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Post 2018 Alpine Election Thoughts – By Mary Harris

Food For Thought: Alpine Elections 2018

Running for a seat on the Alpine Community Planning Group taught me a lot. It was like a crash course on local politics.  I’ve been attending the group for over three years and I can tell you this:  if you have views that are not a carbon copy of the group majority, don’t expect to be warmly welcomed.  When I was campaigning, lies sprouted up like weeds from long term group members, and their friends, on Alpine’s social media sites. Some made little sense. One individual said that I had called Cal Trans and asked them to remove a church banner. This had nothing to do with the election. It was coming from a person grasping at straws, looking to put me in a bad light.

One Alpine woman, who works for Channel 10 News, posted a three year old video (edited) that she made of me and my puppy, walking on Christmas Eve. She was angry that my puppy was off leash in an area where he should have been leashed. I was startled by her abrasiveness. She came at me like a bully, demanding that I tell her my name and where I was from. I was ready to get home after a nice, long walk. I was alone, and, frankly, afraid. Not knowing how to respond to her aggressive demands, I gave her a false name, hoping she would go on her way. Before they left, she gave me this sarcastic greeting, “Merry ****ing Christmas! In all fairness, if one intends to publicize moments like this one, they should either notify the public that it has been edited or publish it in its entirety, which she did neither. She claimed that I gave her permission to do this. While I did tell her, “Go ahead”, it was without understanding her intent. As it turns out, she is friends with planning group members who had their own reasons to discredit me. When she found out I was running for the ACPG, she used the video to make me look bad, saying I was irresponsible, and a liar. Really? Many people were allowing their dogs off leash in that area, and it just emphasized to me how much Alpine needed a dog park. And who has not given a fake name to throw a bully off their trail? None of the good things that I have accomplished were taken into account, and indeed, not many are known by that group. When they want what they want, this is how they go about getting it.

Ironically, it was this meeting along with my discovery of Back Country Land Trust authorizing the use of Roundup at Wrights Field, on the very kind of plants that dogs like to eat, Wild Oats, that brought me to the ACPG in the first place, which was to advocate for a dog park in Alpine. I found out that the planning group had not been able to get a community park here, even after trying for twenty plus years. My efforts then went towards advocating for a community park, with the intent of having a dog park located within the park once it was established.

No one who attacked my character actually knows me. All of this nonsense was just to try to alter the outcome of the election. If someone like me, who is minimal competition, is gone after in such a fashion, imagine what lengths would be gone to in order to affect the chances of one who is significantly greater competition. The only thing I can say is: shame on these manipulators, whose intent is to destroy the names of good people, attempting to discredit them. I hope that the people of Alpine will ‘consider the source’.  As I’ve said, I have learned a lot.

Mary Harris



9 comments to Post 2018 Alpine Election Thoughts – By Mary Harris

  • George Barnett

    I presume the Barbara above giving me Pinocchio’s is Ms. Barbara Murray. I frequently see Ms. Murray at Planning Group meetings. In the course of two years she has never asked my anything about Wrights Field – nothing. I’m happy to address any question Ms. Murray has whatsoever; anytime. I would think that direct inter-personal communication is a better source of information than relying on apparently 3rd party innuendo before passing-out Pinocchio’s?

  • George Barnett

    I and Alpine Community Planning Group chairperson, Travis Lyon, did escort Ms. Harris to Wrights Field; and in Mr. Lyon’s vehicle. We also showed Ms. Harris the 15 acres of a potential private donation for an Alpine park at the south end of Olivewood Lane. Ironically, that property owner arrived and got out of his vehicle to talk to us. We were also accompanied by a reporter from the Union-Tribune.

  • Barbara

    There is a newspaper that give out “Pinocchio’s” for what they consider less than truthful statements. I feel that I have to give Mr. Barnett at leas 2 of them. #1: He state that herbicides are used and clearly posted. I seem to remember several years ago that the Back Country Land Trust would stop using Roundup as weed abatement since it was discovered that use of this particular product can cause Non Hodgens Lymphoma in humans not to mention what it may do to animals. #2 I also remember that they would clearly post where they used it which makes me think that it was not posted as Mr. Barnett stated. Lastly, #3 I would give Mr Barnett a Pinocchio for stating that he “personally” escorted Ms.Harris to Wrights Field, I know Mary personally and she wouldn’t let Mr. Barnett escort anywhere with an 11′ pole as a 10′ pole would be too short. Who knows may Mr, Barnett will be like Pinocchio and become a “real boy” soon.

  • Deanna Cueto

    😁 Reading the comments above George Barnett is saying that he took Mrs.Harris to Wright’s Fields but honestly I don’t know who to believe unless there’s proof otherwise this is just a he said, she said kind of a thing. These are not valid comments.

  • Mary Harris

    A lot of what Mr.Barnett says has merit. However, I do want to point out that in his last paragraph where he says that he personally escorted me to Wrights Field, that is not true. Mr. Barnett has not personally escorted me anywhere. We do not have a relationship that would entitle him to do so.

  • George Barnett

    For the record, 7 seats were open for the Alpine Community Planning Group in the 2018 November election.

    3 existing members were re-elected. 1 was not.

    3 new members were elected.

    1 former appointed member (appointed by the county, not previously elected) was elected.

    Ms. Harris ran last in the field of 8 candidates with 6.5% of the popular vote.

    The majority of those elected – 4 of 7 or nearly 60% – were new (or previously un-elected but appointed) candidates.

  • On occasion, the Back Country Land Trust employs licensed professionals when an herbicide is used. When an herbicide is used, the application area is demarcated with temporary fencing and posted. The use, application and postings are regulated and licensed by the state and the county.

    Herbicides are used when the mechanical/hand removal of invasive weeds may be damaging to the habitat of a protected plant species that BCLT is trying to nourish – such as the exceedingly rare San Diego Thornmint (for which Wright’s Field is one of the few remaining habitats anywhere for this unique and protected species). Herbicides are not used on wild oats.

    The potential for use of herbicides is also permanently posted at the entrances to the field. Visitors, the general public using the field, and their pets and horses are fully protected when the people and owners abide by the rules of staying on marked trails and having dogs leashed. The leashing of dogs is a state law and a county ordinance.

    Everybody’s dogs may be perfect, disciplined pets at home. Outside of the home, unleashed, in a different and unfamiliar environment, in the presence of strangers, loud and running children, and near horses, unleashed dogs are a potential problem.

    Wright’s Field is private-owned land. The public is more than welcome to visit; to use the land appropriately. We just ask that sensible rules that protect the land and the users and their pets be observed.

    Following complaints by Ms. Harris and about Ms. Harris’ unleashed dog, I personally escorted Ms. Harris to Wright’s Field probably more than two years ago; pointing-out all of the above. I invited Ms. Harris to continue to use the land at any time; just please respect our property and please follow our rules and guidelines. That invitation is still open.

    George Barnett, Vice President
    Back Country Land Trust

  • Hayley

    I voted for you Mary. You seemed like one of the few people who was not a developer and had the interest of the people of Alpine. I hope more people like you run and that Alpine will provide better information on the people running.. there was almost nothing available in the voter pamphlets or online.

  • Mary H

    Subscribing to comment thread

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