I see that Mayor Kevin McKeown has let another flea-bitten cat out of the City of Santa Monica’s bottomless bag of errors and incompetency in a section of his May 29 letter to the editor.
Therein he states, that there is a “soon-to-come Saint John’s Phase II construction project along Broadway.” This would be, most likely, somewhere in the 2000 through 2200 block area. This could, judging by St. John’s past track record, remove a large amount of street-level parking that now exists, and it won’t be adequately replaced. Doesn’t anyone remember the previous unforgivable Development Agreement fiasco, where not once during the several phases of construction that covered enormous portions of the property, and took many years to complete, did even one Development Agreement Officer or Code Compliance Inspector say to St. John’s, “Where is the great big hole in the ground for the 442 on-site, subterranean parking spaces that you promised to create as a major condition of your Development Agreement?!”
Kenny Mack, a former columnist and investigative reporter, and Bill Bauer, a current columnistfor the Santa Monica Daily Press, both exposed this appalling performance by our city’s elected, appointed and hired employees, at least as far back as 2009. In attempts to get questions answered, St. John’s’ owners and city officials responded with “double talk,” denial that the parking was part of the agreement and statements like, “I thought this was that other department’s responsibility,” “Was that part of my job?” or “Oops, we seem to have lost the paperwork.”
The same thing happened with the millions of dollars of Development Agreement fees, owed by developers of completed projects throughout the city, that the city failed to collect, year after year! We still don’t know whether those moneys were ever collected! This all leaves the city with the distinct appearance of gross incompetence, if not corruption! Isn’t it just a little bit odd that the city doesn’t collect money from developers, that it is owed, but is incessantly, with the aide of voting renters, that never pay a full share, stacking parcel taxes and assessments on the backs of out-numbered property owners only?
Needless to say, St. John’s got away with an unbelievably transparent slap to the faces of everyone who has to live with the parking nightmare on their neighborhood streets and hospital users, regardless of income, having to pay an unnecessary valet expense.
The bottom line is St. John’s phase II is a golden opportunity to require, in no uncertain terms, that the 442 on-site parking spaces be created and for the City of Santa Monica to regain at least a small amount of respect from the people that pay their salaries!