VanderKolk's Clean Image

The squeaky-clean image that County Supervisor Maria VanderKolk has projected during her first year in office, largely the result of doing nothing, has collapsed under the disclosure that her campaign promises were pure deception.

VanderKolk, sweetheart of the radical environmental faction, who ran on a single-point platform of environmental and anti-development issues, has been exposed as the willing recipient of developer contributions--the very developers she vehemently criticized during her campaign.

With the statement that these developers' contributions are "no big deal," VanderKolk is snared in her campaign promise that "to maintain clear vision and independence, I will accept no developer contributions."

It would appear that VanderKolk, once in office, hung a price tag on her principles.

Caught with her hand in the cookie jar, her embarrassed attempts to explain her actions leave little doubt that VanderKolk has formed new alliances.

It's interesting to review the pre-election campaign that brought VanderKolk into office by less than a 1% edge over incumbent Supervisor Madge L. Schaefer.

Political veteran Schaefer, who had a realistic approach to conditional development, was vilified by a "death to developers" march of uncompromising environmentalists, led by this same Maria VanderKolk.

While you may enjoy the phony flattery and tribute from the development industry for the moment, Maria, I hope your betrayal of those who believed your promises will be remembered forever.

ELAINE AUSTIN, Newbury Park

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