The apologists for City Hall policies and programs in general and its misbegot Civic Center Specific Plan, which is a perfect representation of how good intentions go awry, in particular, have been in full flower in these pages recently (see Darrell Clarke’s letter in last week’s Mirror and Jay Johnson’s letter this week).
Both men are members of the Santa Monica Planning
Commission and both men allege that the Civic Center Plan should be approved because so many people worked on it for so long (think camel), even though they admit that it remains unfinished and in need of changes.
We have been down this road before, approving
projects that are deeply flawed and of dubious
value simply because they’ve been on the City Hall agenda a long time and some City Council members have plumped for them and/or had a major role in their development.
Proofs abound that this approach only ends badly. Consider the $1 million bunkers on the west end of the Santa Monica Pier, the $15 million Transit Mall – we still don’t what it is, but we’ve got it, the recently approved $80 million enlargement of the Big Blue bus yards in the middle of downtown Santa Monica, and so on.
The Civic Center Specific Plan is going forward not because we need it or want it and not because it’s well-done, but because Clarke and Johnson and the other apologists would rather demean the townscape than offend anyone in City Hall.With profound apologies to T.S. Eliot, this the way good towns go wrong…not with a bang, but with a gang of wimps.