Monterey County Initiatives to Amend the Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan Regarding Open Space, Measure K & Measure M (November 2013)

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Two Initiatives to amend the Fort Ord Reuse Plan, which is executed by the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, were on the November 5, 2013 election ballot for voters in Monterey County, which is in California.[1] Both were defeated.

When Fort Ord became inactive as an Army base, the process of returning the property to civilian use was begun. According to its website, "The Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA) was created by the California State Legislature in 1994 to facilitate conversion of the former Fort Ord from military to civilian activities that support our local and regional communities. The conversion effort focuses on property transfer and development for economic reuse by local jurisdictions, educational reuse, and environmental protection and conservation."[2][3]

Measure K and Measure M were competing amendments to the Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan and were both put on the ballot through initiative petition.[4]

Measure K: The California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, Open Space Preservation and Economic Revitalization Initiative focused on requiring the construction of the cemetery, allowed the construction of the Monterey Peninsula College Police and Fire Training Facility and construction of the Eastside Parkway and other residential, recreational, educational and industrial developments. This initiative focused on development and the creation of jobs, including a potential Monterey Downs development, with selective preservation.[5] To skip to arguments in favor of Measure K and in opposition of Measure M click here.

Measure M: The Protect Fort Ord Open Space Access Initiative sought to preserve 540 acres of the Fort Ord open space property as "wild" and it prohibited certain industrial, recreational and industrial developments. It would not have allowed the construction of the Monterey Peninsula College Police and Fire Training Facility or the Eastside Parkway. This initiative focused on preservation of open space and the prevention of the Monterey Downs development, especially its horse racing and gambling aspects.[6] To skip to arguments in favor of Measure M and in opposition to Measure K click here.

Election results

Measure K
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No32,61662.22%
Yes 19,805 37.78%
Measure M
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No28,02253.46%
Yes 24,394 46.54%
These final, certified results are from the Monterey County elections office.

Text of measure

Measure K

Title

"California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, Open Space Preservation and Economic Revitalization Initiative"

Ballot language

The question on the ballot:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

"Shall the citizen-circulated initiative entitled "California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, Open Space Preservation, and Economic Revitalization Initiative" be adopted?"[1]

Full text

Below are the first three sections of the Measure K amendment:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Section 1 - Name

This measure shall be designated as the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, Open Space Preservation and Economic Revitalization Initiative.

Section 11 - Purpose

YesKnoM.jpg

The purpose of the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, Open Space Preservation and Economic Revitalization Initiative ("Initiative") is to modify and enforce sections of the Fort Ord Reuse Plan ("Reuse Plan") to protect the establishment of the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, to preserve several acres of open space and habitat throughout sections of the former military base and to ensure the economic revitalization of the Monterey County region.[7]

A full text of the amendment and the changes to the Fort Ord Reuse Plan proposed by the initiative can be read here. This includes a section called "Findings," which shows the facts that Measure K proponents say support their initiative.

Measure M

Title

"Protect Fort Ord Open Space Access Initiative"

Ballot language

The question on the ballot:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

"Shall the citizen-circulated initiative entitled "Protect Fort Ord Open Space Access Initiative" be adopted?"[1]

Full text

YesMnoK.png

Below are the first three sections of the Measure M amendment:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Section 1 - Name

This measure shall be designated as the Protect Fort Ord Open Spaces Access Initiative.

Section II - Purpose

The purpose of the Protect Fort Ord Open Space Access Initiative ("Initiative") is to modify and enforce sections of the Fort Ord Reuse Plan ("Resue Plan") to protect essential access points to the recreational areas of Fort Ord and preserve the quality of open space and habitat in approximately 540 acres located on the north and north west sections of the former military base with significant oak woodlands.[8]

A full text of the amendment and the changes to the Fort Ord Reuse Plan proposed by the initiative can be read here. This includes a section called "Findings" that shows facts that Measure M proponents say support their initiative.

Measure K Support

Signatures for Measure K were collected by the group Fort Ord Access Alliance[6].

