Robinson’s Inaction, Broken Promises
The needlessly contentious issue of Saddleback Ranch Road has been one of the many differences between Robinson and me. In 2012, Robinson’s platform was establishing a Traffic Commission, addressing pension liability among City employees, and reducing school class sizes. (You can see his 2012 ballot statement here.)
So, after we were elected and sworn in, I waited for him to introduce these three proposals to the Council because they were his platform; instead, he remained silent as he was prone to do. Finally, I’m the one who proposed his campaign promises and was stunned by his response.
Even though he campaigned to open more schools and to “lower class sizes” as a means to get elected, when Robinson wouldn’t broach the subject, I finally brought before the Council the matter of Lake Forest having its own school district so that we residents could have control over class size and everything else that impacts our children’s education. Districts with 10,000 to 15,000 students, which would have been our case, tend to be more successful than larger districts. But Robinson, even though he had promised to seek smaller class sizes, sat silent along with Scott Voigts, Kathryn McCullough and Peter Herzog. My proposal died. Today, we have classes that have up to 37 students, which is nearly twice the state’s guideline of 20 students per class and some of our children must attend school in Mission Viejo. Becoming a school district is a 10-year process, but it won’t happen until it actually begins; a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. That first step is to have the discussion.
Even though Robinson’s campaign promise to “create a Traffic Commission” helped him get elected, he refused to bring it before the Council. Again, I finally introduced it and brought it to a vote, but Robinson voted against it, as did Voigts and McCullough. Remarkably, this was a second major issue on Robinson’s platform that he actually worked against, an empty promise he had no intention of delivering.
Even though Robinson’s platform included addressing pension liability, I patiently waited for him to introduce the subject for discussion and vote but he remained silent. When I finally gave up on him and brought up the pension liability in relation to both the City and Orange County in mid-2015, Robinson was unconcerned and called Jim Gardner and me “imbeciles.” This was another empty promise that Robinson had no intention of fulfilling. He simply used these promises to garner votes.
So even though he campaigned on a Traffic Commission, smaller class sizes and pension liability, Robinson didn’t bring any of them before the council; instead, within about 30 minutes of taking office, the very first thing he proposed was approval of the rezoning of the Foothill Ranch Auto Center so that developers who contributed to his campaign could build townhomes there. That’s where his heart was, not with fulfilling the promises he made to get your votes.
While campaigning in 2012:
Robinson promised to protect taxpayers from pension debt, but after he was elected he never made such effort. When I brought up this subject in mid-2015 (and had support of Jim Gardner), Dwight Robinson called the two of us “imbeciles” and said my “math was wrong.” Here, you will see what I wrote subsequent to Robinson’s name-calling, which proves my math was spot on and my concerns valid. In Terry Sforza’s May 2016 article describing the dire situation with unfunded pension liabilities countywide, it’s clear that these unfunded costs are equal to $134 per household in the best-case scenario, and $524 in the worst case; this equates to a hidden liability of $4.02 million or $15.72 million for Lake Forest.