* The More Voters Know, the Less They Like About the City Council Majority
* Most voters were duped by the March city hall ballot ruse
* Voters favor filtering pornography from all children's computers in the library.
* Voters favor library books over bricks, opposite the council majority plan.
* Voters oppose corporate welfare subsidies to mall, Kaleidoscope.
* Council incumbents get only 39 percent vote of confidence.
* Voters want disclosure on public issues by e-mail.
Mission Viejo residents are mostly uninformed about city government issues. But they do care about what's going on and the more they know they more they dislike what the city council majority is doing.
Our Mission Viejo Committee for Integrity in Government must step up efforts to connect directly with voters through passing out fliers, picketing, e-mail and our new website, and not rely on news articles and letters to the editor. These conclusions are confirmed from a survey of Mission Viejo voters who stopped by our Mission Viejo Committee for Integrity in Government booth at the Fourth of July Street Fair. More than half, or 278 voters, who entered a free drawing for dinners at local restaurants, took time to fill out a seven-question survey. There were only three spoiled ballots. This was double the previous high response of 1998, when we led our survey with a question about cutting the state car registration tax. They read the questions carefully, showing concern for city issues. Question #3 addressed public information directly: "Were you aware all three city hall options (buy, build or lease) on last March's ballot called for nearly doubling the size of our current city hall?"
Only 37 percent said "yes," indicating the city council succeeded in duping voters with a rigged ballot with no way to say no to the massive expansion. But of those who were aware of the ruse, more than half answered question #6 by indicating one or all of the multi-term city council members, Sherri Butterfield, Susan Withrow or Bill Craycraft, should be unseated. The more they know, the less they like.
Only 39 percent of total respondents favored keeping the council majority, with 38 percent leaving the question blank, indicating no opinion or nonrecognition of their names.
Other survey questions follow the trend:
* An overwhelming 92 percent of voter respondents favor filtering pornographic websites from all computers used by minors at the Mission Viejo Library. Councilman John Paul Ledesma's motion to install filters on all nine of these computers last fall was watered down by the city council after several of our committee members, led by Kathy Schlict, PTA presidents and ministers appealed to the city council for the filters. The council majority reluctantly approved filtering two of the nine computers in hopes the issue would go away. But the survey refutes the library staff's claim that parents are happy with the current, limited filtering and parent notification procedure. Prior to the council vote, the staff's report opposing the filtering omitted the fact that all libraries in the Orange County system were installing filters in the year 2000.
* An equal 92 percent of voter respondents favor buying 30,000 more books now to fill empty shelves in the current library building rather than construct a10,000 square foot addition, as the city council majority plans, a multi-milliondollar expenditure without, as usual, voter approval. The expansion would involve more computerization, even though powerful home computers are almost universal. While the reference section can go virtually 100 percent on-line, depth of comprehension and enjoyment of nonfiction and fiction will continue to rely on printed and bound books for the forseeable future.
* By 4-1 margins voters oppose the $1.6 million public equity subsidy for the Kaleidoscope entertainment "lifestyle" center and $85 million in taxpayer indebtedness to subsidize Simon Properties, owner of the Shops at Mission Viejo. One in 10 respondents left these questions blank, volunteering after putting their sheets in the ballot box that they were both uniformed and baffled by these issues.
* A full 89 percent of the respondents feel e-mail would be an effective method to empower voters by providing disclosure on city issues and obtaining residents' feedback. more than 500 voters voluntarily gave us their e-mail addresses to enter the free drawing for free dinners. Only a few participants did not have e-mail addresses or preferred to give us their phone numbers to be notified in case they won one of the four prizes.