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OPINION: City Council Bends Over Backward for Developer

Mountain View Mobile Home Park resident and Santa Monica City Council candidate Roberto Gomez says the city is to blame for what he says is the mistreatment of trailer park residents.

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Commentary submitted by Mountain View Mobile Home Park resident and Santa Monica City Council candidate Roberto Gomez.

In response to :

In addition to Village Trailer Park I wish to also addas part of my platform.

I am also against the massive development that is taking place in Santa Monica. Of course saving Village Park is of paramount importance to me and as a candidate for City Council someone needs to address the real time pain that Developer Marc Luzatto has inflicted on the residents of Village Trailer Park. From a LA Weekly article July 19, this the letter that a former resident of Village Trailer Park wrote when he exited this earth:

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

The clutter that surrounds me is indicative of the sorry state of my mind...I am in constant pain and more importantly I am in a very DEEP depression. The time has come to act.....Goodbye, John

Developer Marc Luzatto pulled the trigger when he issued a premature eviction notice to the tenants of Village Trailer Park before going through the established procedures set by the city. He knew what he was doing and was  testing the waters, so to speak, to see what kind of resistance, if at all, he would find.

The City Council instead of prosecuting Developer Luzatto for triggering the suicide, instead chose to bend over backwards in aiding Luzatto achieve his objective when he bought the park. And that objective was to evict all the tenants and toss them into the street like garbage that you would put out at the curb on Sunday night.

The city, which prides itself in being historically pro tenant, is the worst landlord I have ever seen. The abuse that the city has allowed to happen at MVMHP would normally be prosecuted by the City Attorney’s Office. But since it is the city who owns the property, the city officials, all of them, look the other way. The City Council has allowed the mistreatment of the tenants at MVMHP by the Management Company REC & S, by Housing Officials Barbara Collins and Melissa Lindley, and the city attorney's office. I advised numerous Santa Monica city departments, through multiple letters and reports, but not one person got in touch with me to address my very serious concerns. Among the City Council members who were advised of the abuse and failed to respond, and who are running for re-election, are Terry O’Day and Gleam Davis.

The following is a list of City Council members who have accepted political contributions from developer Marc Luzatto and family members Barbara Luzatto, Evan Luzatto and Asher Luzatto.

  • Richard Bloom: 2008—$250 Barbara Luzatto
  • Gleam Davis: 2010—$250 Marc Luzatto
  • Robert Holbrook: 2010—$250 each from Marc, Barbara, Evan & Asher Luzatto’s: $1,000
  • Pam O’Connor: 2010—$250 each from Marc, Barbara, Evan & Asher Luzatto’s: $1,000
  • Tery O'Day:2010—$250 each from Marc, Barbara & Evan $750        

These City Council members should recuse themselves from voting on anything to do with the future of Village Trailer Park. While the contributions may not be illegal, they certainly create a conflict of interest, in my view.

It has been brought to my attention that the city's planning department has been in private talks with Marc Luzatto. This is highly inappropriate and highly suspect. Perhaps Marc Luzatto should be given an office in City Hall and stop the pretense of the city treating him like any other Joe Blow. Not only should the City Council members recuse themselves from having anything to do with the future of Village Trailer Park, but so should the Planning Department as well.

For more detailed information about my positions, please visit  stopcitydestroyinghousing.com.

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Want to submit your own letter to the editor or opinion piece? Email it to Santa Monica Patch editor jenna.chandler@patch.com.

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