Hurst’s lending practices under scrutiny

May 10, 2008

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN

Hard money lending schemes and questionable business practices have jeopardized hundreds of millions of dollars of investors’ money and placed several San Luis Obispo financial firms directly in the path of a sweeping probe by federal, state, and local investigative agencies.

Some lenders have closed up shop; others have simply ceased making interest payments on loans.

(See previous UncoveredSLO.com articles, “Fraud lawsuit filed against Gearhart, Hurst,” May 6, and “Gearhart’s $28 million Paso project imperiled,” April 29, on this site.)

Among the lending companies currently under scrutiny is Hurst Financial of Atascadero, owned and operated by Jay Hurst Miller. Hurst makes high-risk, generally short-term “bridge” loans to contractors. Investors, during good times, would receive 12 to 14 percent on their money in monthly interest payments, with their entire principal returned upon maturation of the loan.

Now, however, many of Hurst’s monthly interest payments on numerous construction projects have abruptly stopped, and investors are becoming increasingly concerned about the future of their funds.

Rita is a 65-year-old Cambria resident who suffers from multiple sclerosis and can no longer walk. Her husband placed the couple’s savings, $830,000, with Hurst Financial prior to his death from a long term illness, thinking he had guaranteed his wife’s financial security.

“I need 24-hour care,” Rita explained. “Without my interest and possibly my investment, I’m not going to be able to afford my caregivers and I will have to sell my house. I don’t know where I will end up. I am scared.”

According to Rita, Miller failed to return numerous calls she placed to him requesting information. In the midst of the financial turmoil, Miller took a 10-day trip to Hawaii.

“I am appalled that they would leave their business in the state it was in,” Rita added. “How do they dare go on a vacation? It shows they have no concern for their investors’ situations.”

Miller did not return phone calls and e-mails from reporters requesting comment.

Professionals with intimate knowledge of details of the unfolding venture disaster predict that local investors will be lucky to recover pennies on the dollar. UncoveredSLO.com interviewed numerous individual local investors, contractors, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and lenders while preparing this article.

Hurst’s key player’s lifestyles were allegedly right out of the movies: fancy cars, gold jewelry, private jets, and high rolling excursions to Las Vegas. Investors allege Hurst and his associates used construction monies to live the high life, while paying interest from one account to fund another.

The pitch was alluring. Investments were supposedly secured by first trust deeds; had low loan to value ratios; and all monies were placed into secured accounts with a draw system – funds to be paid out only as construction work progresses.

Hurst assured investors they would be provided with copies of construction agreements on projects in which they were vested; Hurst failed to provide the documents, according to investors.

Numerous investors claim they were wooed with talk of accurate property appraisals, only to find out later that many projects had been given alleged inflated values. Hurst’s appraiser, Terry L. Pippin, is licensed only as a “certified residential” appraiser, licensed to appraise residential property from 1 to 4 units, each with a maximum market value of $250,000; or commercial properties valued at no more than $250,000. Investors report Pippin’s name has appeared as the appraiser of record on commercial projects valued at millions of dollars.

The firm also sold securities out-of-state, according to investors in Texas and Idaho. Generally, state regulations governing hard money lending require lenders to be licensed in the state where the investor resides.

Jim and Michele Mitchell live in Idaho. The retired couple has the bulk of their retirement funds, $638,000, invested with Hurst. The entire transaction occurred through the mail between Hurst’s Atascadero office and the Mitchell’s Idaho home.

“We made a trip [to California] to talk to Jay last month,” said Jim Mitchell. “We went to a couple of properties. There was no structure, nothing. It’s disturbing to me.”

Allan Beil, a 65-year-old retired Texas resident, also claimed Miller knew he was living out of state when he asked Bell to invest his retirement, $480,000, into Hurst construction loans.

“Jay absolutely knew I was living in Texas,” Beil said. “I think it’s going to be very hard for anyone to get money out of this. It took us 30 years to put that money together, and he just took it all. My wife and I are talking about going back to work. It’s an appalling thought to me. We worked to get to a point where we can retire comfortably. Everything I worked for is literally falling apart. They destroyed it. They stole the money. It is not about investment risk.”

Hurst maintains one-person offices in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Florida. Sales originating in each respective office generally must be made to qualified investors in that state only.

