Palm Springs, California.  Posted Observations for Week ending January 18, 2014. The following first appeared under comments to referenced stories online at MyDesert.com and on my Facebook page.



January 18, 2014. The local paper’s “Steve Pougnet says Palm Springs will hold special election on downtown hotel” report represents an admission by the City Council that Frank Tysen citizen petition requesting a vote on a proposed downtown hotel should take place.

Congratulations Frank Tysen, I’m happy to see your legal petition process finally achieving results. All that you and petitioners proved was that the legal minimum were sufficiently concerned and for that reason signed a petition asking the City Council to place the measure on a ballot. Mayor Pougnet’s refusal to honor basic citizen rights in this regard by not honoring the petition request is the reason the project is being held up. Had the Mayor honored the request a year ago I’m certain voters would have approved the hotel and the matter would now be past memory. Residents should blame Pougnet and his stalling tactics and take comfort in the realization we do live in a Democracy and the citizen petition process for review of government actions is alive and well. Again, kudos to Frank Tysen and his group of determined citizens.



January 18, 2014.  Desert Sun editors post “Thumbs down: Palm Springs obstructionists force vote on hotel” hand-wringing cry of despair over the decision to honor petitioners request for a vote on the proposed downtown hotel.

Desert Sun editors used the phrase “obstructionist shenanigans” to describe those who oppose the recent addition of a large hotel to the Desert Fashion Plaza plan. The hotel was never part of the ballot presented to voters in November 2011 and had it then been included it’s possible the vote would have been influenced.

Despite editorial hand-wringing over the cost of a special election to decide the issue, we live in a Democracy and sometimes its implementation can be messy and expensive. But curtailing liberties in order to save money is not really compatible with democracy concepts as practiced in our republic. Our laws provide that citizens, through the petition process, can force city council decisions to be ratified by the voters. There is some murkiness about which council decisions qualify and that appears to be the case here. Since I heartily believe in the citizen petition/review process, I would have preferred seeing the court appeal in this matter go forward and hopefully result in a clear definition of when the petition/review process applies. That will have to wait for another day.

In order to save time the city council decided to throw in the towel and hold the special election that’s been requested by petitioners. That’s the way it should have been done a year ago. Just because some don’t adhere to the city hall/local business/newspaper views should be no reason to deny their right to petition, vote and even force local government to spend money justifying their actions. As previously noted, democracy can sometimes be messy and expensive. But it’s a whole lot better than a dictatorship.

The Desert Sun does its readers no service when they refuse to recognize and support simple democratic concepts like the petition/review process. And that refusal is clearly the case with their “Thumbs down: Palm Springs obstructionists force vote on hotel” editorial.

Bond Shands
Desert Political Opinion at www.DesertObserver.com
January 18, 2014

All comments are welcome and should be sent to comments@desertobserver.com.
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4.50 avg. rating (91% score) - 2 votes

Summary:
Desert Sun editors oppose the democratic citizen petition process and label a current petition “sour grapes”. Editors continue to whine about the potential for delays in the rushed Desert Fashion Plaza “Build something, anything, And ASAP” renovation plans of the project.


Desert Sun Editors Whine About Desert Fashion Plaza Petition


Palm Springs, California
.  In their “Thumbs down: A Sour grapes backlash” opinion piece The Desert Sun editorial board complains about concerned citizens filing a petition requesting City Council reconsideration of  a hotel as part of the Desert Fashion Plaza renovation project. It should be noted many in the community view the proposed hotel’s design as an architecturally ugly structure inconsistent with community standards. Editors claim “voters had their say when they approved Measure J” and assert the petition “reeks of sour grapes“.

Citizen rights to petition the government for redress are part of the democratic process. While Desert Sun editors acknowledged “At first blush, it seems like democracy in action” it appears clear the newspaper’s support for democracy doesn’t extend much further than their front door. When ordinary citizens seek their democratic petition rights the editors view such action as “sour grapes“. Editors would be wise to consider that some of the alternatives to petitions are riots, street marches, advertiser boycotts and newspaper subscription cancellations. Such reflection on their part may help them view citizen petitions in a more positive light.

