First published in the Oct. 6 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
We feel compelled to respond to Marcus Johanssen’s letter to the editor in which he claims that “our small town has for some time been immune to the rapid decline in the quality of life in California, but no longer.” He cites a school district in decline; constant traffic; loitering, crazed and drugged homeless; and a forced housing element. We’re sorry that Mr. Johanssen’s perception of the quality of life in our community is such that he is planning to move out of California.
We were raised in La Cañada in the 1940s and 1950s and have lived here since then, except for the time spent pursuing our post-secondary education. This has always been the place where we wanted to reside and raise our children, and we are now living here comfortably in retirement. Our perception is that the quality of life has not declined. We take particular exception to his comment about the school district. We have been very supportive of our public schools and local community groups, all of which affect the quality of life. We have not witnessed any decline of our public schools. On the contrary, their ranking remains at the highest levels despite severe budgetary challenges. This is reflected in the increase in our property values and the number of those who want to relocate here.
In a letter from Mr. Johanssen to the editor of the La Cañada Valley Sun that was published on July 30, 2009, he was critical of the tax burden, referencing the parcel tax for the public schools (including possibly another one in the offing), a tax for “water improvements” and the amount that the City Council wanted him to spend on sewers. And yet it is these types of taxes and expenditures that have enabled us to maintain our quality of life.
We hope that Mr. Johanssen finds what he is looking for elsewhere, but we’re not going anywhere.
Neal and Molly Brockmeyer
La Cañada Flintridge