'People's Republic of Santa Monica'

October 13, 1985

I read the article on Santa Monica's business image (Times, Sept. 29) with considerable interest. Although the article was based on opinions of others rather than the writer, the slogan of "People's Republic of Santa Monica" will linger for a considerable number of years thereby continuing to hamper growth, if any, within the city.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce makes reference to the fact that people outside Santa Monica are not aware of the political changes that have taken place on the City Council since the adoption of their slogan. Unfortunately, people are aware of the changes, subject to change come next election, and therefore continue to be hesitant of placing any trust whatsoever in the city governing body.

First of all, the article did not elaborate on the changes, but to my knowledge, the initial issue that warranted their current slogan was rent control, which was introduced by a radical group for political gain, and has not changed to any degree since inception. Although rent control is confined to properties other than commercial, all developers and investors of commercial property must take all factors into consideration . . . prior to making an investment, and the restrictive measures incorporated in rent control, subject to change by a limited number of individuals, normally chosen or selected because of their opposition to landowners, is the primary factor for lack of growth. In other words, uncertainty, surface decisions and political clout within the city of Santa Monica may lead one to believe the adopted slogan is far too conservative.

The former mayor (Ruth Yannatta Goldway) states that "the people who are not happy with our policies are those who expected to make speculative gain in real estate." Although her statement does not warrant comment, I was of the opinion that all developers and investors of real estate, other than for tax shelter and economy hedge, invest for speculative gain. It's like running for office, there is a certain degree of speculative political gain, although in her case, it eroded.

I am a resident of the city of West Hollywood, and I am of the opinion that we could save a considerable amount of revenues by consolidation of our governing bodies with Santa Monica, as your article with the exception of a few proper name changes could have been written for West Hollywood as our City Council has the same attitude as the members of Santa Monica's.

Councilman Dennis Zane denies that the group's controlled-growth policies have hampered the city, and he is of the opinon that only those with vested interest try to claim some adverse results; however, he should be made aware that without vested-interest individuals and groups there would not be a city.

Nothing contained in the article referred to any specific ways, with concrete evidence, that the city of Santa Monica has even attempted to demonstrate the development of a route to promote growth in either the residential income property or commercial property.


West Hollywood

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