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Highly decorated Army veteran will be feted by City Council March 14

council meeting

The City Council on Tuesday, March 14 will recognize a World War II veteran whose contributions to our country have led to a prestigious honor by the French Consulate.

The business portion of the Council meeting starts at 6 pm in the Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center.   

The contributions to our nation by 97-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant William Simonoff read like a book. In 1945, he was a tank driver for the 3rd Tank Battalion of General Patton’s 10th Armored Division in Le Havre, France. He later became tank commander and participated in the battles of Metz, Thionville, Nancy, Strasbourg and the Battle of the Bulge. His campaigns included Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. His bravery and actions during the war led to a Bronze Star Medal, the EAME Campaign Medal with three battle stars, Presidential Unit Citation, and the World War II Victory Medal.  In addition to the City Council recognition on Tuesday, Sergeant Simonoff, a longtime area resident, will be honored with the “Medal of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur" at the French Consulate.  

Along with the recognition, City Council members will consider an Oso Creek Water Reclamation Plant Facility Cost-Sharing Agreement between the City of Mission Viejo and Santa Margarita Water District for the construction of the Corp Yard Administration/Storage Building. Assistant City Manager Keith Rattay spoke about plans for the Santa Margarita Water District’s Oso Creek Water Treatment Plant and City Administrative/Storage Building in January.  The former water treatment plant was one of the original plants in Orange County, and the new plant will treat a higher capacity of water more efficiently with a smaller footprint. The agreement will cover the construction of the new Corp Yard Administration/Storage building for the City.  

Residents are encouraged to attend City Council meetings, which are also streamed live on the City’s website and air on Cox Channel 30 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. Sign up for the City's eNewsletter and follow the City's official social media sites for the most accurate, up-to-date information.     


Submitted by Cathy Schlicht on Mon, 03/13/2023 - 10:35 am


My goodness. The press releases on the council meetings are devoid of information that I believe the public should be made aware of, has a right to know or might be interested in knowing.

In the January 24, 2023 opening comments made by Assistant City Manager Keith Rattay, when the public was first made aware that our tax dollars are going to support the SMWD infrastructure improvements were: This is purely a presentation and we are not particularly looking for any input.

In other words, we the staff are in control and do not bother us with your petty concerns.

A least two questions come to mind:

1. When did the Council authorize staff to negotiate the transfer of our tax dollars to another governmental agency?

2. Has staff created a comparison on how a 30 lease agreement stacks up against a $12 million contribution?

As an El Toro Water District ratepayer, I have big qualms about financially supporting the infrastructure for another water district. Several years ago the council was looking into the SMWD rate hikes. Is this the outcome? To protect against future rate hikes, using our tax dollars?

These improvements are part of the ever changing Civic Core Vision Plan.

Adding in the $12 million purchase of the Stein Mart building, that will be $24 million and the benefits to the taxpayers are what, besides pop up activities in the parking lot?

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a request by Mayor Brian Goodell, asking the council to authorize an estimated $8,000 expenditure of our taxpayer dollars to send him and a consultant to Australia to represent our City at the Oceania National Olympic Committee’s General Assembly.

The purpose: the use of our facilities to train athletes for the 2028 Olympics.

Benefits for taxpayers? Well, Brian gets a free trip to re-live his glory days as an Olympian.

In 2017, the City formed an Olympic committee that Brian has chaired, and there is not a single agenda, report or Minutes publicly posted. Again, more evidence of taxpayer funded personal agendas without public participation or oversight.

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