Good afternoon, Councilman Bourne:

I’m aware that you’ve called me and left messages regarding the possibility of us speaking. I’ve deliberately chosen not to respond as I no longer trust this current council — I hope my feelings will change in the future. I doubt very much that this council would listen to me or take my concerns seriously. It appears this current council is mainly concerned with their own individual personal agendas/dealings. In fact, our last several councils have not impressed me.

I am a direct descendant of the ancient pre-Mission San Juan Capistrano villages of Putuidem and Sagavit. My 6x great-grandmother, Zodut, was from the village of Sagavit. She became part of the village of Putuidem when she married my 6x great-grandfather, Zoget. Their daughter and my 5x great-grandmother, Maria Bernarda Chigilia, was 14 years old and witnessed the 1776 establishment of Mission San Juan Capistrano. She was later removed from our ancient village and “relocated” to the newly established boundaries of the Mission. Her life forcibly changed and would never be the same. I also descend from the Early Californio Rancho Yorba and Rios Families — my provided information is well documented. Please be aware that my history and love of San Juan Capistrano runs very deep in me — it’s not just a bunch of words!

I grew up in a much simpler and very peaceful San Juan Capistrano. There was open land/fields everywhere, hundreds of Swallows in the Mission and town, flourishing farms, large ranches, miles of citrus and fruit groves, running creeks with fresh water on both sides of town, barely a car on our roads, 2 churches, 2 schools, a community that treated each other with much dignity and respect and times when deals were sealed with an honorable handshake! I’ve witnessed much of that change and decline with so-called “progress” — some good and some negative!

There is much going on in this community/leadership that needs respectful conversation and attentive listening. Leadership of this unique community needs to be aware of our very rich history and not be so hell-bent on ripping apart our sacred lands. Yes, I consider this land of my ancestors to be sacred — lands that completely deserve the utmost respect! Leadership needs to give careful consideration to any/all future proposed developments to make sure they will blend/marry well into the deep historical fabric of this town. Right now I see so much of our history being ignored, forgotten with attempts to completely wipe away and remove our past. The city once again needs to start “PRESERVING OUR PAST TO ENHANCE OUR FUTURE. This Motto came from the very honorable city council individuals from long ago — they truly lived out this Motto. I also wonder about what is possibly going on with a couple of our city leadership individuals?? I’ve read, as many have, some disturbing information.

I appreciate the few developers who have approached me so they can learn about the historical makeup of SJC lands where possible future development is being considered. They have appeared sincere and I have appreciated talking with/educating them about our history. As long as I have breath in me I will stand in conflict with any so-called progress that in any way conflicts with the unique character, historical integrity and make-up of this town — I’m not afraid to speak my mind!

I will stop now as I have gone on long enough — could actually say a lot more though! Finally, “I am San Juan Capistrano’s history and San Juan Capistrano’s history is me” — that definitely will not change. I will continue to hope for a better future for San Juan Capistrano — I/we all deserve that!

Jerry Nieblas