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Morgan Hill
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December 2, 2021

Two letters: Writer’s issues oiver SEQ are with the county, and support for Paul Colin for judge

Letter writer’s issues are with the county, not the city of Morgan Hill
Dear Editor,
Ms. Driscoll’s letter to the Times on a compromise solution to the Southeast Quadrant farmland is a misrepresentation of facts where facts can be found. It is a rambling letter of picturesque words and non-contiguous thoughts to paint a blissful image that in my opinion is more like Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”
First, let’s be clear that Ms. Driscoll has a financial interest in the city’s annexation of farm land in the SEQ, and has stated in her letter that such development would be “lucrative” for her and her family similar to their holdings in Watsonville. But such development would not be lucrative for the residents of Morgan Hill. There are no facts to substantiate revenue projections neither are they necessary nor can be it justified because a city zones and annexes on the basis of growth and other needs. Her suggestion as I understand it is to buy and/or receive development zoning via annexation on a promise of revenue and according to her that becomes a “compromise.” If that was the process then we would be selling zoning to the highest bidder. Oh my.
Ms. Driscoll states that these lands are barren and not “viable.” This is blatantly false. The city’s recent Dec. 2012 Mitigation AG report states that Morgan Hill farms currently and in the future are viable. In fact, prices for farm produce and AG lands have never been higher and rising, see University of Purdue http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag/progevents/LandValuesWebinar/Farmland_Values_Current_Future_Prospects.pdf. They are not “barren” as falsely stated. I have hundreds of current pictures throughout the SEQ that are available to Ms. Driscoll of active farmers, labors, equipment, packing houses, etc. Orchard crops are few but rich, lush, green and productive row and covered crops have replaced them. The SEQ is actively farmed period.
Let us again be clear. These lands are in the county of Santa Clara. They are not within Morgan Hill’s city limits. Ms. Driscoll seeks annexation to and from the city because county policies would prevent their development. I see no obligation from the city and its residents to incur debt and costs so that a single landowner or group can profit. This is unfair to the community which is already suffering with cutbacks in services and cannot maintain its current infrastructure let alone adding more costly obligations.
There is no need to annex of 1,200 acres of county land because the city has 3,000 vacant and undeveloped acres within its current limits. Growth should occur within the current infrastructure of sewer, water, lights, pumps, streets, etc., and only after we have maximized those resources could we even justify and consider other opportunities.
If we allow this project, why shouldn’t we annex land to the city’s southwest where similar ag land exists and policies apply or to the north where the circumstances are the same? Why shouldn’t every farmer at any border point claim the same as those in the SEQ and receive financial assistance as already given to the SEQ landowners on the same premise of Ms. Driscoll’s compromise? And as we do this why shouldn’t we just go ahead and annex all of unincorporated San Martin because those lands fall within the same criteria as well, but why stop there? (Please don’t tell San Martin that they are on the list!).
I have no objection to what Ms. Driscoll wants to do with her land. She has rights and I would defend those rights, but her issues are with the county not this city and we should not be held responsible, be obligated or assist non-residents to lucratively profit at the expense of residents. It is not fair and it is not right. Her letter is one of financial self-interest and greed. It is part of an extraordinary effort to manipulate public opinion and public policy for her benefit and hers alone. This must stop – and as she states in her letter it must stop for “today, tomorrow and the future.” Good grief everyone.
 
Mark Grzan, Morgan Hill
Paul Colin embodies the qualities that are essential in a judge
Dear Editor,
I am retiring after serving 22 years as a Superior Court Judge, Seat No. 5 in Santa Clara County. When making the decision to retire, I carefully considered who the best choice was to succeed me and only one name rose to the top: Paul Colin. Paul is a Deputy District Attorney who had a successful business career – mainly in high tech – before deciding to go into public service as a criminal prosecutor. Thousands of attorneys have come through my courtroom over the years and Paul’s integrity, honesty and ethical conduct have always stood out to me and other judges. He has dedicated his career to helping the most vulnerable members of society by handling cases of sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse and fraud.
Paul Colin naturally embodies the qualities that are essential in a judge: experience, ethics, intelligence and honesty. There is a strong consensus in the law enforcement and legal community that Paul is the best choice for Superior Court Judge. Forty-five judges, Sheriff Laurie Smith, law enforcement associations of Santa Clara County, San Jose, Mountain View, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los
Gatos, Gilroy, and Morgan Hill all support Paul Colin. On June 5t vote for Deputy District Attorney Paul Colin for Judge.
Jerome Brock, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge, 22 years

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