"Perception is Reality"

I moved to Pacifica because it was a sleepy coastal community, which I really enjoy. I always hoped it would stay that way. It shocked me to read in the Pacifica Tribune in May that a Florida developer was going to have a series of Charrettes about the quarry. I could tell right off the bat that Peebles and the people that work for him were going to be using slick, deceptive politics, which don't work here in Pacifica.

Recently a letter sent to voters rightfully outraged Pacificans. In his infamous letter, Miami high-rise developer R. Donahue Peebles threatened to build a Wal-Mart type "big box" development in the quarry if he doesn't get his way on Measure L.

It's an empty threat, his very own weapon of mass destruction.

Measure L is Peebles' attempt to get Pacificans to swallow hard and accept 355 residential units on the Quarry, along with a flood of rush hour traffic! At its core, it's all about huge profits for Peebles.

The "poison pill" letter incident exposed the real Don Peebles. It's not the image of him that's been carefully crafted and packaged by Davies Communications, his high-priced PR firm from Southern California.

Davies' mantra is "Perception is Reality." What that means is that the public can be tricked into accepting illusions and believing that they are real. It's all just a magic act. Here are some examples of Peebles/Davies sleight of hand.

Perception is Reality Hoax #1

At Peebles' planning "charrette," actually a charade, Pacificans were shown a plan and conceptual drawing. None of that is real and none is on the ballot. The public was told that the final plan would reflect Pacificans' ideas. It did not. The plan was clearly predetermined before the charrette process began. They did not listen to the people. In fact, most Pacificans did not receive mailed notice of the charrette until the meetings were almost finished.

Perception if Reality Hoax #2

Peebles and his supporters are very busy trying to convince voters that Measure L is only the start of the planning process. In other words, the "perception" is that, if we simply "trust" the developer, then all problems will be worked out magically. That is Peebles' lame excuse for not producing a finished plan for the ballot. That means a plan that has been thoroughly examined in an Environmental Impact Report, and backed by a signed Development Agreement with the city.

Perception is Reality Hoax #3

Peebles and his supporters are desperately trying to convince Pacificans that "something will be built anyway." This is where Peebles' big box threat comes into play. The "perception" is that we had better accept a bad proposal in hopes of avoiding something far worse. Not so fast, Mr. Peebles. The "reality" is that Pacificans have already rejected two previous proposals, including Trammell Crow's 315-unit project. Nothing has gotten past the voters. I'm sorry, but I don't like being threatened by Mr. Peebles, and I don't believe the threats.

Perception is Reality Hoax #4

This one is wild. Peebles' supporters are trying to sell the "perception" that since rush hour traffic is already bad and will worsen with the Devil's Slide Tunnel, and then we might as well accept more traffic from 355 units on the Quarry. Talk about convoluted logic.

Perception is Reality Hoax #5

Many Pacificans are getting calls from Peebles' telemarketers asking whether they are willing to be a part of "The Community Vision" for the Quarry. It's not a "community vision." It's Peebles' vision, but the telemarketers would like to sell the "perception" that each Pacifican can be a part of some widely accepted community vision. From the charade on down to this postcards, threatening letters, expensive brochures to his telemarketing calls, Peebles has not convinced me to think of him, or the people hired to work for him, as truthful or honest or representing the best interest of Pacifica.

Perceptions as Reality, threats and deceit don't work for me. I will definitely vote No on Measure L. Also, since knowledge is power, please visit the No on L booth at the Fog Fest and check out PacificaQuarry.org.

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