Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You Owe Us an Apology, Mr. Fletcher

"I can cut any tree that I want..." - Jacob Fletcher

On Friday and Monday, Fletcher Construction Co. attempted to haul three 90-foot-long oversized trailer modules up a steep, winding 2-lane road that is Deerhorn Valley’s only safe access route for evacuation and medical assistance. This was beyond stupidity; it was callous disregard for the lives and safety of the families who live here.

I can’t begin to understand why proper protocol and safety were not considered. Other companies have placed similar modules in the same location with little or no problem. Other companies have surveyed and prepared the road ahead of time. Evidently that was too much to ask of GJ Fletcher Construction Co.

When I asked Jacob Fletcher why there had been no road preparation, he told me, “We do it as we go along… we don’t have to ask anybody.”

We are fire-survivors out here who lost nearly half our community in the 2007 Harris Fire. We didn’t get the press Rancho Bernardo did. We didn’t get the federal assistance others did, even though we suffered the greatest concentration of homes destroyed by the Harris Fire. We are so very aware that when our primary access route is blocked we can't get out--- and emergency vehicles can't get in.

At times we deal with flooded dips and downed trees. But this company's actions were not an Act of God. The were the actions of a company looking to maximize its profit margin by cutting corners on safety.

Mr. Fletcher dismissively tells those trying to reach home or work to take an unmaintained dirt road as an alternate. The “alternate” he refers to is a single lane dirt road with precipitous dropoffs, gullies, and grades. Something to be avoided, not recommended, especially if you have no information on road conditions.

Certainly he did not risk driving it with his equipment.

When this same company hauled the first two units on Friday night, they knocked down power and phone lines and left one elderly couple without heat, water, or phone. It was finally a neighbor, NOT GJ Fletcher Co, who brought the couple a generator and kept it gassed up for the next 3 days. It wasn’t powerful enough to run the water pump, but it’s keeping their food from spoiling.

That’s the way neighbors do it in Deerhorn Valley. It’s common courtesy. Lessons are free.

Mr. Fletcher owes our community an apology, not an indictment. We are not intimidated by his boastful threats to take away our homes and properties… because we dared take a photograph of him-- and the damage he caused. Nor are we impressed by his crew that gave us one-fingered goodbyes after they dropped off their delivery and high-tailed it out of here.

Mr Fletcher: Have some class.  Apologize.  Then promise this will never happen again.

- Posted by Kim via iPhone

Business signs and oak trees both received the same disrespect.
This unit began its trip down Mother Grundy at 9:30 in the morning.
They completed the 2.5 miles in just under 6 hours. 
You would have thought they could see this coming.
This is the next mud sump.  Will Mr. Fletcher pay for towing?


  1. you do have a valid point/but the load can always be sacrificed over the side in an actual emergency.

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  3. It seems this area has either weak or no public representation in City Hall. You guys lost out on Harris fire compensation, how does this top that? Squatters do almost as well.

  4. In this case, the load could not have been sacrificed "over the side." There was no side TO sacrifice it over! Additionally, two units have made it without significant incident onto Via Laura (the location this unit was going to) with little or no incident, and a third delivered on Via Pamela, also with little or no incident. Certainly none of these units blocked any section of the the roads for any significant period of time! Slowed traffic to be sure (I got stuck behind one of the units twice), but never, ever for as long as these guys managed it!

  5. You might want to read the comments below the East County Magazines article: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/5434 Also the article in the U-T (just moved on to the "Most Popular" list): http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/08/truck-stalls-life-in-the-backcountry/

    As they say... sunshine is the best disinfectant.