Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Here is Where I Agree (Partially) Wtih Arlene Zimmer

Ms. Arlene Zimmer is a local R.P.V. resident and a representative from the San Pedro business community to the CAC.

At today's Press Conference she made reference to what she thought was one of the missions of the CAC. She believed that the CAC should learn about Bob's plans for Ponte Vista and make comments on those plans.

I strongly believe she was correct in that particular statement and the CAC, including Ms. Zimmer did exactly what she believed the mission of the CAC was.

Ms. Zimmer and the rest of the CAC studied Bob's plans up one wall and down the other. We all learned early on that the plans were very much incomplete. Nowhere during the year-long mission of the CAC were real numbers of bedrooms provided to the CAC, other than what Bob told me in January. How could any group whos mission was to study a project be able to accurately judge that project when such basic information was missing.

Arlene Zimmer was also very correct in her judgement that the CAC should work with Bisno and his team to accurately judge the plan. The problem here is that the CAC was continually confronted with presentations and processes that did not effectively allow the CAC to judge the plans on a truly objective basis. We always heard "There will be", "This will have", "is going to be" and other affirmations that would not allow for "perhaps", "maybe", "could have" in any real numbers.

Bob did finally bend to having an open development (non-senior) but only after the entire community, including many folks full of B.s. (Bisno support) chimed in.

In the end, the CAC actually did exactly what Ms. Zimmer wished for. They judged Bob's 1,950-unit proposal and found it flawed and well beyond anything that could ever be looked at as support. The vote of 10-1-1 told Ms. Zimmer and the rest of us that the CAC looked very closely at all the issues surround Bob's proposals and provided a resounding rebuke of those plans.

I know of where I speak in that there was probably no group of community members who looked at all sides of the Ponte Vista debate, larger or more informed than the CAC. Their learned analysis of the current proposal stated without question, that Bob's plans are NOT in the best interest of OUR community.

I also know this because I looked, listened, learned, and tried to suggest ways that good plans could be brought forth. I have been the only blogger to suggest more than several alternatives and compromises, and there is no group in OUR community with more true, factual, and objective information about Ponte Vista at San Pedro, other than the CAC.

Folks full of B.s. (Bisno support) and folks full of R1 are on opposite ends of the debate. Neither of those two groups have the objective information that the CAC was provided. The three Neighborhood Councils have the ability to tap into all the objective information and they are doing their job in service to San Pedro.

So Ms. Zimmer, you are partially correct in the mission of the CAC. That part of the mission was studied and completed with the information available to the members.

I contend that this part of the mission was a success for OUR community.

2 comments:

km said...

Mark,
I can't beleive you are seriously suggesting that we put big box retail near the Harbor. Your point about sales tax revenue generation doesn't take in to account that far more money goes in to the city coffers from property taxes than from sales tax. Considering the rapid appreciation of the housing market and the influx of new residents we have had over the last 5 years and will have, I think it's fair to say that San Pedro is putting a sizeable amount of money into the city coffers. Money that apparently is being spent by some city agencies to buy $800,000 worth of toner cartridges. I don't think that the faiure of basic services that we witness here in Pedro can be justifiably blamed on a lack of Best Buys.

M Richards said...

Thanks km,

I am not seriously suggesting building a conference center or a big box retail store near the harbor, but I feel we need to look at as many ideas as we can to find ways to increase the revenue generation in San Pedro so it probably will be unequally doled out by downtown L.A.

Property taxes do provide a portion of revenue back to L.A., as does sales taxes.

In an area like the San Fernando Valley, they have residences that provide property tax revenues just like San Pedro, but San Pedro does not have the new car dealerships, large malls, or a real large number of businesses that have the opportunity to generate sales tax revenues that the S.F. Valley has.

If we try to rely on only property taxes to fund the necessary infrastucture in L.A., then that area will look like R.P.V. does, with a large property tax generation base, but hardly any sales tax generation base. That is one reason R.P.V. has such a poor comparison to other cities in the South Bay. Being just slightly ahead of Lawndale in budget matters is a big problem for a city that is as large as R.P.V. is and has the only continuously moving roadway in the L.A. area which has to be repaired from funds in the R.P.V. budget and not from Caltrans or any other source.

When all the new residents of all the new developments going up or being planned for San Pedro go and spend their hard earned money, they will do the vast majority of their buying outside the five-mile radius of San Pedro that is also within the City of L.A.

San Pedro MAY be putting a sizeable amount of money into the City of L.A.'s coffers, but much of those funds will not come back to San Pedro to adequately fund the necessary goods and services San Pedro needs with all the current residences and the new development that is and will take place.

I think the failures we see in funding the basic services San Pedro needs comes from not having enough revenue generation streams and the folks in downtown L.A. not providing San Pedro with the funds necessary.

A big box store and/or a conference center will create many problems, but they are just ideas that can be considered for a second and then thrown away, if you like.

I do feel that having a large supermarket closer to all the new developments in downtown San Pedro would be better for the residents in the area and the traffic overall.

I think we all should come together and share ideas, whether they are whimsical or not, in order to find ways to develop OUR community in a smart way.

I also feel that the recent change in the makeup of the Board at the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council is refreshing and one way that dreamers may come together and better OUR community. Let's look at as many ideas as we can and find common ground to work together to get things done.

We have had too much division recently with one development in particular, and trying to find solutions to other issues may help us come back together.

OUR community has a lot of issues to deal with, and I think we have the folks who can assist in building a better community and a community where the quality of life for the current residents is not threatened by greedy developers who swoop into town, take their money, and run.
MW