The $300,000 campaign that persuaded voters to pass the Measure J 1% Sales Tax Hike included many photos, project designs and promises about Desert Fashion Plaza renovation plans. Some of these are incorporated in a financing agreement between developer John Wessman and the City of Palm Springs. That agreement is the only document detailing plaza renovation costs, designs and plans – and it was never approved by the voters! The agreement – now a city ordinance – has since been amended several times. One amendment released the developer from an expensive requirement to include an entertainment complex in the design. Another amendment adds a previously unplanned large hotel structure. It’s the alleged ugly hotel structure that has led to the citizen petition.

The editorial claim “voters had their say when they approved Measure J” is simply mistaken! That vote was a simple Yes or No whether to approve a one percent sales tax hike. Nothing in the vote included specific requirements of how the money should be used or the actual Desert Fashion Plaza renovation plans. The voters have had absolutely no say in whether a hotel, bowling alley, theatre, market or other business are part of the renovated plaza property. Those decisions are being made by the developer and Palm Springs city officials. The only way for citizens to play a definitive role is via the ballot box. A citizen petition asking reconsideration or repeal of the ordinance – is the democratic way to proceed and a normal part of the process. It’s the right thing for them to do!

Desert Sun newspaper management has now produced at least five editorials in support of the current taxpayer-funded Desert Fashion Plaza renovation project. Their position is akin to a horse with blinders to prevent seeing either side. It’s probably fair to assume none are conversant with the actual financing agreement covering plaza renovation. That’s probably because they really don’t care! Their view appears to more closely approximate “Build something, anything, And ASAP!

” It’s that type of thinking that results in a “sour grapes” denunciation of their opposition. And the term “their opposition” probably best describes how they view those who disagree with their editorial opinions on the subject.

Desert Sun editors are mistaken to categorize democracy in action as “sour grapes“. Their views are undemocratic and they speak for the economic interests of their advertisers. Palm Springs residents are not well-served by Desert Sun management and their editorial board. The newspaper does not deserve community support.

Bond Shands

Desert Political Opinion at www.DesertObserver.com
January 26, 2013


All comments are welcome and should be sent to comments@desertobserver.com.
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0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Content:
The Desert Sun editorial board described citizens engaging in a current democratic petition process as  “obstructionists”. Another media type described petition signature gathering as an “overdose of democracy”. 


Despicable Desert Sun Editorial Epithet

Palm Springs, California.  “Don’t sign the petition” titles an editorial from the local Desert Sun newspaper. It’s one in which editors’ resort to name calling rather than crafting truthful and compelling arguments.

In 2011 a cabal of downtown business interests, print media, city government officials and a private developer succeeded in their quest for a voter approved 1% Sales Tax increase. Backed by a $300,000 campaign they managed to buy 57% of the votes cast. The opposition’s $12,000 campaign garnered the 43% remainder. A substantial portion of the new sales tax is intended for profit-making renovations to private property owned by developer John Wessman – his Desert Fashion Plaza. Wessman and the City Council signed an agreement that provides $43 million from the tax to benefit his pocketbook by spending on new and renovated structures for his property. Last month the Council passed an ordinance approving the design and construction of Wessman’s taxpayer-financed buildings and related improvements. When completed we’ve been promised a revitalized Palm Springs downtown. Some who have seen the design plans have voiced varying degrees of disapproval as not appropriate for the desired image of downtown.

The Desert Fashion renovation plans were not the subject of last year’s Measure J 1% Sales Tax vote. Despite the use of taxpayer funds the architectural design, type and intended use of structures were never submitted for citizen review. The developer’s plans were approved by official bodies that, according to one involved individual, represented “a done deal”. It was an acknowledgement the conspiratorial forces bringing the project to this point had no intention of permitting meaningful citizen involvement and review. The official approval process was pushed though, over objections, culminating in a new city ordinance.