Supporters

See also: Monterey County Measure K Supporters
  • Secure the Promise (Petitioners)[5]
  • Monterey Horsepark[9]

Officials

  • Nancy Amadeo, Councilmember, Marina
  • Steve Bloomer, E-5 Buck Sergeant, Former Councilmember, Seaside
  • Dennis Donohue, Former Mayor, Salinas
  • Miguel Errea, Former Monterey County Planning Commissioner
  • John Huerta, Mayor, Greenfield
  • Edith Johnsen, Former Monterey County Supervisor
  • Mary Ann Leffel, Monterey Peninsula Airport District
  • Steve McShane, Councilmember, Salinas
  • Tom Perkins, Former Monterey County Supervisor
  • Elizabeth Williams, Former Mayor, Gonzales

Organizations

  • American Legion, District 28 (Greenfield)
  • American Legion, Post 31 (Salinas)
  • American Legion, Post 81 (Gonzalez)
  • American Legion, Post 161 (Antioch)
  • American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 512 (Carmel)
  • American Legion, Post 589 (Salinas)
  • American Legion, Post 591 (Seaside)
  • American Legion, Post 593 (Prunedale)
  • American Legion, Post 635 (Greenfield)
  • American Legion, Post 694 (Marina)
  • American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 694
  • American Legion Riders, Chapter 694
  • American Legion Riders, Department of California
  • American Legion Women’s Auxiliary Unit 589
  • CHISPA (Salinas)
  • Coalition for jobs, opportunity and business in Seaside (C Jobs)
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of California
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 85 (Monterey Bay)
  • Excellence in Government (Monterey County)
  • Ladies Auxiliary to the VPW Department of California District # 12
  • Latino Environmental Justice Advocates (LEJA)
  • Lend A Hand-Lend A Heart (LAH LAH’s)
  • Local 4513 – EMS Paramedics, Emts, and Dispatchers of Monterey County
  • Latino Seaside Merchants Association
  • LULAC Monterey Peninsula Council No. 2895
  • Monterey County Business Council
  • Monterey County Farm Bureau
  • Monterey County Hospitality Association
  • Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
  • North County Firefighters Association Local 3058
  • The Only Way Outreach Ministry of Monterey County
  • Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce
  • Ret E9 Association
  • Retired Enlisted Association & Auxiliary (TREA) Chapter 55 (Monterey Bay)
  • Salinas Firefighter’s local 1270
  • Salinas Taxpayers Association
  • Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Seaside Firefighters Association Local 1218
  • Seaside/Sand City Chamber of Commerce
  • United Veterans Council of Monterey County
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars, District 12 (San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 811 (Marina)
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars, Auxiliary 811
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 6747 (King City)

For a full list of Measure K supporters go to Monterey County Measure K Supporters.

Arguments for K

Arguments made in favor of Measure K included:

  • Measure K "keeps the promise that the community would be revitalized after the close of Fort Ord."
  • Measure K provides for the possibility of job growth and economic revitalization.
  • 20,000 of the 28,000 acres of Fort Ord is already permanent open space and the 540 acres proposed for development is important for the economic well being of the county.
  • Measure K provides funds to remove blighted buildings from the Fort Ord property
  • The Monterey County residents were promised three things when For Ord closed: Environment, Education and Economic Recover. The first two promises have been kept but the final promise has not been kept, but would but under Measure K.
  • Measure K also continues to fulfill the promise of education by allowing the MPC Police and Fire Training Facility.
  • A successful National Monument requires services and amenities. Measure K allows businesses to proved these services, while creating jobs and producing revenue.[5]

Arguments against M

The group Secure the Promise makes these arguments against Measure M on its website:[5]

  • A report prepared for the city of Seaside alleged that the passage of measure K would cause the loss of approximately 20,000 jobs in Monterey County.
  • Measure M, by rezoning 540 acres of open space, would prevent economic regrowth and curtail access and amenities/services to those trying to visit the 28,000 acre national park and monument.
  • Measure M eliminates funds for the removal of blighted buildings and does not allow the construction of the Eastside Parkway, which would reduce congestion on Reservation Road, Imjin Parkway and Hwy 1

Measure M Support

Supporters

See also: Monterey County Measure M Supporters
  • Fort Ord Access Alliance[6]
  • Monterey County Landwatch[10]

