Calling Santa Monica residents NIMBYs on his resume was foolish and insensitive, a planning consultant, who until recently worked with the city, said this weekend.
"My comment was neither thoughtful nor respectful," Jeffrey Tumlin wrote in an email to Patch. The consultant also said the term was not accurate. The acronym took hold in the 1980s to describe activists who don't want new development built near their homes.
Tumlin was pulled off of Santa Monica projects after a local political organization, Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City, found his resume and distributed it Feb. 27 to other neighborhood groups. The consultant's resume said "Santa Monica politics had been dominated by NIMBYS who used traffic fear as their primary tool for stopping development."
SMCLC's founders said the NIMBY reference proved Tumlin was "incapable of providing an objective analysis of our traffic and parking problems."
A principal at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Tumlin said he was traveling overseas when city officials confirmed March 13 he had been pulled off Santa Monica projects. The NIMBY reference made him a "lightning rod" and rendered him ineffective, the City Manager's office said.
Tumlin said this weekend:
My greatest pleasure working in Santa Monica was listening to the thoughtful and respectful debate its citizens have had about the future of the city. My comment was neither thoughtful nor respectful, and I have failed to live up to the standards set by the city. For that, I deeply apologize.
The city started working with the Nelson\Nygaard in October of 2007, and Tumlin was in the midst of updating the city's zoning ordinances. City Manager Rod Gould has said the city would continue working with the firm.
Tumlin and Nelson\Nygaard have proposed some "radical" changes to the city's zoning codes that include loosening parking requirements for new markets, restaurants and apartments built along the city's major boulevards, such as Wilshire and Montana Avenue.
"This fight was always about more than residents having their feelings hurt by an arrogant consultant," SMCLC leadership wrote in an email to its members. "The fact is, the development, traffic and parking policies Mr. Tumlin advocated would cripple the ability of Santa Monicans to move around our city."