In California voters have the right to review local ordinances. The process involves collecting signatures on a petition followed by voting for/against ordinance repeal. That process is currently underway in Palm Springs. Signature gathering is occurring and if enough qualified ones are collected the issue will go on the November ballot. The petition seeks to repeal the fast-tracked city ordinance that approved Wessman’s Desert Fashion Plaza controversial design plans. 

Shortly after the new Citizens for a Sustainable Palm Springs group launched their petition a downtown business community cabal began a “Decline to Sign” the petition campaign. They prepared and sent an expensive mailer to local households whining over the impact of a citizen vote delay to their pet renovation project. Their glossy two-sided mailer urging citizens against signing the petition consisted of typical campaign rhetoric – and must have cost someone big bucks. A local media columnist referred to the citizen petition as an “overdose of democracy“. (The NRA would probably appreciate his point of view!) The determined “Decline to Sign” opposition apparently believes that citizen review of government, unless undertaken by them, should be limited or possibly not permitted. If that’s their view then it’s surely one of Hypocrisy in Action!
 
The latest installment in the citizen petition saga comes from the local paper’s editorial board. Desert Sun management, who backed the 1% Sales Tax vote with three editorials, has voiced their alarm over the democratic petition process. They urge the petitioners to “give up“, claim allowing citizens to vote “would be a disaster” and resorted to name calling  “Frank Tysen and his fellow obstructionists“. The local paper long ago surrendered its Fourth Estate role as a community guardian of principles and became an advertiser-oriented mouthpiece. Their unwavering support for public funds enrichment of a private developer in order to benefit their advertising community comes as no surprise. It’s when they resort to name calling that they enter the realm of despicable behavior. That appears to be the case with their most recent editorial.

If you believe exercising rights to petition local government is an important democratic principle, then please consider signing the petition. You’ll then get a chance to show with your vote either support or opposition to the current Desert Fashion Plaza renovation plans. Please don’t be part of the nasty crowd trying to suppress democracy or one who believes questioning politicians or their actions deserves labeling as an “overdose of democracy“.

Bond Shands

Desert Political Opinion

January 18, 2013

Notes added after publication:
     Additional petition signatures are needed and may be added by visiting either of the following locations:
       Frank Tysen’s Casa Cody Bed & Breakfast Inn at 175 South Cahuilla Road
       Latino Books y Mas at 123 North Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 525

All comments are welcome and should be sent to politics@desertobserver.com.
If intended for posting below please include FOR PUBLICATION in the message.

Click here to view/download a copy of this blog.



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Palm Springs, California.  Latino Books y Mas owner Luciano Ramirez has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Desert Fashion Plaza owner John Wessman. The lawsuit results from an alleged unlawful eviction attempt of the Desert Fashion Plaza tenant in possession of a lease agreement that doesn’t expire until March 2015.


Desert Fashion Plaza Wrongfully Attempts Eviction of Bookstore Tenant

From Luciano Ramirez – posted on his FaceBook Page September 26, 2012.

Dear Friends, customers, and my former students:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who are supporting us and continue to support us during this illegal eviction attempt of our bookstore from the Desert Fashion Plaza by the John Wessman Dev. Corp. We especially want to thank all of the supporters who spoke on our behalf at the September 5th Palm Springs city council meeting. We are happy to report that we are still here and getting ready for the season. We hope that it will be fruitful in many ways. We wanted to bring you up to date on what has transpired during the last few weeks regarding our eviction.

We were supposed to be packed and out of the store by September 15th. Wessman gave us 30 days to pack up 20,000 books, art works, cd’s, DVD’s, prints, posters and furniture. Thanks to God and to our lawyers we are still here.

