March 1, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letter to the Editor: The City Has Been Dealt a Losing Hand

Submitted by Ron Goldman

In response to our article, “Trumped by Our City Council” published in this paper 8/30/2019, in which we compared our councils’ actions to those in Washington, and a pointed response putting spin on items or failing to respond to others altogether, I have the following reply.

“Santa Monica’s commitment for the climate crisis is emulated worldwide” sounds good but it’s only spin and very little, if any, fact.  Spending approximately $142 million including construction and financing for a 50,000 sq ft city hall annex won’t be recaptured in energy savings for 5 or 6 decades or more.  Meanwhile, wouldn’t the city be much further ahead with a $50 million investment, creating an energy efficient building with money left over for solar arrays on all of Santa Monica’s schools, libraries, and municipal buildings – a lasting benefit at a fraction of the money being spent?!

And regarding the 227 acre airport “slated to become a great park” at the eastern edge of the city will be paid for by Santa Monica residents but used much more by adjacent Los Angeles residents.  And this while the city is negotiating to rent for pennies on the dollar a 3.4 acre property it, i.e. the residents, own in the middle of our downtown for an 12 story, 250 room hotel, apartments and commercial uses – property which would otherwise make a perfect location and size for a town square or a downtown park, and which belongs in the center of our city, on a property that belongs to the residents of Santa Monica and one that would attract residents back to our downtown.

And maintaining our “housing policies are the most progressive in the country,” but in approving a 7 story, 250+ unit project at 5th & Broadway, the council has traded increased height and density for more affordable units – which they then moved off-site to a parcel overlooking the freeway – a location notorious for air pollution.  Did you mean “progressive” or “regressive” ?? I guess “affordable” doesn’t include living alongside more fortunate residents.

And by the way, the response didn’t care to address spending $20-25 million of taxpayer’s money to continue to fight and appeal the court’s decision to provide district elections in order to keep you gainfully and profitably employed – the exact expenditure and the reasoning kept behind closed doors just like Trump’s “secret” meetings with Putin and Kim!!  But again, like Washington, “no collusion.”

Nor was addressed the other $150 million irresponsibly budgeted and approved!

In summary, like Washington, both locally and nationally, the spin is all hyperbole with the results largely negative.

And the residents of this city have been dealt a losing hand!

Signed,

Ron Goldman FAIA, Architect

in Opinion
Related Posts

S.M.a.r.t Column: Gelson’s Looms Large

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Our guest column this week is by SMCLC (the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City). SMCLC is a well-established...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Top Toady Town

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

Throughout history, from the ancient Romans and Assyrians to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, siege warfare has served as an...

S.M.a.r.t Column: The Sunset of Home Ownership

February 11, 2024

February 11, 2024

We are watching the sunset of our historical and cultural American dream of home ownership as we now are crossing...

SMa.r.t. Column: B(U)Y RIGHT

February 4, 2024

February 4, 2024

“By Right” state housing laws that give developers, in certain projects, the ability to ignore codes ‘by right.’ Well, that...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Serf City

January 28, 2024

January 28, 2024

Homelessness is a problem in California, and nowhere is this more evident than in our fair city, where the unhoused...

S.M.a.r.t  Column: Bond Fatigue

January 22, 2024

January 22, 2024

Last week’s SMart article,  described two critical problems faced by our Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD): the declining...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Peace on Earth

December 27, 2023

December 27, 2023

We are all, by now, saturated with jingles, holiday cards, “ho ho ho’s,” countless commercial advertisements, and exhortations to feel...

S.M.a.r.t Column: On the Clock with Mayor Brock

December 17, 2023

December 17, 2023

I became Santa Monica’s Mayor on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, following a simple “switch of the chairs” transition with outgoing...

S.M.a.r.t Column: SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL 2024

December 10, 2023

December 10, 2023

Position:Seeking Santa Monica City Council Candidate(s) Introduction:Exciting opportunity for the right candidate(s) to work with like-minded Council members committed to...

S.M.a.r.t Column: ARB (NOT Ready to Build!)

December 3, 2023

December 3, 2023

Santa Monica City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), established in 1974, acts “…to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance...

SMa.r.t. Column: We are thankful for….

November 27, 2023

November 27, 2023

SMa.r.t. would like to wish you all a great Thanksgiving with friends and family and also to thank its readers...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Make the City New Again

November 19, 2023

November 19, 2023

When the COVID crisis struck, it cut the city’s income in half, demolishing many businesses and causing widespread layoffs and...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Four Futures

October 29, 2023

October 29, 2023

As well described by Paul Krugman, all cities have a core competency: things they do well or better regionally or...

SMa.r.t column: Beautiful Quartz Countertops Are Hurting Workers and Should Be Banned

October 9, 2023

October 9, 2023

Quartz countertops are super popular because they’re tough and can handle stains, scratches, and heat. But there’s a big problem:...

S.M.a.r.t Column: Architect’s Son Reflects On Civic Auditorium

October 2, 2023

October 2, 2023

Welton (David) Becket (1902-1969), pictured above, backed by a picture of our Civic Auditorium, was the designer of that famed...