Coast Property Owners Oppose Panetta's Legislation
Published August 1980 in the Big Sur Gazette.
BIG SUR - The Board of Directors of the Coast Property Owner's Association (CPOA) voted on July 25 to advise Congressman Leon Panetta that they opposed his legislation to federalize Big Sur.
After a lengthy discussion, the board voted to send Panetta a letter stating "the Board of Directors of the CPOA oppose your bill in as much as the Local Coastal Plan has not had an opportunity to be tested".
The motion was passed with a 7-4-1 vote. Voting in favor were Frank Trotter, Mary Fee, Howard Sitton, Bill Spring, John Harlan, Charles Mohn and Marion Harlan.
Opposing the motion were Barbara Richardson, Ray Sanborn, Helmuth Morganrath, and Katherine Short. Marilyn Abel abstained.
In other action, CPOA president Short presented letters from CPOA members Zad Leavy and Lorri Lockwood who objected to the board sponsoring a representative to attend and testify at the April Cranston bill subcommittee hearings in Washington.
CPOA member Leavy wrote that he objected sending a representative to Washington because the board had not asked the general membership before committing the funds. He asked that the board retract their action, obtain a refund of the money from the representative, and to set some limit or fixed amount which the board could spend without consulting all the members.
Lockwood's letter expressed similar concerns and strong accusations regarding the board's action.
Short responded that "we must observe the rules of the majority. If this board overturns the vote and rescinds the action taken, I would consider it dishonorable and I would resign."
During the discussion of the letters, the question of Leavy's CPOA membership was raised. The treasurer reported that Leavy had paid dues of $3 in 1975 and $6 in 1979, but that he owed dues for 1977 and 1978, and that he was not a member in good standing.
The board discussed the letters in detail and concluded that there were "errors in both letters".
In response to Leavy's request to limit the board's fiscal decision-making authority, Richardson replied that "It's an ill-advised restraint."
From the audience Joe Hanley commented that, during past emergencies, such as the flood and fires, the CPOA had acted quickly to help those in need. He expressed his appreciation to the board for their action of sending a CPOA representative to Washington.
"You are acting as proper representatives," he added, "and you have taken the proper stand tonight."
In another action, the board concluded that it was senseless to reactivate the fire watch look-out station this summer because the U.S. Forest Service Big Sur Station is unattended after 6 pm, so the calls from the fire watch would not be answered.
The board decided to recommend the re-establishment of the fire patrol in place of the fire watch.