other costs go up. And that’s the general fund. There are many other funds. The county budget’s a very complicated thing.”
MacGlashan said her top priority is public safety -- the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Probation Department. “Not that we haven’t had to cut them, because we’ve had to cut everything,” she said. She added that she’s never supported a tax increase. “That’s never been an option in this budget process,” she said.
She said Sacramento County received the largest COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) grant for two years in a row from the Department of Justice, adding 50 deputies last year and 25 more this year.
There were 19 labor contracts set to expire this year and the county had nothing to offer, McGlashan said. The contracts were negotiated without salary or benefit increases “and we have achieved pension reform,” she said. The pension changes apply to new hires and MacGlashan predicted they will save the county “hundreds of millions of dollars in the years to come.”
Realignment -- the shift of responsibilities from the state to the counties -- is another challenge. “The problem is that there is just never enough money that goes along with it for us to run these programs,” MacGlashan said.
MacGlashan made contact information for her office available at the meeting:
Roberta MacGlashan, supervisor: firstname.lastname@example.org; (916) 874-5491
Ted Wolter, chief of staff: email@example.com; (916) 874-5491
OJ Platt, special assistant for constituent services: firstname.lastname@example.org; (916) 874-5491
Vangie Schoening, secretary: email@example.com; (916) 874-5491
Those in attendance did share the following:
Macglashan shifted a great deal of the blame for her Murieta development vote on county staff, the former county executive, CSD and the RMA board. Time to own it, Ms. Macglashan. Your vote. Your responsibility.
Macglashan claimed county staff addressed the Attorney General issues (about a severely inadequate EIR regarding cumulative studies for impacts to the Cosumnes River). Uh. No, Ms Macglashan, your staff never did any such thing.
Macglasahan claimed she doesn't base her decisions on citizen crowd numbers (200 plus residents who showed up to multiple 7 year hearings--so much for bothering to come downtown, engage the legal process and testify). Then, moments later, she claimed she approved Murieta Gardens, in part, because large crowds didn't bother to attend the hearings. Huh? A classsic cased of: Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.
Bottom line, Supervisor Macglashan blew-off residents, so she could rubber stamp projects for special interest developers. She can never un-do her vote. The damage to Murieta is permanent. Macglashan's a politician through and through, one who classically deflects responsibility, re-writes history, schedules meet and greets purely for damage control, then counts on citizens having very short memories.
Elections are in June. Her record is long. Bring it!
Candy Chand 955 2027
I attended the town hall meeting Thursday evening and although I found Supervisor MacGlashen to be pleasant and personable, I left with the impression that she still doesn't "get it". It is my opinion that she doesn't understand the desire of the 2000 petition signers, or the overflow crowds and speakers at the hearings, for responsible planning and development. She continues to believe they want ZERO development and therefore the concerns that the Master Plan is outdated, the EIR is inadequate, the water issues, grading issues, etc., go in one ear and out the other. It doesn't/didn't matter that these members' concerns were validated by other government agencies. The fact that she has an advanced degree in the field and is a "..planner by profession," makes her decision to ignore these concerns even more egregious in my mind.
Until I see some sort of understanding from Supervisor MacGlashen of what is so upsetting to me, and others that share my concerns, I can not and will not support her or her bid to represent me on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.
Thanks, Vicky. You are very perceptive. I do believe, soon, (due to the coming election) Ms. Macglashan will have a Come to Jesus sort of awakening--you know, she'll see the light about Murieta. At least she'll say she does.
I believe Ms. Macglashan will do and say what she needs to in order to be re-elected in June. However, in the end, her true beliefs and actions won't change. People are who they are, not who they pretend to be just prior to an election.
Thanks, again, for attending,Vicky, and for your wise engagement of the process. You're awesome!
Candy 955 2027
While this writer quoted my “junk” remark correctly, the remark was prompted once MacGlashan had moved on to name other projects, such as the Residences of Murieta Hills, East and West.
My opposition to the Retreats project was minimal in comparison to my opposition to those cut-grade flat-and terrace projects, and the record will reflect that.
Here in Rancho Murieta, where developers insist on excessive and detrimental to the existing topography, grading plans that reconfigure home sites to accommodate their interests - rather than folding in home sites in such a manner as to compliment existing contours and views, the developers should be opposed at every step.
The Murieta Hills, East and West projects should not have been approved by the Sacramento Board of Supervisors for many reasons including the one stated above and the Retreats project should not have been approved either, with so little attention and regard given to fire personnel recommendations during the DEIR process.
Sacramento planners and management can do so much better and I trust they will in the future in such a manner as to be beneficial to all concerned.
During seven+ years of meetings and Hearings with the County Planners, Environmental staff and Board of Supervisors, Murieta residents' repeatedly expressed countless concerns about the pending disastrous development proposals before the County for consideration and approval. This included a myriad of personal presentations and meetings with each Supervisor and staff, written statements from Residents and outside controlling organizations, formal attendance and testimony at each and every public sworn Hearing, and a Petition signed by 2000+ Murieta residents, delivered to the Supervisors, appealing for their support for Responsible, Controlled Development in the remaining undeveloped Murieta parcels, weighed against the developers' destructive non-conforming proposals. In my opinion, at each and every turn and statement, then Planner and now Supervisor MacGlashan, sided completely and totally with developers' counsels' sworn testimony, however baseless and discrediting of Murietans it was. And this while she dismissed, or was completely indifferent to, all of the Murieta residents' concerns. Not once did she display concern or support for those residents' countless facts presented. It was all window dressing for the inevitable: her vote of approval for the EIRs and Subdivision Maps, in this case The Residences at Murieta Hills and the Retreats. Now that Rancho Murieta has been redistricted into her sphere of influence, its obvious with her upcoming reelection bid this next year why she is out here "campaigning". We were stiffed by her in those past proceedings; what assurance do we have she will not do it again? Rancho Murietans should take this into consideration when evaluating all candidates and voting this next year for who will be the best Supervisor to sincerely represent our interests before the County.
Thanks to everybody who did attend this meeting.
Your comments and opinions are valuable to me.
Trust me, I'm listening!
I find it amusing that some feel that our new supervisor knows more about Murieta than the residents. Isn't this typical of all "professional politicians"? Certainly those that represent us at the state and federal levels believe this since they consistently pass legislation that most don’t want BUT they say wait until it is passed and you can find out all about it. They ALWAYS know what is best for us and how to spend OUR money on projects we don't want. Just look at our current President’s actions. Classic!