Yvonne Zamora, an investor with both Hurst and Estate Financial, took matters into her own hands when interest payments on her loans ceased last fall.

After checking with local law enforcement officials, Zamora began marching back and forth in front of Hurst’s Atascadero office, carrying a sign that read, “Hurst is the worst! Don’t Invest!” on one side and “Hurst is cursed! Don’t invest!” on the other side.

Within 45 minutes, Miller agreed to return Zamora’s investment. She was paid in full the following day.

Zamora proceeded to Estate Financial, another beleaguered hard money lender, where she picketed for three days to no avail with a sign that read “Meet your fate at Estate” on one side and “Burned at the stake by Estate” on the other.

Tags:, Estate financial, Gearhart, Hurst Financial, Paso Robles


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Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/17/08

The new $800,000+ fire truck was paid for by DEVELOPERS FEES. Have you figured out yet who the developers are?

The city doesn't pay for any infrastructure, guess again it's the developers. Guess who pays for the maintenance of the infrastructure in new developments, the new homeowners thru HOA fees. In fact this city charges some new homeowners approx. $465 additional yearly fee/tax for police, fire and parks. Most of the mandated "affordable homes" are charged these fees, how hypocritical is that? And if your lucky enough to live outside of the "urban dvelopment line" there is an ADDITIONAL $18,000+ fee added on to your normal fees. These are all paid for by developers. Could be part of the reason some developers are in financial fifficulty? The unfortunate part of all this is that the city pays out $100's of thousands dollaes are year for studies that have no results. The ultimate result will be bankruptcy.

By: Anonymous on 5/17/08

Keep telling yourself that,Insider, you dope. If Atascadero goes bankrupt, it will have nothing to do with WalMart or the lack thereof. It will be because 1,200 citizens gave millions and millions of their dollars to two people, Gearhart and Hurst to be invested in the infrastructure of this city but now is lost and the multi million dollar projects now stand empty. Check it out: Anaheim went bankrupt and it has a Walmart AND Disneyland. The city of Vallejo recently filed for Bankruptcy as well, and it has a super Wal-mart (it's neighboring city, smaller then Atascadero, American Canyon, only 9 miles away also has a super Walmart)AND they have the huge amusement park, Marine-World. I don't see Wal-Mart stepping in to save these cities with all their tax-revenue. If Atascadero goes bankrupt (and it won't) it will be because of you and your 'Atascadero-hating' cronies. Atascadero is not broke. Where did it get that brand new $800,000 fire truck? I didn't see a ribbon on it saying…Merry Christmas from Wal-Mart!

I'm sorry you have ruined your life with alcohol and driven off all your friends, but you really should seek some more positive attention.

By: Anonymous on 5/16/08

to sobia


Everyone knew it was you. I guess after 6 mo. of standing in front of every store in Atascadero and harassing every shopper to sign your initiative. Think it took 6 mo. of an all out campaign to get a couple of thousand signatures. If it goes to a vote it will never pass. Your only chance is to get the union boss to get your political cronies Smokey the Bear Brennlet and Ellen the turtle Bereau to accept it as a ordinance. Wall-Mart will take a walk and we can just go ahead and file the Bankruptcy papers. Good job.

By: Anonymous on 5/16/08

Ha, ha, ha! I have slimed you all! I have successfully derailed this list and also the other one about Hurst. Can't you see it's all about ME? Thanks everyone for continuing to feed me with your posts since it's WAY too hot for me to venture outside! Ha, ha! Jokes on you!


OK….see how easily that was done? This is really Sobia. Half the time you can't sure WHO is writing and who is responding. Most the time, it's just insider talking to himself…..lonely old f*rt


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/16/08

To Cindy and Hidden Agenda


Yeah Cindy keep it up. Don't give into the truth. Your one of us. This thing about Tom and the unions could only make us look bad. We must hide the truth. I know we could say no Tom has no ongoing relationship with the unions and that Tom was nothing more than a regular member as required by employment at ASH. If that was true. How appropriate you sould choose to blog under Hidden Agenda. So Cindy please stay on the down low you wouldn't want to upset the Comars.

