Letter: We Need a Council That Doesn't 'Sell Out'

A letter to the editor from 2012 Santa Monica City Council candidate Jonathan Mann about putting the brakes on development.


Santa Monica can easily improve its quality of life and win the $5 million “City of Wellbeing" grand prize, if the City Council would listen to its residents and put the brakes on development—which is escalating out of control—especially after the Land Use and Circulation Element was passed.

I've been spreading the same message for over 20 years how to do just that. It is amazingly easy to implement, cheap, and the technology is in place to put a virtual town hall on the city website. Maybe one of the other 20 cities selected for the competition will do just that, and Santa Monica will miss the boat...

Voters can change that by holding a recall election and replacing everyone on the city council who has received endorsements and contributions from developers and upscale businesses, voted for LUCE, waived ceiling limits for the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, opened revolving doors for City Council, city staff, cronies, SMRR colleagues, etc.

This council will use any means to increase revenue, such as raising fees and fines for parking, tickets, etc. to reward powerful city employee associations for supporting their reelection.

Only by electing a new council that will listen and respond to what the residents want can we improve the quality of life for residents.  We need a council that won't sell out to developer PACs, Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights, and city employees to get their endorsements and contributions.

See: Winner Winterer Routs Incumbents for Most Votes

Other major factors that city policy implements that is destroying our quality of life is fostering dependency among the homeless and creating a bloated bureaucracy that creates jobs for more city employees and public agencies, who know how the patronage game is played.

Another way the city can improve our quality is to close Santa Monica Airport, another issue I was the first candidate for city council to advocate.

Those are only three ways the council can implement to win the Mayor’s Challenge competition which challenge cities to create local solutions that can be applied to national problems.

