Santa Monica Transparency Project Comments on Dec. 6, 2016 City Council Agenda item 13C, NMS:
In light of the recent Los Angeles Superior Court rulings on NMS and it’s founder Neil Shekhter finding massive fraud, forgery, perjury and destruction of evidence, the Transparency project would like to bring to the Council’s and public’s attention NMS’s political contributions in Santa Monica elections and comment on 13-C.
NMS and its subsidiary LLC’s been major contributors to recent Santa Monica elections. They appear to have the most existing and pending projects in our City of any developer.
Beginning in 2010 NMS wrote checks totaling $20,000 to the Slate Mailer PAC, Santa Monicans for Quality Governance. NMS specifically earmarked $10,000 in support of Terry O’Day with another $10,000 in support of Bob Holbrook. Gleam Davis and Pam O’Connor each contributed $2,000 from their own re election committees to be included in the slate mailers. Some of the slate mailers were deceptively similar to legitimate mailers by Police, Fire, Democratic Club and City sanctioned neighborhood associations.
In 2012 the PAC, Santa Monicans for a Responsible Future (SMURF), received $100,000, 20% of it’s funding from NMS. SMURF spent $117, 685 in support of Gleam Davis, $102,862 for Terry O’Day, $79,556 for Ted Winterer and $105,960 Shari Davis for City Council. All but Shari Davis were elected.
The 2014 election focused on the airport and affordable housing ballot initiatives. Although, NMS says they are an affordable housing provider, no political contributions were recorded for funding the affordable housing ballot measure.
The most recent 2016 developer PAC, No on LV – Housing Opportunity for a Modern Economy sponsored by Santa Monica Housing Providers (HOME) was funded 73% by NMS with $365,000 of approximately $500,000 given by NMS and its many LLCs. Measure LV, which received almost 45% voter approval, would have required NMS’ pending projects to go before voters for approval. This would have brought NMS and its activities sharply to the public’s attention.
NMS has at least 18 projects totaling almost 1375 apartments pending approval by the Planning Commission and City Council with one 60 unit project on Santa Monica Blvd. already approved by City Staff administratively. 13 pending projects comprising 981 apartments are located downtown along 5th, 6th, , 7th and Lincoln.
Existing projects: We urge council to carefully review all existing projects owned or managed by NMS for full compliance with Santa Monica zoning, all rules, laws and other obligations, environmental reviews, required fees and financial obligations, traffic management plans, and Development Reviews and Development Agreements.
Residents have been told that some of NMS buildings have already been sold. We urge the City Council in any research and action on NMS, to verify the sold buildings are not held by any entity related to NMS or its principals or officers.
This review must include the active participation of independent, outside forensic experts. Experienced forensic experts only discovered the misconduct found by the Court through a full search.
Pending projects: The City should end all negotiations with NMS and related entitles on all pending projects. Santa Monica should not be doing business with companies and people found to have committed these horrible, dishonest acts.
Santa Monica Transparency Project,
Mary Marlow, Chair