Thursday, July 19, 2007

" Profit at the Expense of the Community"

The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Bob's plan for 1,950 units at Ponte Vista. In an article published in the Thursday Daily Breeze, the author explained the C of C's position of how they believe it would create jobs and bring more income into the San Pedro community, base on Bob's numbers.

Bob still hasn't amended those numbers from 2,300 down to 1,950-units in any City document, according to several sources.

Should we be surprised by the Chamber's actions? I did applaud their studying of the matter for such a long time. I have to give them credit for their ability to keep from rushing to judgement, unlike so many other Chambers did. I do think many board members did think long and hard before they supported Bob's supposedly current plan.

I didn't come up with the title for this post. Someone else did and I have to agree with the title.
In the end, Chambers of Commerce need to look out first for their members. These are the folks who keep the Chamber in business to support business in the given area. It is almost like a union, if you think about it. Members feeding coffers to a governing board which supports their members. Is this such a bad thing? Probably not as long as we all realize what is going on.

What Chamber wouldn't want a larger spending base within the area it is involved with. Just like the Carpenter's Union and other Unions that believe Bob will actually utilize their members to build whatever he builds, the Chamber believes that Bob will help create more business for their members, more profit for the business owners, and more income stream, probably, for the Chamber itself.

The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce is for commerce above community needs, in my opinion. If it were any different, we would be discussing the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and Community, but "community" is not in their title. Perhaps if "community" was in their title, critics might attack them because it might seem that only the "business community" is the community they are identifying themselves with. But "community" is not in their title and their must be good reasons for that, perhaps.

Is it so surprising that a group attempting to bring more profit to their members would support a larger development of upper middle income condominiums? Of course not. I wonder what the Chambers feelings would be if Bob had proposed 1,950 "affordable", "lower income", "lower-middle income" units? It is reasonable to believe a group would want more affluent shoppers from a development that caters to the more affluent buyers who MAY have more disposable income than folks with lower incomes.

Ponte Vista at San Pedro is being considered by its developer to be an up-scale development with amenities catered to more affluent buyers than other developments like The Gardens and possibly Seaport Luxury Homes. It is quite understandable that the San Pedro Chamber believes that new home buyers at Ponte Vista might actually shop in San Pedro rather than going to The Avenue higher on our peninsula. It can be considered that the Chamber feels that many new owners won't shop at Del Amo either.

I think the Chamber is gambling with OUR community. Maybe their studies have indicated that more condo owners will shop San Pedro rather than elsewhere. I hope for all of our sakes, they knew what they were doing.

If we get the infrastructure problems but not the spending dollars in OUR community, then I think the Chamber's action will backfire. But then it will be too late for all of us, including them.

I wish the Chamber will create a committee to study how San Pedro businesses will deal with added parking problems, needs for more parking spaces in parking lots and along the streets in San Pedro. I hope they have/will continue to study the impacts we all currently face with parking, both in lots and on streets.

I wonder if the Chamber calculated the impact of Target going in so close to the Ponte Vista site and whether that store will draw away customers from downtown, both from Ponte Vista and the rest of OUR community.

Target will be a big beast for many downtown businesses, I feel. With its proximity to Ponte Vista, northwest San Pedro where incomes tend to be higher than other areas in San Pedro, eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, Lomita, and other areas accessible to Target, I hope the Chamber didn't shoot itself in the foot.

In the end, I have to believe that the Chambers actions mimic the title of this blog. I feel an organization which by its very nature aids commerce over community needs and wants, must do what it feels is best for its members. It is true that many, many members of the Chamber are also members of OUR community. I hope the Chamber weighed that, too. Its own members stand to get caught up in the problems found in over development, with their personal lives. I hope the Chamber adequately weighed the problems before they calculated the profit to its members. Perhaps they did.


Anonymous said...

Send a message to the Chamber: boycott all member businesses who do not openly oppose the Chamber's endorsement of the Ponte Vista project.

M Richards said...

I love San Pedro and have all my life. Even though I have boycotted buying certain things and at least one restaurant chain for a time, I can't feel it is healthy to call for a boycott on many of our beloved businesses and restauants in OUR Community.

I do believe however, that with the efforts of now over 10,000 folks who have signed the R1 petition, we can mount an information process to share collected feelings about what the Chamber did, without boycotting.

This is my personal belief only. If folks wish to boycott, it is certainly their right and responsibility to stand firmly behind that decision.

I do not know what the R1 group's position on a boycott might be as it will probably not meet again until after July 24. However, everyone who has an opinion about what the R1 group should do, should contact the group and let them know what your feelings and demands are.

This may be a great time period to look at a guage of whether an established boycott or some other means of telling the Chamber and its members what folks think of their endorsement of Bob's bad plans.

Please don't be afraid to make comment on this blog and or, or

The more individuals who respond with thoughts about the endorsement, the better.

I continue to strongly feel that Bob and his current plans are contributing to all the fractures we are having in OUR community and I cannot blame the Chamber for its stance. They held out and studied the issue, in my opinion and they deserve considered responses from all of us.

To boycott member organizations like The Whale and Ale is not something I can endorse. Not shopping for many goods at member stores in San Pedro is also something, I can endorce.

We do need to let the Chamber and its members know, in no uncertain terms, that thousands and thousands of members of THEIR community oppose Bob's current plans and endorsing his plans by any group is in opposition to the stated wishes of many, many members of OUR community, which the Chamber is also included in.

Anonymous said...

It may be that the membership was not actually consulted or polled by the board. Considering the lack of leadership and vision the Chamber board has exhibited over the years, I rather doubt that it was.

It would be interesting to find out whether a majority of the Chamber's members do (or don't) support Ponte Vista as proposed. Perhaps the out come would be different or perhaps not.

Personally I feel that the headline should have read SP Chamber endorses Ponte Vista plan (shoots self in foot), but alas, Mark has already alluded to it.

Yes, just like Bob Bisno, it's profit over community. Why, oh why, are we not surprised.