Our community recently celebrated a victory with the Fair Board’s agreement to repair its past environmental damage, restore wetlands, and bring its activities into compliance with the Coastal Act. This opening points to a new potential partnership after many years of conflict and struggle.
It causes us to think about what “victory” means when we are engaged in long term processes such as community development and environmental protection. Victory in such undertakings cannot be measured as easily as winning a contest, a challenge, or a game. Victories usually come in small incremental steps over an extended period of time. One way to measure these kinds of victories is to pick a point of time in the past and compare our circumstances then to now.
If we go back to the ‘70s we can think of a few of these incremental victories that are worthy of celebration today.
Citizens created a Community Plan then which has been our guide and has produced a town we are proud of today and is the envy of many other towns.
We decided that preserving open space was a high priority and today we look at Crest Canyon, Anderson Canyon, Seagrove Park, Powerhouse Park, the Shores Park, and numerous pocket parks as culminating victories.
A small group of scientists and civic activists convinced us to preserve and restore our lagoon estuary. Today it is a thriving natural entry to a river park that extends back into the mountains in east county.
Many then doubted if an entity this small had the financial wherewithall to survive as an incorporated city. Today we enjoy a AAA bond rating because of our prudent fiscal mangement.
We decided to attract top notch talent to staff our city hall. Today we have some of the most talented city staffers in the region dutifully carrying out our goals.
The Design Review Board, one of the first, was set up to preserve the scale and character of our residential community. Because of that quality control we now enjoy exceptionally high property values and very liveable neighborhoods.
Early on we set up numerous citizen boards, commissions, and non-profits to guide the growth of our community. Today we can see that our best ideas, advice, and accomplishments come from the high rate of volunteerism in these citizen groups.
An early decision was to resist putting in sidewalks and street lights in our neighborhoods. Today we enjoy the semi-rural, pedestrian atmosphere of our streets and the spectacle of nature’s night skies.
For more than thirty years our community’s landscape has evolved into a lush portrait of green trees and colorful yards
We have these and many more victories to relish. Every now and then it is good to stop, take it all in and celebrate that we live here.