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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
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