Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Sep 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Supervisor Greg Caput

Greg KaputWhere do you stand on Watsonville’s possible Sakata-Kett Annexation?

This coming June 4, Watsonville voters will vote on whether or not the City of Watsonville should annex the Sakata-Kett property, which is just to the west of city limits beyond our cold storage and industrial sectors. The annexation vote will also include a patch of land west of Highway 1 that includes the historic Redman-Hirahara House. I am unequivocally opposed to this project because I think that it has been thoroughly rushed and has not provided the planning details necessary to merit voter support.

Back in the mid-90s, the Sakata-Kett property was considered as potentially being part of the City of Watsonville’s 2030 plan intended to outline the future expansion of the city. But residents specifically voiced their opposition to the annexation of Sakata-Kett being coupled alongside the other proposed annexation areas of Buena Vista, Atkinson and Manabe-Ow (what would eventually comprise Measure U). To date, little to no progress has been made on developing any of these areas. Moreover, multiple abandoned lots abound in town and have sat idle for years. The sad fact of the matter is that, over the past 30 years, our city has made a consistent and steady decline that no rushed annexation plan will reverse.

Whereas I admire the initiative some have taken to spur forward the struggling economy, I believe that proposals for annexation are currently ill advised and lacking. I agree that (theoretically) the property would suit development as it is adjacent to the city limits and enclosed within the freeway, providing access to potential customers. Yet the fact that we do not have identified business partners, or anything beyond a colorless box-store strategy, deeply troubles me.

We need to make sure that we have a plan based off of more than wishful thinking and hunches. To even consider moving forward, we need detailed outlining of investments and investment strategies. Just because you lay down a patch of concrete and call it Disneyland, does not mean that Mickey Mouse will be showing up.

Proponents will say that nobody else is coming up with ideas to spur our local economy. Yet many of us have: “Concentrate on our Downtown!” works on filling empty lots. Stop spending on structural overtime. Stop dreaming that union-smashers and small business destroyers like Wal-Mart are going to solve all our problems. The City of Watsonville needs to prove that they could develop abandoned buildings and empty lots before we ever trust them to build over prime agricultural land.

The City of Watsonville has struggled mightily to revitalize our downtown and has misdirected funds into projects such as the new Watsonville Civic Center and the defense of lawsuits for projects eerily similar to the proposed Sakata-Kett annexation. City leaders have proved highly efficient in mismanaging the problems that are already in front of them. Generally speaking, before you trust anybody, you have to look at past accomplishments and track records. The city’s recent track record of failure after failure does not cultivate much confidence, only hopeless concrete. This June 4, I will not be supporting Measure T, which by measure only stands for more of the same: Trouble.

Comments (5)Add Comment
Great article
written by Shauna Lopez, April 24, 2013
Had heard what a great article this was, glad to finsally read it. Thanks for all your work Mr. Caput
Divided
written by Cathy H, April 19, 2013
I can't really speak for what Caput has done for watsonville but will say that the high unemployment is because of horrible mismanagement of the city. Our downtown is lousy! Just lousy! Dodge and Felpe Hernandez and those guys talk with a lot of enthusiasm and pump up Measure T but at the end of the day they're just puppets or stand ins, it's city mamgement that gets the F-. I don't trust them at all. I have no problem with paving over this land, mama be ow too, but not with tPalacio and these guys in charge of it. A "business center" Mike Sanchez? Wal Mart is not a business center.
Yes we do deserve better
written by Mike Sanchez , April 15, 2013
This is something that Greg Caput apparently seems to misunderstand. While he was a Watsonville Council member, Caput failed to help direct Watsonville in a positive and flourishing direction. The land in question supports seasonal and part time farm labor employment, as compared to a possible all year round "business center" providing full time employment opportunities. Before the city can invest public money, Watsonville needs Measure T to pass to amend the urban limit line. No one else is coming up with any ideas to generate new revenue.
Watsonville Does Deserve Better
written by Mike Sanchez , April 15, 2013

The City is currently experiencing 22% unemployment, Budget struggles and high volume of youth graduating high school every year with no jobs to look forward to. Watsonville is experiencing Low revenue intake. There are many services that depend on the City budget like public safety, Police, Fire and library services. It takes money and revenue to run a city.
Watsonvile deserves better
written by Esteban Rivas, April 11, 2013
I'm on point with this article. I think that Watsonville deserves better than WAlmart or Cosco. I've wored in the fields and am not going to say i loved it or think that farmers are doing anything great for mexicanos but if were going to build on that land it needs to be some kind of real job producer no slavery for slavery

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.