On the Nov. 8 ballot, Measure R should command the attention of thousands of voters in the Saddleback Valley. It'll be the first time that the citizens can decide if they wish to remain as part of a small unit or become part of a larger city.
The citizenry of Leisure World, for many reasons, did not want to be part of this city because they did not want to subject themselves to the responsibilities and liabilities that are created by becoming a municipality. The nature of that community is now essentially self-contained, and it generally does not need municipal interaction.
But some citizens of the other communities of Laguna Hills, El Toro, Portola Hills, Aegean Hills, North Laguna, Lake Forest, Laguna Terrace, Serrano Highlands and some other smaller areas in the valley decided that it was in their interest to look into municipal incorporation to ensure that tax dollars earned in the valley were expended and used in the valley for the valley's benefit. So the real issue is whether it is beneficial to be the size presently contemplated or to be smaller.
Textbook writers can debate the size of the ideal city. But no one can deny that the financial proposal presented to the Local Agency Formation Commission was probably the most economically feasible study presented in the state in the last 10 years. However, if the electorate elects council persons who are not long-term thinkers, then any city, big or small, will be in for a rough ride. The margin for error is greater in a larger city.
Logic should dictate, in this day and age, that in order to resolve issues with the big money people, you need the strength of adequate funding to combat their power and attempted control. Therefore, a reasonably populated city of 75,000 is not too large to manage, yet not to small to be powerless in the face of the powerful.
THOMAS M. WHALING