Facts of Life in Santa Monica

FACT: Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights took a hard right turn two years ago when it joined developers to defeat Prop T, a residents’ ballot measure.

Fact: The SMRR Council majority has “packed” the Planning Commission.

Fact: It virtually abandoned public review in favor of development agreements on new projects.

Fact: Over 2 million square feet of new commercial development in one section of town is already in the works.

Fact:4 of 5 SMRR Council members voted for the Jumbo LUCE, literally at the last minute, betraying everyone but developers and their stooges.

Fact: SMRR claims it has “thousands”of members. Several hundred attended its convention.The majority voted not to endorse incumbents Council member Pam O’Connor, and School Board members Oscar de la Torre and Ralph Mechur. The 11- member steering committee overuled the members and added the three to the SMRR slate.

Fact: Its zealots actually believe that what’s good for SMRR is good for Santa Monica.

Fact: The SMRR 2008 campaign was based on a lie: passage of Prop T would destroy the schools.

There was no basis in fact for the allegation.

Fact: The campaign was funded by nearly $800,000 from developers, the real beneficiaries — along with SMRR’s hegemony.

The upcoming campaign will make ’08 look like a walk on the beach and it’s already begun.

Fact: The Save Our Schools campaign has set the scene: A state of emergency exists.

Fact: As in ’08, saving the schools will be the basis for accelerating the commercial development buiding boom that’s already underway.

FACT: Attorney Chris Harding is the developers’ leading local advocate.and has long been active ih the school community.His wife, Laurie Lieberman, is running for the School Board and has been endorsed by SMRR.

Fact: The City’s transaction and use tax will also be on the ballot. It, too, is designed to be sold to the school community as it could mean more money for schools.

FACT: The City budget is $500,000,000. It could give the schools the funds they need — without increasing the building boom or increasing the sales tax — by canceling its recent purchase of a new parking structure site for $45 million or its plans to “cap” the freeway for $37 million. and the fall campaign could be devoted to a serious discussion of residents’ priorities — not SMRR’s, not City Hall’s, not the developers’ — ours.

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