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His Hands Are Tied on Vote

May 10, 1987

During the past several months the issue of selecting a site for a new city hall in Culver City has been the topic of considerable discussion in our community. As many people know, I have been unable to discuss or vote on the issue.

In August, 1986, my business leased an office in the Meralta Office Plaza at 9696 Culver Blvd. (I wanted to locate my office in downtown Culver City so that I could be easily accessible to the citizens of the community, and to demonstrate my strong personal commitment to and confidence in the agency's efforts to revitalize our city's downtown area.)

Under California redevelopment law, I have what is called a "leasehold interest" in the property, which is also considered a business financial interest in the property.

One of the three sites under consideration for the new city hall is located virtually next door to the Meralta Office Plaza. Consequently, City Atty. Joseph W. Pannone advised me, pursuant to Section 87100 of the California Government Code, that it would be an illegal conflict of interest for me, as a member of the Redevelopment Agency, to participate in any deliberation or action on this matter. As a result, I am required to abstain from discussing and acting upon this issue.

Those who know me are well aware that I have never been shy about discussing and voting upon difficult or sensitive issues. In fact, I have made sure public debate and input has occurred on a variety of issues before council/agency decisions were made. That would have been the case with the city hall site if I could have had the opportunity to do so.

As a council and agency member, I have consistently worked hard to carry out my responsibilities to the best of my ability, with sensitivity to the needs and input of the community--and always within the legal constraints of the conflict-of-interest laws.

I am sure this community knows that I would dearly like to act in this matter of great concern, and understands why I cannot do so.

PAUL A. NETZEL

Culver City

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