The Lookout Letter to the editor
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Does Our Council Really Hear Us?

On June 28th our City Council voted 6-1 to authorize the City Manager to resume exclusive negotiations with Clarett West Development and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners for a massive development “The Plaza” on City-owned property between 4th and 5th Street, south of Arizona Avenue.

Public testimony from fifty-five individuals was given that night, 28 (50 percent) of whom were from either the hotel workers or construction unions.

Written testimony was also entered into the public record. Over 160 Santa Monica residents were opposed to the recommendation to go forward.

94 letters were written in support of the proposal. Of these, a total of 11 letters were from residents of Santa Monica. Eight letters were from various groups representing developers, etc.

75 were from hotel workers and of these only 21 were hotel workers who reside in Santa Monica. The remainder were from those living outside our City.

Furthermore, if the Councilmembers took the time to look at these letters themselves they would have noticed that only two form letters were used in support: one (shorter version) for hotel workers living in Santa Monica, and the other (longer version) for those residing outside Santa Monica.

It should be obvious to even the casual observer that these letters were given to those workers to bolster their argument. These numbers speak for themselves.

Have we as residents who have a vested interest in our City become irrelevant? Do the developers and big money control our city?

These are questions we should be asking those who have sworn to represent us.

In less than ninety days we will again be entrusting those whom we elect to hear us and act in the best interests of the electorate.

Robert Posek
Santa Monica

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