Contrary to what you may have read in the newspaper or heard on television there is no buyout or condemnation clause in our contract. We have a contract until March 2015. We have had zero communication with John Wessman. We met with city officials at city hall on Wednesday, August 29th to try to iron out our differences with John Wessman but he and his representatives were no-shows. An eviction notice from his lawyer is all the communication we have had from John Wessman. Because of this illegal eviction attempt by Wessman and to protect our contractual obligation that he has with us, and our rights, we filed a breach of contract lawsuit against John Wessman on September 14th. We know that this is a David vs Goliath fight. Wessman has very deep money pockets, especially with the $43 million that the city of Palm Springs just gave him, and even deeper political pockets.

We are engaging Wessman in this fight not only for ourselves but for the next little guy Wessman tries to railroad or bully. He will think twice. We know that John Wessman has done this many times and has won many lawsuits but we believe we are right and we will not give up. As one of my heroes, Emiliano Zapata said, “Mas vale morir parado que vivir de rodillas.” (“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”) This lawsuit will end up in front of a judge or jury. They will decide who is legally right. I will keep you posted of our day in court. Wish us Godspeed because we will certainly need it.

Pass this to all you friends and others who might be interested and believe in our cause. Stop by, say hi and buy a book.

GOD BLESS !!!


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Palm Springs, California.  With much fanfare and many promises the Palm Springs City Council created a Measure J Oversight Commission to guard against unwarranted expenditure of 1% Sales Tax monies. A new eleven member commission was appointed to determine how the Sales Tax funds should be spent and make their recommendations to the City Council. Commission members met in June, July and August but have not yet considered or recommended any uses for the new 1% Sales Tax revenues.

City Staff are planning an end run around the Measure J Oversight Commission. They’ve sneaked a resolution onto this week’s City Council agenda’s automatic CONSENT CALENDAR authorizing the City Manager to spend $247,555 for downtown maintenance costs. The use of funds and their purpose are being made exempt from review and recommendation by the Measure J Oversight Commission.

Bond Shands
September 3, 2012


 

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5.00 avg. rating (96% score) - 1 vote

Content:
The “Forever Marilyn” statue, named “One Of The Worst Pieces of Public Art In The World“, may soon be on its way to downtown Palm Springs. City Council Members have wrapped up $47 million in financing details for Desert Fashion Plaza renovation. And medical marijuana collectives in Palm Springs continue to receive blessings from a divided City Council. (Note: Click on underlined portions to view related documentation).


“Forever Marilyn & Other Palm Springs City Council Priorities

Palm Springs, California.  This week’s City Council meeting saw approval of a new $47 million financing program to fund  the previously agreed upon transfer of $43 million in taxpayer funds for Desert Fashion Plaza renovation. The council also approved issues related to medical marijuana cooperative permits, and indicated unanimous support for local business leaders to bring the huge “Forever Marilyn” statue to Palm Springs for temporary display at the corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Palm Canyon.  Other issues of significance, including foreign policy and military objectives, will have to await future meetings.

The $43 million financing program, consisting of 4.5% revenue bonds, destined for Desert Fashion Plaza renovation, includes $11 million for new streets along with repairs/maintenance needs of the plaza’s underground parking structure. The remaining $32 million will go into a plaza renovation escrow account. In exchange for that $32 million the City, according to staff reports, is receiving:

(1) Ownership of over 1,000 underground parking spaces (just the “air space”, not the land);
(2) Land sufficient to allow the Palm Springs Art Museum to expand on site; 
(3) Some public restrooms in the downtown area.

It is believed the City intends to give the acquired land to the Palm Springs Art Museum, possibly as payback for museum officials having campaigned on behalf of the Measure J Sales Tax hike’s passage.

The proposal to relocate the critically panned 26 foot, 34,000 pound “Forever Marilyn” statue from Chicago to Palm Springs is the brainchild of downtown business leaders. Their continual quest for tourist dollars leads them to believe a statue that’s been described by critics as “atrocious”, “cheesy”, “kitschy”, “hideous”, “sexist”, “shocking”, “obscene” and more, will appeal to tourists with dollars to spend. The tasteless “Forever Marilyn” statue appears to meet that description though whether the anticipated financial rewards hold true remains to be seen. The statue, reportedly on lease at an estimated cost of $100 thousand, is expected to remain until Desert Fashion Plaza construction begins in late 2013 or early 2014. Its prominent location near the Palm Springs Art Museum should serve to identify ours as a community of cultural diversity and, though possibly unintended, genuine extremes.

