Tuesday, August 14, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 23

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on October 11th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 32

Santa Maria City Council caves to developers

Santa Maria


After two years of planning, community meetings, and a formal recommendation from the Planning Commission, our City Council decided not to listen to the community, the Planning Commission, or its own Recreation and Parks Department.

Instead, they listened to the developers, who don’t want their projects to cost a little more, even if the money is spent on beautifying our city with public art. Increasing the cost of their projects by one quarter to one half percent would be too expensive.

The mayor and council going against their own Planning Commission is wrong. It can only be done if new information appears that the Planning Commission did not consider. That is not true in this case. So, why negate the Planning Commission’s hard work, then appoint another group to come up with a new plan, and with no community input?

A developer on the Planning Commission recused himself because he represented the special interests that would be chiefly affected by the plan. How then can the city choose two developers for this new seven-person planning committee? Do different rules apply when you go around the Planning Commission and its recommendations?

Who runs the city of Santa Maria? The city manager, the mayor and council, or the people with the most money in the community who get “our representatives” to do their bidding?

At this same meeting, the council appointed a new city manager, with no community input. The mayor promised transparency in the selection process, but there was none. All discussion happened behind closed doors.

Elections for two new City Council members are coming in 2018. It’s time our voices were heard. We want new leadership that responds to the people and not just to developers and other moneyed interests. We want a seat at the table!

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