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February 1, 2023

Letters: Development and politics

Not fake news

“Fake news” is the accusatory term used by Phill Laursen in his Oct. 5 Dispatch letter toward Dan Harney supporters. He goes on to say that his candidate, Carol Marques “proved” that Dan Harney had voted in favor of the 721-acre, 4,000-home project north of town.

Does anybody else see the irony? Dan Harney was not on the City Council in December 2015 for this 5-4 vote.

Jeff Martin


Developer banks on candidates?

Susan Mister’s letter on Oct. 5 stated that City Council candidate Carol Marques, who I support, is running on a past issue. She was referring to Measure H, the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). She stated, “There has been no talk from citizens or the council to change it.” She is wrong. There is a landowner and his fellow investors who do want to change it, and they have made large contributions to candidate Dan Harney’s campaign.

In July, I received a phone call from Mayor Roland Velasco asking if I would discuss the UGB with Mr. Gary Gillmor, owner of the bucolic 2,000-acre Lucky Day Ranch located behind the Gilroy Golf Course, spreading north to Day Road. Mr. Gillmor then phoned and told me that he was interested in developing his property in the near future, and he wanted to know what I thought voters would think about this. I explained that 67 percent of the voters spoke loudly and clearly about stopping sprawl into our beautiful open spaces when they passed Measure H in 2016. I was surprised he was contemplating this so soon.

The same Gary Gillmor has contributed $750 to Dan Harney’s campaign. He has also received a large contribution and endorsement from Jeff Martin, the landowner who wanted to develop the infamous 721 acres that are now outside the UGB. Marie Blankley has received the same contributions. Developers have a lot to gain financially and must be hoping to influence candidates to support their future projects.

Gilroy voters, who will you trust to protect the UGB from big development forces? I trust Carol Marques, who worked so hard to help pass Measure H, unlike her opponent, Mr. Harney, who opposed Measure H and has accepted large donations from developers who would want to change it.

Carolyn Tognetti


*The Dispatch confirmed Gillmor contributed $750.00 to Harney’s campaign. Blankley also received a $750 contribution. All FPPC Filings can be found at

This author byline indicates that the post was contributed by a member of the community.

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