Read John Ryan's response to this letter:
To the editor:
served the community of Santee for 20 years as a member of the . First elected in 1990, Hal Ryan completed five terms in office until leaving in 2010. Having served the community for that many years, one would think that he cares a great deal about this fine city. One would never suspect that Hal Ryan was a supporter of the Quail Brush Power Plant.
Yet the signs point to the fact that he actually does support the power plant, and has a deal with Cogentrix to provide parking during construction.
In doing some research on the project, I came across a report with a map included in it. This is the link to that report. (Also attached as a PDF.)
If you scroll down to page four you will see a map labeled "FIGURE A Construction Traffic Distribution - Employee Traffic." On that map I noticed that an offsite crew parking lot was noted on Mission Gorge Road. I was curious where that was, so I continued to see what information I could find.
I then came across another report with a detailed project description for the Quail Brush Power Plant. This is the link to that report. (Also attached as a PDF)
If you use the arrow buttons and click to page 21 you will note at the very top of the page it identifies the location of the "temporary construction parking" to be located at 7927 Mission Gorge Road in the City of Santee.
My first thought was if the to draft a resolution stating their , then how in the world was Cogentrix making use of land in the City of Santee for their project?
The next logical move was to "Google" the address. By doing so, I discovered that address was the location for . It was obvious to me that the deal was not being orchestrated by the restaurant. I assumed that it was brokered by the owner of the land. However, I wanted to do my due diligence so my next step was to contact the owner of Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse.
I was told that the ownership of the restaurant had nothing to do with the land use. Ownership was aware something was going on with the construction parking but that it would not interfere with business.
Doing a bit more research led me to find that the land ownership was listed as Davisson Trust, and more importantly, that the executor of the trust is former Santee City Councilman Hal Ryan.
Shock is about the only word I could use to describe the moment I realized that Hal Ryan had agreed to work with Cogentrix. The one-time Vice-Mayor of Santee turned his back on the community that voted him into office on five separate occasions over 20 years. The same man who served on the Mission Trails Regional Task Force now seems not to care if a .
I would like to know just how much money Cogentrix paid the Davisson Trust for the use of their land for this project. I would also like to know what cut of that Hal Ryan gets, or if Cogentrix made a separate payment to Hal Ryan or his company.
The deal also leaves other questions.
Hal Ryan's brother John is one of the CURRENT members of the Santee City Council! Are we to believe that had NO idea what his brother was up to? Are we to believe that Hal Ryan wouldn't have a conversation about this with his brother John since John was now a member of the Santee City Council and certainly Cogentrix and the Power Plant were going to be a hot topic at some point?
When the in opposition of the Quail Brush Project, the Santee Patch quoted Councilman as saying "This is the first time I can recall in 27 years living in Santee that no one can be found that's in favor of a project." Family members excluded, I guess.
Is it possible that John Ryan did NOT know that his brother was a part of this deal with Cogentrix? Did any of the other current City Councilmen know about it?
After all, Hal served on the City Council with three of the four other current members at one point or another so one can assume that he had some sort of relationship with them. The only person that Hal Ryan never served with is . That being said, he obviously knows Rob McNelis well enough that he made a contribution to his campaign in 2010. That's according to this article in the Santee Patch:
So the question is: Did any of them know of this deal that Hal Ryan was involved in with Cogentrix? More importantly, why did a man who served the community for 20 years turn his back on the people of Santee for a payday from Cogentrix?
It appears that Cogentrix is like a computer virus that you know is screwing your computer up but you have to keep digging to find what hidden files the virus has attached itself to. Once we find all the hidden files, perhaps we can get rid of the Cogentrix Virus.