Last year the city council decided to hike the sales tax rate one percent in order to fork over $43 million for renovation of the Desert Fashion Plaza. Developer John Wessman and friends put together a committee to convince voters to approve the sales tax rate hike, raised over $250 thousand to fund their campaign, and spent over $43 for each vote received. City Hall spent another $60 thousand encouraging voter support. In January the City loaned Mr. Wessman $500 thousand in order to stage a mock demolition party, including city council members  taking symbolic sledge hammer swings, at his old Bank of America building. And now the “Forever Marilyn” statue will join the ever-growing list of spectacles and events in this continuing saga.

How will historians view this period in Palm Springs when they write about these and related occurrences? Will the time be remembered as a period of significant business community greed; one led by forward thinking visionaries; a time of public funds waste and misuse; the beginning of a Palm Springs “golden era”; a period of political corruption; or a high point that morphed into gradual decline?  Will the written history of this time in Palm Springs be entertaining and fascinating – just interesting – or predictably boring?

Bond Shands
April 12, 2012






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0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes


Palm Springs, California.  California-Colorado commuting Palm Springs
Mayor Steve Pougnet may be on the brink of genuine financial independence. After
years without private sector employment he has a new job that should free him
from dependence on others for continuing financial support. And he gets to keep
his current mayoral position with its $40,000 annual salary. Mayor Pougnet has
managed to sell himself, though the salary  from his new job remains secret, and
only he knows if his services are going to the highest bidder.



Palm Springs Mayor Sold To Highest Bidder?


It appears the Palm Springs City Council has a new unofficial member, one without an actual vote, but with substantial behind-the-scenes influence. Local political power player Harold Matzner has hired California-Colorado commuting Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet for full time work as his assistant at the Palm Springs International Film Festival where Matzner serves as chairman. In these types of relationships it’s not the employee who calls the shots and those in need of influence with the City Council could surely do worse than line up Mr. Matzner in their corner.

Matzner shared leadership of last Fall’s controversial Yes on Measure J campaign and at $75,156.75 was that campaign’s second largest contributor. He and his Spencer’s Restaurant also hosted Mayor Steve Pougnet’s reelection campaign kickoff and victory party events. And his influence undoubtedly facilitated inclusion of a new theatre complex as a requirement for the Desert Fashion Plaza renovation plan. He has previously been identified as a local philanthropist who is often in the news as the contributor of $100,000 checks to various charitable activities. It’s surprising to see him step out of the philanthropy mode and extensively dabble so prominently in local politics.

Much speculation surrounds the shocking purchase of the Mayor’s services by Matzner, but few believe it is for personal financial gain. He reportedly is a man with extensive New Jersey-based financial resources and his real interests may lie in producing a lasting legacy as a significant local personage. While the names Frank Bogart, Sonny Bono, Jackie Lee Houston and even John Wessman are the stuff of local legend, the name Harold Matzner has not achieved that level of recognition. He surely doesn’t wish a John Wessman reputation but any favorable comparison to recently departed Palm Springs Angel Jackie Lee Houston would be the legacy desired. Why Matzner would derail his legacy goals by walking down the political trail and picking up the California-Colorado commuting mayor as his assistant is a question that doesn’t seem to have an obvious answer. One would assume a carefully nurtured legacy would not be well served by the friends and foes involvements often found in the political arena. Perhaps there is an irresistible degree of personal satisfaction in knowing that one is in a position to manipulate the local levers of power.

As for Mayor Steve Pougnet the question that’s been raised is whether he sold himself to the highest bidder? Or did Matzner merely acquire something off the shelf?

