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Conservancy's Finances Come Under Criticism

June 09, 2004

Re "Conservancy Spending Assailed," June 6: The arrogance of leaders of the Santa Monica Conservancy in response to the misuse of bond funds is appalling. The comment by Jerome C. Daniel, conservancy chairman, quoted in your article, is striking: "I don't know what the numbers are, and I don't care what the numbers are, frankly." Well, I care, and I care as a taxpayer and voter.

We voted for bond money to be used for the purchase of land and not for unallowable expenditures by the executive director, Joseph Edmiston.

Alleged misuse of $7 million is noteworthy. For defenders, such as state Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), to state that successful acquisitions outweigh "minor procedural lapses" is inexcusable.

The presumptuous attitude of these leaders and defenders of the conservancy demands oversight, investigation and regulation of the funds.

Madeline DeAntonio



We would only be able to sing "They paved paradise, put up a parking lot ... " if it were not for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Edmiston. They have saved the natural beauty of this region while maintaining the properties to encourage the public to visit and use these fabulous sites. Do they stretch a dollar to accomplish all they have done? Sure, they do -- with detailed financial records. Perhaps the Sacramento folks need to learn how to do it too.

Lesley Devine

City Council member


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