Letter To Supervisor Ridley-Thomas

Dear County Supervisor Ridley-Thomas –

My name is Scott deBeaubien, and I grew up here in Los Angeles. I didn’t spend all my life here, but I’ve recently moved back after living 20 years in other cities (Seattle and Denver). I left as a “Man of the world” and come back as a born again believer in Jesus Christ. I don’t know your status as a believer, but that’s not what I need to talk to you about today.

I just read an article in the Los Angeles Times from 2012 about the closing of “El Fig” Stables on Figueroa and El Segundo Blvd. Here is the article link:


I read that you were prominently involved in the closing of this “Historic” stables and so I needed to talk to you about it. Many years ago, about 30 I believe, I was just a newly reborn person so-to-speak. I had recently been through a drug and alcohol treatment program and I was less than a year clean and sober when I went to work for a horse doctor named Larry Kelly. His practice was in Lomita and Rolling Hills primarily, but we went to “El Fig” on occasion. I have to admit the first time I went there all I saw was the filth, and the decrepit conditions, and the horses that somehow “Survived” amid all that seeming squalor.

But then, the “Doc” changed my vision of that place with a simple statement. He told me: “That’s their Ponderosa Ranch. It’s all they have.” My head did a spin, and I realized he had given me the key to unlock the beauty of that place. You would call that a “Paradigm shift.” That place was an island of hope in the mass of inner city garbage around it. In the neighborhoods around there, even 30 years ago, there were gangs and drugs and prostitution and filth and violence that most folks shudder to think about.

And you must realize that even at that time, El Fig had been there for about 100 years, so there was this “Historic” place where inner city “Cowboys” and “Vaqueros” were born, and where they hung out and had their dreams and had their escape from the reality of the harsh world around them. You see, what Doc did for me was he opened my eyes to see the reality of that place, to look past what our normal eyes would see as poverty, and disease and filth and squalid conditions, when I looked past all that I saw hope.

And Mr. Supervisor, you killed that hope. You helped kill the dream for many young people.

Why did you do that? Why didn’t you see? Those were your people! They looked up to you for help and assistance! You could have turned it around by investing in that place, helping to clean it up and solve the problems, rather than simply saying “We need to burn this place down and put up condominiums” or a strip mall, or a liquor store, whatever it was that got built there. It’s probably still empty today, two years later.

And I am very sad for you. You missed a great opportunity to serve your community. Instead, you chose the wide road of corruption and “Politics.”

I am praying for you even now that your eyes will be opened to what you missed. I cried when Doc Kelly told me what he said to me that day. It changed my heart. I pray the Lord changes your heart today too.

I pray blessings on you and your family today too.


-Scott deBeaubien

p.s. If you’re ever in the South Bay on a Sunday (or a Friday or Saturday night), please come by and join us for worship at Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach. We love to have sinners like you come and join us. I’m kidding, we’re all sinners. Jesus is in the heart changing business is all I’m really saying. My firm belief is that it’s never too late for any of us. He changes our hearts, and beautiful things start to happen.



2 thoughts on “Letter To Supervisor Ridley-Thomas

  1. Response from Councilman Ridley-Thomas’s office:

    Thank you for your email and sharing your concerns with our office. Unfortunately, the Fig Horse Stables were closed due to significant concerns for the health and safety of the animals and people that spent time there. As you may have heard, two horses and a goat perished in a fire on the premise, and the site had been previously sited for numerous safety violations. Our office could not stand idly by once we were aware that the the condition of the facility was putting people and animals in harms way. (For more information please see http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/index.php/health-and-safety-at-athens-stables/)

    However, our office remains committed to reestablishing equestrian facilities in the area, and are working actively with the Department of Parks and Recreation to identify feasible sites in the community.

    Prompted by the challenges of the Fig Stables, the Department of Regional Planning has also developed design standards for urban equestrian facilities in the area so that future stables can be established in a manner that promotes safety and health of the animals while preserving the important use. (Please see http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/index.php/new-standards-for-horse-stables-in-west-rancho-dominguez/ for more details).

    • *Ugh!* Typical politician’s reply. “We’re saving people and animals from bad people. We’re saving the world!” One goat and a couple horses perished in the fire they had there. Most of those horses were only worth whatever the going rate for dog food is. Goodness. We’re gonna spend $Millions$ to build a new facility, just like Griffith Park (probably) and it will be “State of the art” for those poor people down there, and nobody will be able to afford to board their horses there so we’ll subsidize the whole thing at ENORMOUS cost to the tax-payers.

      Sounds just like the Councilman I heard on the radio last year who said “We have a problem in LA County with pot-holes. So, we’re gonna form a committee on pot-holes and float a bond-issue to raise the $3Billion estimated to fix all those pot-holes.” I laughed out loud when I heard that, the poor radio announcer asked the guy, as tactfully as he could, “Do you really think it’s going to cost that much to fix some pot-holes?” These people… I tell you. They make me laugh, but they’re actually very sad. They’re so puffed up with their own importance, they think they have the right to deprive folks of their money in order to justify their own existence. The whole lot of them should have been voted out of office long ago. Like the guy who was LA County’s long serving Councilman, Kenneth Hahn, he was around for decades, formed a dynasty I’m sure, was well connected with all the greasers (those who use money to grease the skids of City Hall). His daughter was so well connected still that she bought the election to become a congress person a couple years back.

      CA politics. Just garbage, that’s all we get.

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