Letter: County housing ripoff
by David Smith
Mar 22, 2012 | 1455 views | 6 6 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The South County Housing Project was a good example that the county does what it wants while pretending to be serving the people. The project began with county decision-makers from the old county Redevelopment Agency, the well-paid executives of South County Housing and Mark Stone. The decision to build Felton’s first high-density housing project was made behind closed doors. You can almost picture these guys lighting up cigars in back rooms to talk money, except for the fact that the county building is a “smoke-free environment.”

The first funding was approved before the community knew anything about the proposal. Faced with an overwhelming community protest, the county went to work funding a series of community outreach workshops with facilitated meetings where the project planners pretended to demonstrate community support. The efforts were contrived and pathetic, except to say that they did bring us cookies. When the popular protest became clear, supporters had to bring in out-of-the-area residents to pose as local citizens in support.

The project died from the crash in real estate prices in the years after 2006. Absent those conditions, the county was set to run over us and impose its rezoning will. After it became evident the project was dead, South County Housing entered a closed-session hearing with a threat of a lawsuit for damages. The board of supervisors caved in and cut loose with $1.2 million to settle the matter. Those funds could have been used to improve what we already have. Such is politics and the power of money.

If you think your elected representative serve the residents of their districts, think again. You’re still driving over potholes while the county government subsidizes housing executives making six figures, who then abscond with generous settlements.

David Smith, Mount Hermon

Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 03, 2012
Great points!
Henry Cavle
March 23, 2012
Liza McCowen
March 23, 2012
This whole false public support thing is just a joke. I think we are much wiser after having dealt with various fake public meetings up and down the valley. I pity the next developer who tries one of those dog & pony shows.
Hammer MO
March 23, 2012
This is just another reason why residents of Dist 5 should not vote for Hammer. He is well ingrained with Stone, Keeley and VWC and now the Unions. This is the same type of process and working manner that Hammer is doing with Boulder Creek Rec Center. Spend 45K for a group to write a grant that was signed off by them filled with error's including their address. Having so called community meetings and planning sessions that only 13(family /friends) people of 1000's (less then 1% of community) even originally knew about. Really take a look at this guys history..just because he grew up in the valley and rides Moms community tail coat does not mean he has grown up. FYI pretty tacky to have mom passing out and working families for votes during little league opening day.
March 23, 2012
"If you think your elected representative serve the residents of their districts, think again."

No kidding, we the people are no longer the government.
Leo Seven
March 22, 2012
Best. Letter. Ever.

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