Grand Terrace City Manager Tom Schwab was interviewed by Donald Thistle and is quoted in the Grand Terrace City News April 7th edition in an article Headlined: "City Manager Says Grand Terrace Partners' Identities are no Mystery".
Everyone should read the article for themselves. Get yourself a copy and read it two or more times. Read for facts, and read for tone.
City Manager Mr. Schwab makes several statements in fact and in tone which raise concerns of this bloger. First of all the claim that the information as to who the "Grand Terrace Partners" were was made public in a "Public Document" in November is an interesting defense to not being able to identify the companies, and the lawyer which formed the LLC by name in response to a public question during a City Council Meeting. Nhea, he retorted that The City's Legal Council doesn't like the Council Members to answer questions during a meeting. This does not inspire trust in The Council's Knowledge of what is going on, or the truth being shared openly.
City Manager Tom Schwab said "We sought out the companies" and reasons "they do not have undue influence upon us". This form of logic and City Management is flawed. First of all did the City put out to bid a proposal for the development of 123 acres of land along the freeway? Were there other ideas or developers invited to the table or discussed. Once the City Manager made his "Hand Picked" selection don't they become yes men to his singular opinion, has he not become obligated to support or defend his grandiose plans?
City Manager Tom Schawb has been presented with a report from the "Grand Terrace Partners" which calls for significant change in HIS PLAN and VISION of the area to be developed. Now this is where the citizens of Grand Terrace should become alerted to what this city has become. Has the City of Grand Terrace has become a City Manager Dictatorship?
Have the former owners of the property been denied their rights to fully appreciate the use and development of the property so that Schawbland could be developed? Has the City of Grand Terrace tread on the rights and free trade of property and development by allowing the City Manager and the City Planning Department to "Zone Out" other possible uses of private and formerly private property? Is this the kind of city we want to live in?
Now as to the Disclosed Information:
The Grand Terrace Partners,. a Limited Liability Company is a California Corporation which has Richard Anderson Attorney at Law as it's sole contact, according to the California Corporation Web Site. http://kepler.ss.ca.gov/corpdata/ShowLpllcAllList?QueryLpllcNumber=200432010224
GRAND TERRACE PARTNERS, LLC
Date Filed: 11/10/2004
5000 NORTH PKWY CALABASAS STE 210
CALABASAS, CA 91302
Agent for Service of Process
RICHARD A LAWRENCE
5000 NORTH PKWY CALABASAS STE 210
CALABASAS, CA 91302
Mar Ventures Inc. Is a builder of strip malls and office and retail space. It's online example of work they have done and are doing does not show that they have experience in the type of development of the scope presented to the Citizens of Grand Terrace. Their web site and location is:
Mar Ventures, Inc.
2050 W. 190th Street, Suite 108
Torrance, CA 90504Tel (310) 782-2525~ Fax (310) 781-9253 http://www.marventures.com/home.html
Madison Marquet is a larger company with nation wide developments. These developments are nice enough but they do not demonstrate a history of development of the type proposed by the City Manager Tom Schwab. Their web page and contact information is:
1100 Glendon Avenue, Ste. 1200
Los Angeles, California 90024
Key Personal for Madison Marquet can be found at the web site http://www.madisonmarquette.com/about_personnel.asp .
Of course there are no apparent link to any one in Grand Terrace. Also note that the Outdoor Activity Center is not listed as being a project on either web site. Also note that the type of project presented to the citizens of Grand Terrace in November as a Done Deal as far as the planning phase has never been done by either of the partners of "Grand Terrace Partners".
The revised plan is closer to what has been done in the past. Retail space for lease and some mixed use development. No development is close to being related to the development of a park like outdoor sports like retail center as envisioned by City Manager Tom Schawb.
City Manager Tom Schawb defense as to the availability of information by saying, " Those names Madison Marqwuette, Richard Anderson and Mar Ventures were publicly identified last November .... after a closed negotiation in a public document." Everyone should be offended by that statement. How would a citizen know to ask for a "public document" which is a document that is created after a private and closed meeting? This should remind all of us of the old shell game at the fair.
Property Development is not a bad thing. What is wrong, very wrong here is that the City Manager Tom Schawb and thus the City of Grand Terrace have tread on individual rights to develop their own property in a way which would be more inline with the practices of capitalism, private property ownership, and freedom of commerce. Shame on us all.
The City must begin to place an open call for open proposals on all City or Redevelopment Agency Property for all potential developers to put in proposals, and bids. The City MUST get out of the business of playing developer and property owner. The City Must NOT renew Tom Schawb's contract. The City Must put out to competitive bid all contracts for professional services and purchases. The City Manager should not be able to hand pick the City's Lawyer, Engineer, or other professionals needed for professional unbiased consultation with the Council.
There is apparently a revised plan... Go Get your copy. Send it to the blog and it will be posted for all to read.