Bond Shands
Palm Springs


0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Palm Springs, California.  Desert Fashion Plaza developer John Wessman’s “Committee to Support Measure J” campaign raised and spent $259,817.45 in their massive effort to pass the November 8, 2011 Sales Tax Hike ballot issue in Palm Springs. According to their campaign financial reports, $200,436.35 in Cash Contributions and $59,381.10 in Nonmonetary Contributions were received during the period from September 1 through December 31, 2011.

As was to be expected John Wessman’s $94,227.40 was the largest contribution to his campaign and its success will now make possible the City Council’s plan to award $43 million for renovation of the plaza property. His $94,227.40 investment in exchange for $43 million in taxpayer funds definitely qualifies as a sweet deal.

Spencers Restaurant owner Harold Matzner was the second largest contributor with $75,156.75 in cash, free meals, and newspaper advertising costs, etc.
 
Almost 95% of the Cash and Nonmonitary contributions, totaling $246,708.50, came from eleven (11) contributors. The following is a listing of the eleven (11) large contribution sources.

        Wessman Holdings, LLC                                             $  94,227.40
        Harold Matzner & Spencers Restaurant                            75,156.75
        The Penta Building Group                                              22,000.00
        Palm Springs Hospitality Association                                16,000.00
        GHA Enterprises                                                            7,500.00
        Lulu Restaurant                                                            6,276.43
        Buzz Factory                                                                6,166.66
        Issues Mobilization Political Action Committee                     6,000.00
        G&M Construction                                                          5,000.00
        Legacy Palm Springs, LLC                                                5,000.00
        Palm Springs Art Museum                                                3,381.26

Total contributions received 9/1/2011 through 9/24/2011        $  64,774.21
Total contributions received 9/25/2011 through 10/22/2011     $  84,846.99
Total contributions received  10/23/2011 through 12/30/2011  $ 110,196.25

It should be noted the City of Palm Springs budgeted an additional $60,000 in campaign
funds which were administered independent of the Wessman campaign by
City Manager David Ready. Those funds appear to be exempt from the Fair
Political Practices Commission reporting requirements. City Manager
Ready insisted his campaign was “educational” though it lacked an
unbiased, independent point of view and instead promoted the passage of
Measure J.

Copies of the three Committee to Support Measure J Campaign Financing Reports may be viewed/downloaded using the links below.

Bond Shands
Palm Springs

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Palm Springs, California.  Will future Palm Springs residents recall Thursday, January 26, 2012, in their city as a Day of Shame and one associated with a time of political corruption?

On November 8th, 2011 Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, City Manager David Ready and developer John Wessman celebrated the victory of their Measure J campaign to hike the local sales tax rate and hand over millions of dollars to Mr. Wessman. That campaign, born of greed and self-interest, proved that vast amounts of money can buy an election. More than $250 thousand was spent on a propaganda smokescreen of unenforceable promises, half-truths, fake statistics and demonstrations that included massive amounts of  television, radio, newspaper, billboards and other signs, along with email and direct mail advertising, all designed to bury the truth and convince voters that a meaningless term, “Downtown Revitalization”, would somehow result from their support of the new tax. “Downtown Revitalization” is an undefined concept, without a time line, that fitted neatly into a propaganda campaign that saw more than $40 spent for each of the votes it received. In winning that election, Mssrs Pougnet, Wessman and Ready definitely had reason to celebrate, for they too proved “you can fool … some of the people all of the time…

The City Council has since authorized expenditure of $500 thousand from the General Fund to allow developer John Wessman to immediately begin demolition work on his Desert Fashion Plaza property. A well-funded  propaganda campaign has been mounted seeking community support for the start of the demolition work on Thursday, January 26th. According to a City press release the following will be part of the spectacle.

“A champagne toast and free block party celebration sponsored by Wessman Development, featuring finger foods from LULU California Bistro, Kaiser Grille, Matchbox, Las Casuelas Terraza and dessert donated by local realtor Brady Sandahl is slated for about 2 p.m. in the parking lot behind the old Bank of America.”

