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Digging for what? A genie

Posted: August 5, 2010 4:52 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Joe Messina’s website states: “Let the digging begin.” They must be digging for a genie that can help wish all the problems with Larry Rasmussen’s Romero Canyon school site to go away.

This site has many well known and documented flaws, none of which the Lund engineers or the William S. Hart Union High School District board seemed to think were fatal. Before everyone gets too excited about the Rasmussen site, we need to address the fatal flaws that Wendy Wiles, the district’s attorney, mentioned on July 15, moments before the board members voted in favor of this site.

Rasmussen has been promoting his site from the beginning, saying it is not encumbered in any way. As we heard from Wiles, that is not true.

To quote Wiles: “Presently, Mr. Lombardi holds easement rights on the Romero Canyon site. Any construction by the district on the Romero Canyon site would necessitate agreement by Mr. Lombardi.”

Gene Lombardi is not the only problem for Rasmussen. Wiles said there are slope and road easements for access to Valley Creek Road, and that Rasmussen must also acquire secondary access rights from many property owners down Romero Canyon Road.

Are these easements “fatal flaws?” If the deed restriction on the Sterling school site was a fatal flaw, these easement issues are even a greater fatal flaw. They cannot be moved or removed without an enormous amount of time, money and litigation.

I found it surprising and shocking that after Wiles informed the Hart district board of these easement issues, they immediately proceeded to vote 5-0 in favor of this site. More shocking, they want to spend our tax dollars on feasibility drillings before they make Rasmussen demonstrate he can resolve the easement issues that encumber his property.

Is there anyone out there who can help me understand this school-site selection process?


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