By: Anonymous on 5/16/08

I have been to city hall. I do have the records. Our "leaders", your puppets fail to act on the misdeeds of theri employees. OPM is a major player causing most of the division in this town. Cindy has the numbers and the source of funds that support Luna, Brennler and Beraud. This is the same organization and people who are against development in this town which may ultimatly result in bankruptcy. The facts are the facts you need to face up to them.

By: Anonymous on 5/16/08

Insider i wrote a folk song for you sung to the tune of Davey Crocket. sidee insidee king of the gearhart blogs. up on a mountain top in atascadi, kilt him a slobear when he was only 3, took it deeper&deeper down on his knees now he rules the blogs with mr rikki sidee insidee king of the gearhart blogs

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

Hasn't it always been about side railing people? When are we all going to learn to ignore these "screw balls" that seek to obfuscate the facts. Its really too bad to have this blog so slimmed by two a–holes. Cindy-your doing the right thing, please keep it up and don't reply to them. I doubt that they will go away but try not to let them drag you into their BS.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

If I had control of this site I would track the IP address of people who destroy the contents for everyone else and block them from posting.Then maybe we could all stay on track without getting slimed. The reporting on this site is too valuable to have it undermined by people like insider and deeper & deeper is a close second like a dog running nose to tail.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

To Deeper & Deeper,

Your just as bad as insider. Read the damn blog before you shoot your mouth off. Or maybe that 12 pack has you cross eyed. You have finished this blog for good. No one is going to talk to you except you. Are you happy that you have helped to mess with the real issue (the investors)? Why don't you take a hike down to city hall and take a look at the records. They rae available as someone here has already told you.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

INSIDER you finally have a forum to get even with K.G. You must have dreamed of this opportunity your whole life. You were a pathetic weasel of a gay puke in high school and I can see nothings changed. You have no life, never had one.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

I have noticed that almost every piece of property that K.G. owns is on the market at this time. Good luck with that. nighty night.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

Insider.I just mixed up som cooooolaid like you asked sobia to do. it didint work i am still angry with you that words cant express after leaving your beautiful wife for RICK after all those years. I really thought you were credible

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

INSIDER don't give up all women for MR.RICK (rikki) as you like to call him. I can get you on my show "A SHOT AT LOVE WITH TIA TEQUILA (mtv) Everyone that comes on my show swings both ways, its so much fun! Anyway I'm really impressed with the way you man handle all who disagree with you. YOU OWN THE GEARHART BLOGS, your a real man after all.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

Insider. want to go camping. I have a real special log for yoooouu.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

to sobia


I only blog as (insider) the others are from your other admirers. You seem angry. Have another drink of KoolAid.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

awwww! What's the matter with our resident slug? Won't nobody play with you no more? That's OK, you can just play with yourself, inventing more names and writing blogs and then responding to them yourself. I feel sorry for you. Amusing that you are, you really need to get a better life then haunting this site trying to slime everything. This list is probably finished…thanks to you, and it looks like you're sliming the other one as well.

Gooey, gooey, gooey!

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

Cindy where are you? Where are the numbes? Something is really begtinning to stink here in the old mudhole. The treasurer of OPM has now disappeared with all of the financial data on OPM. Does Cindy work for Hurst or EFI? Is Ciny a union rep?

We all really need to have an explanation of why Cindy will not talk. Cindy is a big backer of Luna, Brennler and Beraud, the same people who have voted no on Wal Mart or are they the implants from OPM. The stench is horrific.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

Our new grass roots group


OPPOSE oppose Wal-Mart

we're ANTI ANTI seeking new members.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

http://meltyourfaceoff.files.wordpress.com/2007/1


go this site for rare picture of insider

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

Kelly looks like a crook. Miller looks damn stupid.

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

to Cindy


You seem upset. Has the great leader let you down?

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

Sorry Cindy I didn't mean to use your name but only address to you.

I was very disappointed this morning to find that you have not posted the figures from OPM. they have spent $1000's alone in mailings alone. As Jerry McQuire would sa "SHOW ME THE MONEY."

