August 16, 2010

Two Birds, One Stone

Remember that Don't -Talk-About-Wal-Mart letter the city attorney sent to the council members and city council candidates? She warned them not to talk to the people who would have to live with these projects, because their input might taint the approval process. The council is supposed to be so unbiased when they make land use decisions that they are not supposed hear or talk about a project until it is up for approval.  Then they are supposed to listen to all the sides and make a "quasi judicial" decision after hearing all the evidence. Ha! What a joke. Apparently this quasi mumbo jumbo stuff only applies to Wal-Mart and nothing else.

Seriously. First of all, the council members are also the redevelopment agency board. And the redevelopment agency is the chief developer in town. Right now, the redevelopment agency (literally, the city staff) has been meeting sub rosa (latin for secretly) with Lowe's and Poway Toyota and working out a little deal where they move Poway Toyota over to the empty car dealerships on the other side of the street. Then, there will be room for Lowe's on the north side of Poway Rd after the council cuts them some slack on the required setbacks. How is the council supposed to be unbiased when they review a project that their own agency has been working on for months? There is absolutely nothing any member of the public can say that is going to turn this project back, because the deal has already been decided.

I haven't read all the details, but here is the gist of it: We are going to pay Toyota some $3 million in incentives to move across the street.  You might wonder where that $3 million is going to come from since the governor got his hands on the city's redevelopment money. No problem. Remember the sewer slush fund? Turns out the city skimmed $3 million from that to "backfill"  Redevelopment for a sewer project on Oak Knoll Rd that the Redevelopment Agency had already paid for. No wonder the staff doesn't want to talk about the sewer fees. Where would they get money to play auto-dealer musical chairs with if they couldn't fleece us on our sewer bills?

The city is insisting that Toyota add a auto-body shop when they move across the street. Auto-body shops are notorious air polluters. And this one will be adjacent to residential property. So, in addition to a car wash that will exceed residential noise levels, the resident's will have to get used to a plethora of carcinogens wafting around. These residents should keep in mind that when they get cancer, it is all for the common good because the city can get lots of sales tax money to support the bloated salaries and pensions of the  staff and to keep the quality of life humming in north Poway.

And speaking of north Powegians...Dick Lyles posted some pro-WalMart cheerleading on the Poway Unslanted blog:

Time and again, it has been demonstrated that when a Walmart with groceries enters a community, consumer prices drop throughout the market, sales tax revenues increase and local business grows.  Bringing groceries to the Poway Walmart store will allow families to save money on their grocery bill and stimulate Poway’s economy.
The WalMart expansion will not change the city’s general plan.  The only question is whether we want a good WalMart at that location or a better one.

That's so sweet of Dick to care about helping families save money on their grocery bills. Dick, here's some empathy coming right back at ya'. I know you live about as far from Wal-Mart as someone can live and still reside within the Poway city limits. You not only live far from Wal-Mart (and all of of its impacts), you live far away from any shopping opportunities. You live in blighted, store-free north Poway.

For many decades now, north Powegians have heroically (and without complaint) traveled to Rancho Bernardo to buy the basic necessities. That is a waste of time and gas, and it means San Diego is getting a big chunk of our sales tax dollars. I propose we remedy that. I have figured out a way to bring retail opportunities (and sales tax generation) to north Poway. The city should buy Maderas Golf Course and put in a regional shopping mecca.  It would solve a couple of big problems all at once.

First, north Poway is golf course rich and shopping center poor. Taking out an excess golf course and putting in a shopping center will be a real win-win. Think of all the water we will save. The golf courses use 4% of all of the water sold in Poway. And they pay about half of what the rest of us pay. The city could get a lot more money selling that water to someone else.

It really wouldn't be too difficult. The roads are in. Espola Rd is capable of carrying just as much traffic as Poway Rd. There shouldn't be too many environmental constraints since they already wiped out the vernal pools and most of the sensitive habitat when they built Maderas. Not many people would be impacted by the noise 'cause most of the nearby residents have an acre or two as buffer.

One little problem is that the golf course provided a public benefit. In lieu of paying the required park fees, the city council, at Don Higginson's suggestion, allowed Maderas to substitute a few public tee times instead. So, to compensate for this great public benefit that will be wiped out if a regional shopping center is built here, I suggest we alot some space for a couple of sports fields. There is plenty of room, and plenty of water and parking, so it should work out fine.

I think a regional shopping center smack dab in the center of north Poway is really the best and highest possible use for that land. And if San Diego ups their sales tax rate, folks from Rancho Bernardo would be flocking to Poway to shop.  Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Ka-ching, I can hear the money dropping in our sales tax coffers now.  It's like killing two...three...maybe even four birds with one stone: more sales tax revenue, more water available, more playing fields and Dick Lyles can shop in his own neighborhood. Who wouldn't be in favor of such a brilliant idea?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Vincent Castro should take care of his workers he placed in buildings full of MOLD first WWW.MOLDTRUTH.WORDPRESS.COM

Anonymous said...

8/13/2010, San Francisco, Dina Padilla, candidate for California Insurance

Commissioner is calling for the investigation and prosecution of Poway Toyota

dealership owners Vincent Castro, Troy Duhon along with manager Rick Gallagher.

Evidence strongly indicates Vincet Castro, Troy Duhon and Gallagher knowingly

contaminated many workers at this dealership who were sickened from mold

at his business. He has also threatened and attempted to bully workers into

silence, who complained about health and safety problems at the dealership.

“This is illegal.” Padilla said.

OHSA Complaint Filed Against Toyota Dealership

Padilla called for the San Diego District Attorney and the California Insurance

Commissioner, Steve Poizner, to immediately launch an investigation and for

prosecution. She also called on Democratic Party candidate Insurance

Commissioner candidate Dave Jones and other Insurance Commissioner candidates

to support investigation and prosecution of Poway Toyota dealership owner

Vincent Castro for attempting to shift his workers compensation costs to others.

“We cannot allow companies and their workers’ compensation insurers to shift their

responsibility for the illnesses caused by their actions onto the taxpayers of

California” said candidate Padilla.

Anonymous said...

Padilla's letters that were given to the Poway City Council regarding the workers' comp insurance fraud by Toyota of Poway. They have left these injured workers high and dry, which shifts the cost burden for their survival on to state disability programs, aka, CA taxpayers. NOW, the City of Poway being fully informed of the matter before they voted, have chosen to give this SAME business $3M MORE taxpayer dollars? Doesn't that make the City of Poway partners with known criminals who are already gaming the system and taxpayers?

This is what the City Council of Poway was informed and evidenced of, BEFORE they voted.

Anonymous said...

quick link to documents on poway city councils website I found the money for the school bus program for poway schools

Anonymous said...

he should run for mayor of poway

Anonymous said...

You really have to LOL @ Dick Lyles' comments, and whole blog for that matter. Groceries are not taxable, so we will not see any increase in revenues with a "better" WalMart. Only an increase in traffic, light and noise pollution, and more blight as Poway Road businesses shut down because they are unable to compete with below market prices set by WalMart. I also think he is a bit hypocritical in the fact that he has probably never set foot in a WalMart, ever.
I think he knows his views are a bit extreme, because he will not allow comments on his blog, only his rants.