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El Morro residents not squatters, never were In an...

May 18, 2005

El Morro residents not squatters, never were

In an article concerning the proposed audit of the construction

project involving Crystal Cove cottages, former Assemblyman Gil

Ferguson was quoted, wherein he irresponsibly -- if not slanderously

-- called the residents of El Morro Village "squatters."

While Ferguson is not the first to do so, I would expect more from

a former elected public official.

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While I used to believe that the people sent to Sacramento were

somewhat intelligent and grasped the meaning of simple terms, such as

what it means to be a squatter, I now have my doubts, at least with

respect to the former assemblyman.

As a longtime and full-time resident of El Morro Village, I can

state that I -- along with the other members of the community -- am

not and have never been a squatter.

The rent for my lease space has been determined by the state of

California, pursuant to two separate leases for the past 25 years. I

have paid this rental rate as set by the state for the past 25 years

and several months. As such, I am not a squatter.

While the taxpayers and Ferguson can debate whether or not the

rent is up to market value, I did not set the rent or even negotiate

it -- the state of California did so unilaterally.

Ferguson appears to have had a longstanding dislike for my

community and the rent, but why didn't he do something about it

during his long tenure in the Assembly, during the time that he was

serving the taxpayers?

RAYMOND E. ACOSTA

Laguna Beach

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