First, an apology is due. Yesterday, I stated that there was going to be a meeting at “Mariner’s Park”. The meeting was at “Marina Park”. This is a small misspelling with a tremendous impact, and I sincerely apologize to those who went where I directed them and had no meeting to be found.
Second, last night was exceedingly unproductive.
All of what you would have expected to happen, happened: I asked about the price more than doubling in a year for the McDonalds property (it was purchased in 2016 for just under $2m and the city is now spending just over $4m to buy it), and we were told, essentially, “that’s just what it costs”. The fire station does have legitimate arguments for needing to be rebuilt, but zero arguments for it needing to be relocated (if they merely rented the McDonalds property while the old station was rebuilt, the city would save millions and not put lives at risk).
The city is looking to sell the property that the fire station is currently located on for $2.5m, when the size of that land should easily be worth $8.5m on the free market. Anyone want to bet that who wins that bid will be a council crony?
I also asked why the city has such a long history of over-paying when buying property and selling below market when selling property, that in addition to the $8.5m taxpayer-owned property being eyeballed for sale at $2.5m:
– The city had offers for $1.6m and $1.7m on the Balboa Theater property, but the city sold it for $1.1m.
– We spent $10.5m to buy and demolish that Blockbuster building to turn it into a parking lot, only to lose two parking spaces in total when it was done. The sale price was 3.3x what the OC Assessor said that abandoned building was worth.
– The hotel is receiving a lease somewhere between 1/6th and 1/12th of market rates.
– Now we are buying yet another abandoned building for more than double what it sold for last year.
The answer I received on that? Crickets.
(I forgot to mention the $12.5m property that the city gave as a 70-year lease to ExplorOcean for less than $1/day, sorry guys…)
I tried to ask the second question about why we are moving it further South if 80% of the calls are going North, but Councilwoman Diane Dixon stated we needed to “move on”, and stopped the question from being answered.
The Balboa Trolley was heralded as a success, but questions were cut off after just two were asked “in the name of time”.
Dixon initially removed the Boardwalk Bike Ban from the discussion schedule (she said it was because someone was out sick) but was oddly excited about bringing it up anyway. Some people would think that it was removed because she didn’t want to defend it against a large crowd, but thanks to me giving people the wrong address, she was happy to pick it up in face of limited opposition.
She stated that she really, totally, absolutely, definitely, is not looking to ban bicycles on the boardwalk.
Just like she promised to “Stop the Dock Tax” before affirming it.
Just like she promised to “Save Dog Beach” before attacking it.
Just like she promised to “lower taxes” before raising them.
Just like she promised to “help restore fiscal sanity” in our completely unfunded pension liabilities, then she increased them.
Just like she promised to “protect property rights”, before attempting to seize property rights.
Just like she promised to “promote our locally owned small businesses” before attacking them.
She’s now promising to “not ban bicycles from the boardwalk”.
So despite her taking multiple polls to ban bikes, despite her then instructing staff to use taxpayer money to do a “bicycle study on the boardwalk”, despite her voting to ban eBikes (without any staff study on them at all), and despite her condemnation of bikes, she really, totally promises not to ban bikes.
Don’t you trust Diane Dixon?
I mean she gave you her word– as a politician.