Letter to 5th District Supervisor re CABS

This was sent by a long-term friend and fellow Big Sur resident for whom I have much respect. I echo the sentiments expressed in this letter, and thus want to share it. Some of my friends will not be pleased with my stance, others will be joyous that I am finally speaking out, albeit in the voice of another. As my friend points out and I want to reiterate, CABS does some wonderful work in assisting residents who need help. That is what they are best at.

South Coast by bigsurkate

There is no single voice of Big Sur. There are many and we are varied. When CPOA became CABS, all of us who were voting members of the CPOA organization, even life-time members like myself, became associates — non-voting associates. How they converted is a story for another day. Only the 9 current board members have a vote in what CABS says and does.

This is a conversation that is just beginning. My friend began it, and I am simply amplifying it. Let’s talk about what CABS means to you. If you don’t want to comment publicly, send your comment to me, and I can post it anonymously.

“Dear Mary,
I started this last week before the events in our Nation’s Capitol, a very upsetting day. 
That event reminded me that in a democracy one votes for their choice.  I voted for you to be my elected representative as the Supervisor of the 5th District. I am more than willing to debate, argue and try to persuade you on a point that is of importance to me in the 5th District.
To that point, I am dismayed by the perceived abdication to CABS about the future of Big Sur. CABS is issuing press releases indicating that the Board of Supervisors are supporting the DSP. I listened to that Board Meeting and to imply that the Board was in support of the DSP is not accurate. The Board supported submitting the report.
Why should I be concerned? As someone who has lived here on the Coast for 50 years, and knowing well past actions do CPOA/CABS, I have concerns. They had representatives on the Citizens Advisory Committee who drafted the LUP for Big Sur they were against much that made that plan so important. They had representatives on the Coast Highway Management Plan and they would not endorse it! How do I know?  I know because I was involved with both of those planning efforts and so much more over the years. I give them credit for what they have done which is to help people of this Community during times of crisis. The helping of those members of the Community is and has been important. However their good efforts do not always transfer to being good planners.
This is not my first communication to you about my concerns of this organization  and it may not be my last. I will continue to ask you to not abdicate to this organization important planning decisions. Decisions that must be made by the public agencies that are mandated by law to manage the Big Sur Coast. CABS can be at the table but they should not be the only ones there.  This is a diverse Community with a wide variety of opinions. 
Many of us are appalled by the change in visitation we have seen over the past few years by folks to the Coast. However, the focus has to be on the agencies that have failed to manage this change, starting with the County. This is not a criticism of your tenure as Supervisor.  It started prior to your election. But the Federal, State agencies and County have ignored these changes, not intentionally but through benign neglect.
I am aware of the difficult times we are in as 2021 begins.  It seems that since 2016 it is one challenge after another.. The economy is looking doubtful for some time, the toll of the pandemic is hard to determine at this early date, outlook for this year into 2022 is a challenge. 
I voted for you and I hope you will be our leader for the preservation of our Big Sur Coast, an international destination as well as a unique Community which deserves the best.

2 thoughts on “Letter to 5th District Supervisor re CABS

  1. Thank you for sharing, and thank you to the original author. For the insight into some of the history on decision making for Big Sur, and especially for calling out the neglect of the County. I’ve only lived here for 9 years, but my Dad and Step-Mother were interested and involved in land use issues here for decades. So, the comments about the “ seats at the table” struck me as being highly discerning and very important. As to County Resources allocated to Big Sur, I have one question: where’s the money?? Where does the tourism money go, and I’m talking about Big Sur’s contribution to the dollars generated overall, not how many bucks a day tripper spends at the Big Sur market, or bakery.
    I’m so grateful that I got to experience living on the Big Sur Coast before cellphones were appendages and Bixby Bridge selfies were even conceived. Because the tourist explosion has been a mean ugly thing, with everyone seemingly throwing up their hands. Though this past year has been a year from hell for everyone, closing parking lots and locking bathrooms anywhere along the coast strikes me as losing strategy We’ve made progress from the time of the Sheriff admitting he hadn’t scheduled patrol cars at night for the Big Sur area, for some significant amount of time. It was all about staff and budget shortages, the common refrain, then and now. Things have improved, but nowhere near to the degree the tourist population explosion requires. Again, where is the money? All those millions of tourists and the compounding factor? Big Sur needs and deserves a much higher allocation of county resources, in my opinion. I think Mary Adams has been amazing, she really cares, and is highly effective! So there’s hope-
    Thank you again for sharing this important letter.

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