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Monrovia Councilman Adams Objects to Gold Line Property Sale

[This item refers to the previous post, about the Monrovia City Council considering a sale of property to the Gold Line for $39.6 million. Councilman Tom Adams objects to the idea (and appears a bit unhappy with Mayor Mary Ann Lutz) but as he can't attend the meeting, he asked for the following letter to be read into the minutes of the Tuesday night meeting. - Brad Haugaard]

First, I want to apologize for not being here for this special meeting. I do my best to coordinate my personal life around city business but at times when meetings are called outside of the normal calendar I find that I must be absent. I noticed the City Manager that I could not attend this meeting but more importantly neither will most of Monrovia because they don’t know about it. I know we are told there is danger, danger that the State could take this land and block the Gold Line from coming. I would rather risk what the state could do than rush this through in an off cycle meeting at an inconvenient time that seems to be less than transparent.

Second, I’d like to say that I am 100% in favor of the Gold Line moving forward. Looking into our history cities lived or died based on their location close to transportation and the Gold Line is the right thing at the right time.

My objection is not about the placement of the yard but at what cost? Monrovia did not start out wanting a maintenance yard, we decided to offer it when no one else would take it, or so we are told. One question is what if no one would take the yard? Would the Gold Line never come? Are the rest of the cities along the line so uncaring about the Gold Line that they would see it go?

Being a good neighbor, Monrovia offered the property to the Gold Line Authority for $80 million dollars. That was based on the current value of the land and the future loss of revenue due to several factors including the fact that once this is transferred to the Gold Line the property will never again generate tax revenue. NEVER AGAIN, for ever. Most of the decisions the council makes are temporary, buildings can be torn down and rebuilt, zoning can change, but this is one of the few that are for ever. All the more reason why this decision should not be made in a special meeting, this should be decided at a regularly scheduled meeting that people attend! As for the money, I have asked repeatedly in our closed session meetings for our representative to the Gold Line, the Mayor to ask our neighboring cities to help bear this burden. Every city along the Gold Line will benefit from the Yard yet we are the only ones taking a loss from the transfer of our land to the Gold Line, which is wrong. It is wrong because our Mayor never asked, or at least there is no evidence that the Mayor asked and it is wrong because the people of Monrovia will be taking the economic hit for this decision. Money that could have been used for a park on the south side of town is still in the hands of our neighboring cities that will not help because they were never asked. Money that could have been used in Monrovia to make a difference, money that Monrovia will never see because our representative never asked.

The Mayor told the press on January 20th and I quote, “Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said that the city has a deal in place with the construction authority and is waiting for Gold Line officials to secure additional land before the council officially executes the deal.” What this means is that it would be unlikely to make a better deal after this announcement, our position has been declared, or so it would seem.

This is beginning to look a little like the city logo, the Mayor knows what the council approves before the council has an opportunity to approve it. The Mayor needs to be reminded that each seat has but one vote and each vote is as important as the rest.

I know that by not being here I have no vote but I hope by submitting this letter I still have a voice.

1 comment:

  1. Tom,You are long on criticism but short on details and advice: What do you think is a fair price for the parcels in a backwards moving market? What is fair compensation from the other cities? Can you cite other situations where a similar compensation has taken place for a valuation comparison? Do you think you are selling this situation short as the employees from the M&O facility will most certainly buy Monrovia goods and services and contribute to the local economy. Do you really think it is prudent to risk losing the Gold Line funding to another project? The MTA was fairly cool to the Gold Line extension...... would fighting amongst the foothill cities expose us to a delay risk?Regarding your attack on the Mayor: At the council meeting in which you criticized the logo, you then directed staff to check into the renaming of Olive Av park (after a local prominent Latino) - is that prudent given our financial bind? Were you looking in to our best interests or posturing for an election? Clearly, renaming a park is much more costly than $7K. Also, what about that resignation 2 years ago, it has the appearance of being timed to circumvent the voters and allow the council to appoint your replacement - not exactly a show of respect to your constituents or an action that is consitient with an honest leader of the people?