You are a real estate man and, of course, you recognize the gain to property when millions of dollars worth of development are done right nearby. It’s my opinion, as I stated, there is a possible conflict of interest when the chairman of a private company, Idyllwild Community Recreation Council (ICRC), owns property right near to a development they are seeking with a mixture of public and private money. For three years, Mr. Simpson has pushed for a multi-million dollar “world-class” indoor pool and gym auditorium complex at the back door to his property.

It’s easy to go on the attack, and not deal with the reasonable facts. Personal attack is the usual tactic of those trying to hide something. Who else, Mr. Capparelli, owns parcels nearby and will reap the obvious financial benefits from a multi-million dollar development?

I’m for a community center, I’m for greater facilities. But why wait three, four, five or more years, after waiting three years already? There are so many vacant spaces all over town. Why tear down the large grove of giant trees adjoining Strawberry Creek, right on the main highway and the main entrance to town?

Can we think about our children and future generations, for once? Will they look at us and say, “There were campuses nearby you could of rented, there were foreclosed properties you could of bought for almost nothing. The seniors, the teens, the children could have been using them already, three years ago. Why did you destroy Strawberry Creek and the entrance to town with new real estate development? That is being selfish.”

Mr. Capparelli is now talking about a brand new organization (another private one). We’ve lost trust in ICRC to guide us into the promised land of a community center, so the switch is on. You’re over here now, and so is at least one board member from ICRC. Are you, Mr. Capparelli, going to resign from being the chairman of the ICRC steering committee (boy, do they need help in steering), to lead us on? Please Mr. Capparelli, let’s communicate, let’s deal with the very important issues facing our community. Mr. Simpson was a public figure, and has just retired as public chairman of ICRC, after serving on the board for three years.

All contracts with ICRC were terminated by the county, not me. Strong doubts, strong charges and strong allegations have been raised, not by me, but by Supervisor Jeff Stone, by the County’s Economic Development Agency, by CSA 36 local board members and by our newspapers. Why not answer some of their statements? Why are you attacking me? Smokescreens in time dissipate. Who else still owns parcels right around the development that will reap obvious financial gain? Let’s question, let’s discuss, and let’s stick with the facts.

Norm Cassen
Pine Cove

P.S.: It’s silly and a waste to drag me into a discussion about “strip malls,” your statements must be accurate. There are weightier matters to discuss. Town Hall, after being run by locals for the last 50 years, was taken over by the county, and away from ICRC’s management. Why not discuss why, and who is responsible? Saying we are a new group with a new name with a new property to build a new community center sounds great. But what about the old problems? Face them, discuss them and take responsibility.