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Civic Center: Cost of Election and City Lobbying

May 15, 1994

At a time when our city is facing severe economic pressure just to maintain basic services, our City Council is spending $142,000 of Santa Monica taxpayers' money to promote its RAND-dominated Civic Center mega-development scheme.

How? Last fall civic leaders, environmentalists, community organizations and our state senator all called for the City Council to place the Civic Center plan on the ballot for a public vote. The Council refused, forcing several dozen citizens to gather signatures from over 8,500 Santa Monicans calling for a vote or a rescission of the plan. The City Council then had to spend $16,000 to validate these signatures, money that could have been saved, had they trusted the people and put it to a vote in the first place.

Confronted with this successful referendum, the council next chose not to put it on the ballot in November when a vote would have been less expensive and more democratic (i.e., a larger voter turnout). Instead they chose to put it on the June primary ballot--Propositions D and E--requiring another $55,000 in special election costs.

Although the City Council maintains that the public already supports their Civic Center plan, they are spending an additional $71,000 to mail the entire 100-plus-page, full-color plan to all 55,000 registered Santa Monica voters. The council did not however, include the plan's Environmental Impact Report, which details the plan's serious negative environmental consequences. Apparently, the City Council believes that it not only has a political blank check to approve irresponsible development but also a fiscal blank check to promote their political agenda--at your expense.

You have two reasons to vote NO on Propositions D and E. First, you stop the environmentally reckless and fiscally irresponsible Civic Center mega-development. Second, you send a message to our City Council, that as a taxpaying citizen you will no longer tolerate their wasteful spending and that they will be held accountable.

ERIC SISS, Santa Monica

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