Organizations

  • VETERANS FOR PEACE, John Steinbeck IV, Chapter 46 of Monterey Peninsula
  • VETERANS WILD FORT ORD
  • THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF MONTEREY COUNTY
  • CARMEL RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
  • COMMUNITIES FOR A SUSTAINABLE MONTEREY COUNTY
  • SUSTAINABLE SEASIDE
  • SUSTAINABLE PACIFIC GROVE
  • SUSTAINABLE CARMEL VALLEY
  • MARINA DEMOCRATIC CLUB
  • CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY – MONTEREY BAY CHAPTER
  • MONTEREY COUNTY OFF-ROAD CYCLING ASSOCIATION (MORCA)
  • VELO CLUB MONTEREY
  • GREEN PARTY OF MONTEREY COUNTY
  • SURFRIDERS FOUNDATION
  • HIGHWAY 68 COALITION
  • CARMEL VALLEY ASSOCIATION
  • KEEP FORT ORD WILD
  • FORT ORD REC USERS
  • PEDALI ALPINI, INC., One of the oldest and most successful bicycle clubs in the United States.
  • PELICAN NETWORK
  • PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS (PETA)

For a full list of supporters of Measure M visit Monterey County Measure M Supporters.

Arguments for M

According to the Fort Ord Access Association Measure M would have done the following:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

  • Protect public open space and access to the hiking trails, horseback riding and bike trails that bring people to our community.
  • Ensure that the veterans’ cemetery is complemented by beautiful open space, so our veterans have the peace and quiet they deserve, not the noise and traffic of a horse racetrack.
  • Prevent the construction of a commercial horse racetrack – and the gambling and crime that come along with it.[6]

Margaret Davis, writing an opinion article in The Herald had this to say in favor of Measure M with regard to its compatibility with the original Fort Ord Reuse Plan: "Three of the four areas protected by Measure M—Marina Community Park, Seaside Community Park and Whispering Oaks—were planned as public open space/recreation from the earliest versions of the base reuse plan."[11]

Arguments against K

According to the Fort Ord Access Association Measure K would have done the following:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

  • Bulldoze hundreds of acres and tens of thousands of trees to make room for a commercial horse racetrack, complete with gambling, bars and traffic.
  • Cost Monterey County taxpayers. Measure K would sell our beautiful publicly owned land to developers for pennies on the dollar.
  • Destroy oak woodland while leaving blight on Fort Ord. There are thousands of acres of abandoned buildings and parking lots at Fort Ord — we should build there before we bulldoze beautiful open space.[5]

In her pro-Measure M article, Margaret Davis also wrote: "Measure K was written to pave the way for Monterey Downs. With its massive horse-gambling track, 1,500 units of redundant housing, two redundant hotels, dormitory-style workforce housing, and bottom-of-the-wage-scale jobs, Measure K/Monterey Downs is an insult to the 1997 Base Reuse Plan and veterans nationwide who remember the beautiful Fort Ord outback."[11]

Veterans Cemetery

Both campaigns claimed that their measure would ensure the construction of a Central Coast Veterans Cemetery to add to the Fort Ord National Monument.

Measure K proponents had taken up the mantle of the champions of the cemetery because their initiative explicitly demands the construction and location of the cemetery.[5]

Measure M supporters said that nothing in Measure M would prevent the establishment of a cemetery, while under Measure M the cemetery would be surrounded by preserved and still beautiful open space instead of land with residential, recreational, transportation and industrial development.[6]

Margaret Davis wrote, "In 2011, citizens opposing the destruction of Whispering Oaks were attacked on the ludicrous claim that preserving the forest would stop the veterans cemetery. Ultimately the public saw through this balderdash and asserted that location matters. Ill-placed development on natural land is not appropriate while thousands of acres of urban blight go undisturbed."[11]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in California

In May and June respectively citizens began circulating initiative petitions to amend the original Fort Ord Reuse Plan through Measure K and M, known as the "California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, Open Space Preservation and Economic Revitalization Initiative" and the "Protect Fort Ord Open Space Access Initiative" respectively. The petition drive for Measure K was spearheaded by Keep the Promise while the signatures for Measure M were mostly collected by the Fort Ord Access Association. The initiative proponents collected the required number of signatures, as verified by the County Clerk and reported to FORA. FORA then entered into a contract with Monterey County to conduct a county-wide election for each initiative asking citizens to approve them in Measure K and M. Measure K and M were contradictory measures, meaning that whichever had received more than a fifty percent vote would have been approved, while if both receive a majority, the measure with the most yes votes would have been enacted.[4][5][6]

See also

External links

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