Jonathan Mann, Santa Monica resident

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jason h November 10, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I agree completely.
Dan Charney November 10, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Too late- we are sold out and were before and for a long time . These three newer projects were in talks a long time - Terry O'Day- one of the worst sold out ones- along with Gleam - the other worst, knew all about these -they were waiting for the election to be over- Santa Monica, or what is left of it - is now over- finished- the only hope is to demand a city wide vote on each project now- not a council vote- they do not have anyone's interests at heart but the developers and their own $$$
RJ November 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
To Jonathan Mann.....thank you so much for stating in plane english some of the biggest issues here in Santa Monica. Unfortunately those that are responsible for approving/allowing the extreme over development of Santa Monica will never be fully held accountible for their actions. ANYONE that has to drive the streets of Santa Monica know what a nightmare traffic is in this city.....all because of greed. I was part of the development team on the original Santa Monica Place so I've worked both sides of the equation. The residential complexes in the downtown area have done nothing but add more traffic to choke every intersection. Lincoln Blvd all the way to LAX is just a small version of any Los Angele freeway system. Wouldn't it be great if we could require every city official that has irresponsibly approved development had to drive up and down Lincoln Blvd. for 8 hours a day with no breaks?
W Smith November 11, 2012 at 04:28 PM
This is a great letter. Thanks for publishing it. Part of the problem here is that many Santa Monica residents leave Santa Monica to work. This means they really live here 2 days a week. I'm not one of those people. I'm guessing that the commuters have any concept of just how much development is going on. Santa Monica's business migration started in the mid 1990s. It's not going to last forever, especially when Malibu/Santa Monica traffic is as bad as it has become. For example, what EXACTLY is happening every business morning at the 26th Street 10 freeway off ramp? Why hasn't there been a traffic cop been assigned EVERY MORNING. It's a "federal offense" to have traffic backed up on the 10 to Bundy from 8 am to 11am. It's also very dangerous for the on-ramp from Centinela. Seriously, does anyone in the City Council actually LIVE in Santa Monica?? Hey, don't think that we don't see the newly widened 20th street from Pico to Olympic that has come at the expense of the sidewalk width. Get it? The sidewalk can barely accomodate a wheel chair now. Thanks, you morons! My bet is that it's for the completely useless bike lanes which the entire city has been repainted to accomodate. All of this expense, building and other nonsense is good on paper, but horrible for the tax payers. The City Council needs to stop thinking for themselves and think for others. Again, I'll also claim that these agendas have got to have corruption behind them. Good day.
Dan Charney November 12, 2012 at 03:48 AM
RJ- 4th Street from Arizona or Sm Blvd is now a freeway as well as Lincoln- it's unreal
Larry Arreola November 12, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I agree with everything thats been said. We must organize against the overdevelopment, and I suggest a couple hundred people in front of City Hall with news trucks to televise. People have to not give up, and need to get motivated to fight the establishment, developers, SMRR, city employee unions, PACS, etc. who buy votes. Put my name and email on the list - Larry Arreola-lmarreola@roadrunner.com
Gary Kavanagh November 12, 2012 at 05:46 PM
W Smith, I both live and work in Santa Monica and ride those bike lanes every single day to get where I am going without contributing to the automobile congestion, auto parking demand, or local air pollution. If they weren't there I probably never would have sold my car. Just because you may not use them, doesn't mean they aren't being used and making a critical difference for many locals and visitors alike. Bicycle ridership to major employers has been growing steadily annually over the past few years, which I've witnessed from seeing the bike racks at my own workplace, Sony Computer Entertainment America Santa Monica (a mouthful), fill up. As for costs to the tax payer as they relate to bicycling, when roads need to get repaved for regular resurfacing schedule, guess what doesn't ripped up and done over. The bike lanes. Because bicyclists don't weigh enough to damage the roads. The cost effectiveness of bicycling is such that the way taxes are collected, with most local roads paid by property, sales and income taxes, most bicyclists in the United States are overpaying for their use of streets relative to other users. You also claim you want the council to think of others, but you might want to begin with yourself.
Dan Charney November 12, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I wish i felt there was a chance to fight this council and what they have planned ( and have had planned ) - but I don't- nothing will stop them- SM City likes to pretend it is there for it's people but it's not- there are some decent programs left but the things that really matter are a done deal- - this city is top and bottom heavy alone- and hands us things they feel like in exchange for doing as they please- they pretend to ask for our input but they have no interest in it - it's a sham- the only department that I have found is on it and no BS is the Water Dept- they have their stuff together- I wish I felt differently- I would love to but I know what money does- and one of the things it does is not give a crap about what anyone else wants-
Ann Campbell November 13, 2012 at 02:17 AM
I had to laugh today driving down wilshire to read a sign that says lock your car take your valuables with you don't be a victim ha ha ha ha the you Parkin g in your lots is the biggest crime EVER 14 dollars are you kidding me?the Santa Monica council are a team of greedy folks. Homeless people everywhere !! I hate everything about your town if I didn't work there I would never go there! When my friends visit I do not bring them any where near there
Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Ha Ha Ann, You are right!!! Greed is one thing- but at least lets get something for it- all this sell-out and not much back except for the well-to-do- the biggest thieves are always at the top-
Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM
I would bet my life there is plenty of corruption and back room deals- as for thinking the City Attorney would be "all over it" - you must be kidding? They are in it with them no doubt- telling them how to get around this and that legally-
oboogie November 15, 2012 at 09:59 PM
thank you jonathan mann for writing a sad but truthful assessment of what's happenihg and happened to our beloved city of santa monica. i was hoping the election would help clean out some of the corrupted city council members. unfortunately, it didn't. incumbants were voted back in, due to a combination of a bombardment of pac $upported advertising and pure voter ignorance. the overdelopment will now continue, the traffic will keep getting worse weekly and the citizens will keep getting screwed. i'm mad as hell and don't want to take it any more!
Dan Charney November 15, 2012 at 11:11 PM
After observing the Council meeting on Tuesday night- I can tell you "it's Chinatown"- there is no question of what is happening - and no real plan to do it well- and I would like to know what the huge debt SM owes that doesn't appear in the budget ( over 500 million )is for that we keep having to pay 10 mil in interest on is for? This city is so top heavy and with all this hideous development and only for the betterment of the tourist and business trade- so where is the money from it all for the other programs? They can at least pony up some money for the real at risk old SMonicas- so much going on - it seems only McKeown is on the level- certainly not Gleam or O'Day-


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