According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, City Manager Rod Gould is making every effort to find a way to use taxpayer revenue to repair the nuclear explosion sculpture referred to as “Chain Reaction.” The reason given for this is that he feels there is citywide support for the repair to take place (“City Hall open to paying ‘Chain Reaction’ repairs after all,” Dec. 31).
Based on reality, it is obvious that there is not citywide support for the restoration of this structure. If there was then the politically motivated activists who like this structure could have easily raised the necessary $270,000 to $475,000 to repair it. They have barely raised 1/10 the required amount with less than a month to go before the expiration date arrives.
If there was support among the general populace, then raising the necessary funds would accompany such support. Since the deadline was imposed 11 months ago, the so-called grassroots campaign supporting the structure has raised only a pittance of the necessary amount, roughly $40,000. These are facts that prove, without doubt, that widespread popular support simply does not exist.
Gould plans to recommend that City Hall cover the remaining costs, whatever they may be. This means that Gould is willing to have our city spend between $230,000 and $435,000, this includes the $50,000 matching amount City Council promised in the resolution last February. This is preposterous. The City Council must stand by the February 2013 resolution. If the activists cannot raise the amount stipulated in the resolution, then all bets are off. The structure must, therefore, be removed. The City Council must demonstrate their integrity and stand by their word. Other than the original $50,000 matching pledge, no additional city funds have been, nor should be, allocated for the repair of the structure.
I know that the lobbying campaign being waged by the activists has been very intense. I am sure that the desire to accommodate them is very tempting. For them to question the accuracy of the reparation estimate computed by the Building & Safety Department is shameful. Last February, Ron Takiguchi of the Building & Safety Department provided a very detailed review of the repair estimate. He covered the full spectrum of the existing damages, and the repairs needed to make the structure safe. His professionalism and engineering knowledge proved that a completely thorough review of the work was performed.
A person is only as good as their word. It is my hope that our City Council is good to its word and possesses the internal fortitude and gumption to stand by the February 2013 resolution. Not to do so will simply enforce the state of government today, which is to say one thing and do another. The time has arrived for the statue activists to put their money where their mouth is. Without it, the council must uphold its integrity … and finally remove the “Chain Reaction” structure.