Dear Mayor Weir, Deputy Mayor Fulton and Council Members,

I want to make sure that the public knows that VCORD considers your pressuring a council formed volunteer view committee to spend up to $110,000 on an expensive Los Angeles consultant to be fiscally irresponsible. The city’s view committee was denied staff support and told it was “on its own” if it did not choose one of your prescreened Town Architects, who espouses high-rise New Urbanist development. 

This is a ridiculous luxury following the city’s admission last week that $10 million of our tax dollars may be down the drain by your investments in Lehman and Washington Mutual. Every penny now must be saved to secure our neighbors’ jobs who work at the city. We ask you to re-examine your priorities and put people’s jobs above all else.

You have bent over backwards to overly weight and politicize this redundant committee with members who favor high rise development and now you intimidate them into spending $100,000 taxpayer dollars during a financial crisis to justify your own high rise, high density ideology. If you cared about views, you would put a moratorium on height limits until the people have a chance to vote in Nov. 09 when the VCORD View Initiative is on the ballot.  

The lone VCORD representative to the city’s view committee and several others believed the volunteers would be supported by our city staff. The city staff obviously does not want to work with public volunteers so, claims to be busy with development projects elsewhere-projects that should be subject to a view ordinance, but won’t be. A view ordinance does not exist, development is at a standstill, and we are in the worst financial crisis since 1929. 

To bully the volunteers into spending more than $100,000 by denying them staff help, is to fiddle while Rome burns. The city’s staff is fully capable of assisting the task force and you all know that. You simply don’t want to direct them to do so.

These actions are placing a real cloud over the work of the volunteers on the City’s View Task force, and you are risking community support for its outcome. In this flagrant disregard for the public’s tax dollars you are creating the appearance of a lack of sensitivity to the pain we, as taxpayers, are already feeling. The VCORD View Initiative will NOT require a $100,000 tax outlay for an expensive consultant, but will be done by the neighborhoods that are affected by high-rise development.

We implore you to be fiscally responsible and re-direct these funds to a higher priority, such as job retention.

Camille Harris
Ventura Citizens for
Responsible Development