May 8, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letters to the Editor:

Maybe it takes almost as much energy to supply a newspaper with a rubber band, as it does to put a high-density polypropylene “plastic bag” around it, folks. Clearly, The Times has decided that enough, fewer papers have to be replaced – whatever the weather – with the bags, to justify the policy, or the Tribco bean-counters made them do it, along with letting Rupert Murdoch have their personal data on Hispace. Basically, it says, Your Paper Is Complete & Untouched by Anyone, including the little dude on the bicycle.

Everyone take a deep breath & say, “If plastic bags are outlawed, only criminals & licensed baby-smotherers will have one; it will be re-used!” On the other hand, if you wore it, you’d really be almost naked, except for the bugs.

R. Brian Hutchings

Santa Monica

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To the Editor,

Ms. Mulvaney has decided to join with developers in perpetuating the falsehood that if RIFT passes, school children will be hurt. Rather than have an honest discussion, the opposition has decided to hide behind our kids, or more like use them as hostages.

The fact is the city’s own analysis of RIFT shows that by 2023, RIFT will have cut commercial development by 40 percent. Since commercial development generates three to four times the amount of traffic as residential, that would be a significant decrease in the amount of future traffic moving around our city.

And what would limiting run-away development cost us? Almost nothing. According to the same city study, Santa Monica would lose $9.2 million – and not until 2023! (Ms. Mulvaney uses the inaccurate figure of $11 million, not subtracting what the city will save in costs from having less development to service.)

Our current annual city budget is $521 million. At current growth, it is projected to be over $1 billion dollars by 2023. RIFT, in the worst case scenario, will cost the city less than one percent of its annual budget.

But don’t believe me. Read the City Attorney’s impartial ballot analysis. The point of such an analysis is to tell voters, impartially, what a proposition would cost the city. The City Attorney offers no findings of a budget impact. None. Why? Because it will be insignificant.

Santa Monica is a relatively rich city with many revenue streams. RIFT is our chance to preserve our city, slow down runaway growth and, in 15 years, will cost us less than one percent of the city budget.

And why a future City Council would take that one percent exclusively out of schools defies logic.

My guess is that in their polling, the opponents of RIFT found that saying developers and their attorneys would make less money if RIFT passed wasn’t a winning argument. And so they’re hiding behind children. Santa Monica deserves better.

Victor Fresco

Co-Chair SMCLC

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Dear Editor:

I am writing to respond to the “LEADing the way” editorial in your August 7th paper. I have tremendous respect for Debbie Mulvaney as a caring member of our community, and major advocate for our public school. However, as a co-author of RIFT, who specific worked on the exemptions, I felt it important to correct numerous factual errors in her editorial. She stated that development by the Boys and Girls Club, the Pico Youth and Family Center, and medical centers that support hospitals, would be impaired by RIFT. Section 2(A), includes the following as excluded from the cap: all child and adult day care facilities, all schools, all places of worship, all hospitals, and all government facilities. Per the plain language of RIFT, there is no limit to development by the Boys and Girls Club, the Pico Youth and Family Center, or any medical building on property owned by UCLA or any other government agency. In addition, she stated that RIFT was developed by a small private group. This assertion is false. RIFT was created by the combined efforts of Friends of Sunset Park, North of Montana Association, Ocean Park Association, Pico Neighborhood Association, Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City, and Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition. The language was than reviewed and endorsed by 10,295 Santa Monica residents, who provided the signatures to put RIFT on the ballot. I agree with Debbie that public schools need more help from the city, but the 1/13th of 1 percent, in increases in city budget, that RIFT will allegedly take away, is not the problem. The cause of the school funding shortage is that public schools are not a priority for the city. Our city has a budget of almost $6,000 per resident. There is plenty of money to share. However, government entities do not like to share with other government entities, and it will probably take a new CEPS initiative to get our city’s public schools the funding that it needs.

Jeff Segal

Santa Monica

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As a member of Santa Monica’s silent minority (homeowner, two working-parent family, property tax payer with two kids at Grant Elementary) it takes a lot to prod me into action. But the recent letters to the editor opposing the RIFT initiative based on potentially “lost” income to the city really pushed my buttons. What will these people claim next, that a vote for RIFT will cause earthquakes, floods, or a plague of locusts? Based on their bizarre logic, if we don’t keep building bigger and higher then the city will soon see massive financial devastation. The last time that I checked, there weren’t that many vacant parcels of land within city limits. Santa Monica is already 100 percent developed. What they, and the City Council, desire is to over-develop the city. More, more and more is not always better and residents want it to stop! I find it truly amazing that city government officials are so out of touch with the will of those that elected them, that the citizens of Santa Monica — those of us who actually live here, pay taxes here and send our children to school here — had to place the RIFT initiative on the ballot to force them to listen to us. The only silver lining in this situation is that this is the last straw. That they have finally motivated citizens like me to take action against their build at any cost agenda.

Steven Brand

Santa Monica

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