It may be many years before the financial outcome of the decision to renovate John Wessman’s Desert Fashion Plaza will be known. Even then it may not be possible to determine whether and to what extent, if any, the downtown community benefited from taxpayer funding of the Wessman property’s renovation. What is known is the City will never recover those taxpayer funds for they will be handed over without expectation of repayment or sharing of profits. That meaningless “Downtown Revitalization” phrase will continue to defy precise definition; and no time line will ever be attached to whatever process it pretends to represent. The waste of taxpayer funds will take its place in the history of local politics but no one will ever be penalized or held accountable for the failure of the renovation project to meet the promised expectations of the taxpaying community. Even so, over 42% of the voters realized Measure J was bad legislation and they voted against it. Their consolation may come with the passage of time when their no votes will surely be proved right.

When city officials join with affluent interests who pool their funds to buy an election intended for their benefit, does that qualify as political corruption? When city officials offer champagne toasts to celebrate their successful fleecing of the taxpaying community, does that not represent a Day of Shame? And is the undefined “Downtown Revitalization” phrase little different than the search for the proverbial “Fountain of Youth”? It is probably too early for these and similar questions to find definitive answers. It may require the passage of considerable time before full realization becomes apparent and voters learn the extent of how they were fooled into voting gifts of public funds for the sole benefit of private interests.

Thursday’s demolition party spectacle should remind us that money buys elections and Measure J proved that to be true. The sight of the elections’ beneficiaries orchestrating community champagne toasts memorializing their success should be remembered as a Day of Shame. And each time those beneficiaries of taxpayer funds take additional victory laps, such events should also be remembered as Days of Shame.
 
Bond Shands
Palm Springs


0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Committee for No on Measure J
VoteNOonMeasureJ.org
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

News Release
For information:
Contact:   Bond Shands
Email:      pstaxpayer@gmail.com

Election Day – Final Decision Day – Campaigning Ends Day

 
The Committee for No on Measure J and the Palm Springs Taxpayers group have always viewed Measure J as a bad idea. It resulted from private negotiations involving city officials without input from voters or any of the City Boards or Commissions. The Measure’s intent is to benefit developer John Wessman and his Desert Fashion Plaza property. The principal flaw in the Measure is the $43 million bailout using taxpayer funds with no provision for repayment or sharing of revenues or profits from the proposed city-subsidized plaza renovation.

We view the $43 million bailout as a misuse of public funds and for that reason remain adamantly opposed to Measure J. There are other avenues available for plaza development that do not involve gifts of public funds and we encourage City officials and developer John Wessman to explore those options. Taxpayer funds should never be used to line the pockets of individuals or private business enterprises.

Elections do have consequences. Today’s vote on Measure J will send a message how Palm Springs voters view using taxpayer money to fund a privately owned development. Whether in favor, or opposed, today is the last day to participate in that decision. Tomorrow, of course, is for moving on.

Finally, thank you to all who have supported the No on Measure J movement with your endorsements, financial support, expressions of encouragement and, of course, your votes.

The “Committee for No on Measure J” Leadership Team

Andy Hirsch –  Voter Outreach
Bob Richmond  –  Campaign Strategy and Voter Outreach
Bond Shands  –  Media Spokesman
Elise Richmond  –  Finance & Fundraising
Jack Webster  –  Campaign Strategy and Voter Outreach
Kelly Eustis  –  Campaign Consultant
Renee DeVolt  –  Treasurer (Finance & Fundraising)
Sue Ferguson –  Recording Secretary

______________________________________________________
Committee for No on Measure J
Renee DeVolt, Treasurer | Committee ID #1341720
1111 Tahquitz Canyon Way  – Suite 111
Palm Springs, Ca. 92262
pstaxpayer@gmail.com | www.VoteNoOnMeasureJ.org

Visit us on our “Palm Springs Taxpayers” Facebook page.
www.facebook.com/PalmSpringsTaxpayers

Click here to view or download a PDF copy the No on J FAQ.

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0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes