Thursday, October 23, 2008
Let the City Attorney Decide.
The letter placed above is the result of a motion passed on Monday night during the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council's Board of Governors' meeting.
I think it is fair to post it so all have the opportunity to read what is actually being mailed to City Attorney Mr. Rocky Delgadillo.
It should not be up to anyone from Coastal, Ponte Vista, or other group to make the determination as to whether a conflict of interest is judged, specifically with the individuals named in the letter.
I would have not problem with the City Attorney considering whether the other two members of the Commission may have conflicts of interest in this matter.
Some folks feel it really should be within the realm of good ethics practiced by every member of the Harbor Area Planning Commission to determine whether they might have a conflict of interest in any matter such that they would need to recuse themselves from participating some matters that may come up.
Basically, three individuals are employed by groups that have received contributions from Mr. Bisno's organization(s) and could that mean that those employees working for entities that have received funds are now ineligible to consider and vote on matters related to the Ponte Vista at San Pedro development.
Opponents of the giant project can claim that the three individuals must recuse themselves as it is within their right of free speech.
What is being done with this letter is to have the City Attorney make a determination as to whether there are any conflicts of interest.
Everyone will need to deal with whatever the City Attorney determines and it should not be left up to either supporters or opponents of the current plans for the site.
If the City Attorney opines that there is no conflict of interest by members of the Harbor Area Planning Commission, then we must accept that, whether we like it or not.
However, if the City Attorney opines that three members of the Harbor Area Planning Commission have conflicts of interest in matters related to Ponte Vista at San Pedro, then with only a total of five members of the Commission, no quorum could be held to discuss, debate, or vote on anything related to Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
Whether I feel that the three individuals have a conflict of interest is of really no matter. I can offer my opinion, but it certainly is not necessarily the opinion of the City Attorney, whose opinion is really the one that counts.
The opinions of attorneys representing all sides of the issues can be presented to the City Attorney, but it needs to be left up to the City Attorney to determine whether a conflict of interest is found with any member of the Commission.
I hope we can learn what the City Attorney determines as soon as possible so we can move off of this particular sticking point.