By: Anonymous on 5/15/08

MR RICK (rikki I call him)and I ask all our fellow bloggers to write the governor and ask that he support pending SAME SEX MARRIAGE legislation. Since discovering each other we have both filled for divorce from our wives of many years. Rikki I LOVE U xoxoxox

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Impersonation is going to happen unless you move to a message board that requires people to login. I find this site interesting, but really half of it is total junk. It's a shame too. Some of the information that the operators have brought to light has really served a good purpose. However, every time I see unnamed sources referenced during the article they totally lose me. The innuendo and deductions really take away from the quality of the articles and feed the paranoid attitude that seems to run rampant throught this site. Bad things are defintiely going down, but some of thoe stuff that readers post is laughable. Anyways, my 2 cents. Carry on.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Is there something that you can do about those who impersonate others. The last post that say's Cindy says at 9:13 isn't mine. This is confusing to people.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

How about me? I'm still waiting for the numbers.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

You are beyond all reason of logic. Many of us try to be tolerant of all warps of mind set but you are "out of the realm". I for one are finished with you and for those who follow this blog, well they will decide for themselves. The gig is up. You really do need a life. Your not helping anyone and you are clearly not a bilked investor. You will receive no more attention from me.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to Cindy


Those last three blogs were not mine. Your lack of transparency has caught the attention of others. It appears Comar is not interested in answering the real questions. Even if your donations do not show the Union and for your information Unions help unions it does not show Comar is not recieving something for himself or just being a BROTHER. As to what Union Comar was in it is only obvious that the grocers union would not use one of thier own to head up this thing. No it is much better to use a BROTHER of another mother. Perhaps if you would talk to Tom about this as you originally said your comments would be more believable. Union corruption is long standing and anything that works is usually acceptable ask Jimmy Hoffa.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Cindy-the numbers, what are they? You are really waffleing on this one. Or was the private matter that you really know the truth.

Show us transparency at its best. What are the numbers?

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

To Insider,

Woman Up?????? LOL LOL LOL can't stop LOL. I already did Woman Up and by the way, I said that I used to be the treasurer. Private (personal) matters caused me to reliquish that function.Had nothing to do with OWM.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Cindy tell us about Oppose Wal Mart. Your the treasurer. As Gearhart would say Woman up! What do you have to hide?

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

To Insider,

BINGO!!!! Guess what?? ASI or the ATASCADERO SHIELD INITIATIVE is a registered group. As such they are required to disclose all public donations/contributions. I can assure you that there are NO UNION CONTRIBUTIONS, but…the best part is that you can go and look for yourself.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Politics 101. Cindy you have to know better than to claim that these were all small donations. You enter all of the cash into "kitty" and report it as donations under $100. Amazing then you don't have to report the donor. Luna, Beraud and all of them have been doing it for years. Take their donations and divide it by votes, it doesn't work. You are either not telling the truth like the rest of them or you really are not aware of what is going on. Comar will not release the income for oppose Wal Mart-since you were the treasurer for Oppose Wal Mart and are a great supporter of transparency how much have they taken in. Here's your chance, stand up will you?

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Talk about a Blog that has gone off subject. Go to another chat room :(

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Yes Tom Comar was a nurse at ASH and probably was a union member. Isn't it interesting that the state's nursing union backed Patterson-another no growther. Birds of a feather flock together.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to Cindy


You let me know after you talk to Tom.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

I used to be the treasurer of Oppose Walmart and was there from the beginning. Its Grass Roots. No Union Money, NONE. Its mostly small donations $25-$100 from Atascaderans.Lots of Atasacaderans. Get It.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Listen Insider,

You really do sound like an idiot. Tom Comar was a Nurse Practioner at ASH. If he was in a union it has nothing to do with the unions that are fighting WM. Entirely different industry, and I doubt that he was a union rep. I'll call and ask him and let you know. Now lets get back to helping the investors who have been bilked. You and I can fight more when November comes around.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to Anonymous


Tom Comar has allways proclaimed that this was a grass roots deal. The little people. Would it not be interesting to know for sure before we go to the polls if this is Union orchestrated. We are not going to get the answer from Comar or any of his cult followers. These are the people who scream for transpanency. Seems like a simple question. Union Ties or backround yes or no.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Anti WalMart opposition is ALWAYS union organized. That would not be "news", that would be little more than ability to Google.


They (the unions) are simply doing what they are paid to do – protect the jobs of their members. If the jobs of others are sacrificed, so be it. If the city is hurt economically, so be it.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to Dan and Karen


I have over the last few months tried to find out from the oppose WalMart group if Tom Comar had Union Ties. Wouldn't it be a great story if it turned out this whole oppose WalMart thing was Union related?

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to sobia


OK I'll take that as a big YES!

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08


…..I think I hear your mother calling you……

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to Sobia


So you weren't made a fool of. You new he was a Union representative?

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Oh I'm not running away! I said I wasn't going to play with you anymore until you grew up a little. I'm still here, reading all the blogs and enjoying watching you make an a** out of yourself. I'll let you have the last word if you like. I'm just not going to respond. This blog was supposed to be about Hurst and Gearhart and you want to derail it into silly name calling. Have fun!

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to sobia


You all run away when the truth about your great leader comes out. Bye Bye.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

ooooh! What did I tell you? Ugly ugly! tsk, tsk! You show your real lack of intelligence when all you can do is resort to name calling. Seems like Wal-Mart brings out the best in you, doesn't it? Ah well….there's that mentality I was talking about. Have fun guys! When you grow up I will play with you again. For now, I have better things to do.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to sobia


by the way you did get the memo about Comar being a UNION rep. Didn't you? Yeah all you kool aid drinking fools have been being led around by the Union in the form of your new God Tom Comar. Unfourtunately he does not have the character to admit it. Ask him? Oh and the 2 buck chuck thing was me.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

"A GREAT clothing store" such as Nordstrom, etc. locating in ATASCADERO?


Please express that notion every time you wish to make it perfectly clear just how drunk or delusional you are.


City Council meetings would be a great place for that.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Sobia,

You are perfect example of the depth of ignorance in Atrashcadero: Business' are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to open shop in the hope that they will then lose tens of thousands of dollars every month, all because Gearhart has a Grand Plan.


Do you have any idea whatsoever how utterly stupid you are?

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

So you think we are on a pretty good course here correct? And turning down WalMart will be a step in the right direction? And how exactly do we reverse the deficit spending situation were in? Me I'm just a t-shirt wearing, bluejean, 2 buck chuch swilling Atascadero regular. Allthough I would rarely shop at WalMart a sure have no use for Nordstroms. Do you? Sounds like you want stores that make you feel better about yourself. Try the 2 buck chuck from Trader Joe's you got a better chance with that.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

To Anonymous:

Well you're probably right about the "Go Dark" thing for the "Anex" stores….Kelly has/had his hand in that one too. And he really wants that Wal Mart for his wife! I can't imagine those stores actually contribute that much….look how long the windows have been covered up with paper. Most folks thought they weren't open because the windows were all covered up. The stores don't do alot to attract in the people, either…no sidewalk sales, no balloons or parties to raise the awareness that these stores actually exist. It's creepy there. I feel like they WANT it to fail if Wal-Mart doesn't move it. I looks like it's set up to fail to me.

Ooops. I did it again! Ranting off about Wal Mart. But I did mention that Kelly has been and probably still is involved in that Anex complex….it's all so twisted and involved….hey I think I'll go finish off that 12 pack myself.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Utter ignorance as usual – I am a business owner who gets pitched every 60 days by the Annex broker.


I have their Lease Agreement. Do you?


No, you don't. You are simply a delusional hillbilly.


Every single tenant in the Annex can go dark within 18 months of opening if WM is not approved and then built.


Your ignorance is exactly why your town is going down the shitter.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

The tentants at the annex do not have any such clause saying that they can break their lease if WM doesn't come. Thats an out right lie and nothing but PROPAGANDA. They have standard leases. They can renew in 5 years. STANDARD…

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

No WalMart = Bye bye to all of the Annex tenants within 18 months. And bye bye to all of their sales tax revenue.


Every single one of them has a "go dark" clause in their lease if WM is not approved and then built.


The notion that "a GREAT clothing store" (Nordstrom, etc.) willever locate anywhere in Atrashcadero is simply a Hillybilly meth-induced delusion.


How 'bout you just finish off that 12 pak and call it a lunch, eh?

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

To insider:

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist. YOU are the idiot here. The Village idiot, actually….since you haunt all the blogs on this site. Don't yo have something better to do? Someone please give this man something to count! If you want to fight about WalMart, start another blog. It's a beautiful day…go outside and get some sunshine! Or…ooops…what was that I heard? You will melt if you go out in the sun? Better take an umbrella!

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Atascadero can do better and deserves better. Just give it a little time. There are things that will be exposed and we will be on the right track. We are a perfect location for all sorts of commercial business. We need a GREAT Clothing store. The whole county will come to it. We need lots of things and we can do it if you just say NO to WM and send them on there way. They will come when we are united. Say NO to WM.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to S.O.B.I.A


You must be some kind of idiot. Quote "Cindy and Deeper and Deeper lets not turn this into some kind debate over WalMart" Then you go on to rant all that anti WalMart dribble. We need a large store now. In fact we need WalMart. This town is full of little storefronts that are unoccupied. We need WalMart here for the long haul. I don't shop there at all. We need thier permit and development fees. We need thier property taxes. We need thier sales tax. And we need the other stores that make thier whole criteria about being adjacent to a WalMart. One WalMart will be equal to hundreds of other buisnesses in economic gain for this city.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

I guess you are right. Now that gas is up over $4 a gallon we should all drive out of Atascadero to continue to do our shopping. I guess I'll have to change my thinking and look for outlets where I can pay the highest price for a product. Sounds familiar, Atascadero likes to do that and they are eventually going to go bankrupt. I don't care to do that because I work for my savings and hope to save it. And along the way we'll take our sales tax out of town. I don't know if the Atascadero can tax and fee us any more than they are already. Although I suppose a $75-$100 thousand study will give them some idea on how to. Now let me see, Dove Creek was a prime commercial location? Isn't that the same location that was voted down for commercial growth when Home Depot came to town?George Luna was on the CC and it went to it's present location. If I recall correctly Rex Hendrix had a beautifull plan for the Dove Creek location but he fell to anti everything group in Atascadero. Now we have the Del Rio location which has been identified as one of the best commercial locations in the north county. So as a result of that study George Luna, Ellen Beraud and I'm not sure about Brennler say there will not be any commercial growth there at this time. Now do they want commercial growth or don't they. Contact any large corporate business and they will tell you they will not touch Atascadero with a 10' pole. I ask, would you invest in Atascadero? Deeper & deeper is in the know and has been lied to by Luna and the rest of them. I know that for a fact.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

To SOBIA,

I was about to say something like that myself. Your right on the money. THANKS For the Sanity


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

To Deeper and Deeper and Cindy:

Let's not turn this into a debate about Walmart as it will get no where and only get uglier and uglier. The mentality that loves Walmart just wants cheap prices, PERIOD. End of story. They don't give a rat's patootie about what a WalMart will do to Atascadero or about what WalMart does to the country on a whole. They just want to be able to drive 5 minutes to a big store, buy their cheap stuff and drive home. That's all.

The not-so Funny part is that many years ago, Kellys spoiled wife told him she wanted a WalMart in Atascadero so she wouldn't have to keep driving to Paso.(Please don't buy me another Corvette, honey…that's like..SO last week'!) So Hubby bought the Del Rio property and then with the help of O'Malley and Clay, they romanced Wal-Mart to come to Atascadero. But Kelly didn't want to be implicated in WalMart since they all knew it would cause a huge upheaval in the town, so Kelly sold the land to the Rottman Group. Wal-Marts Hench-Men. Rottman wouldn't agree to things unless the city council said things were OK, which at that time, O'Mally was Mayor and Clay was….(what WAS Clay, anyway?!)it was. The word leaked out, of course, about Wal-Mart, and the next election threw the good old boys out so now we're at a Mexican Stand off with Wal-Mart. The sick part is that probably some of you investors who oppose Wal-Mart may well have had your money spent to bring them here.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

To Deeper & Deeper, I agree with Cindy and I don't know how much clearer anyone can be. Luna didn't have the majority vote on the CC. He tried to protect the PRIME COMMERCIAL PRORERTY (that was ultimately re-zoned for the benefit of developers building residential) You tell us why there is no commercial development since it was obviously your friends that had the majority vote on the CC and ran the "realtor/residential developer struck" Chamber of Commerce.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to deeper and deeper

says to Cindy


I've misjudged you. I agree!


By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Cindy, do you have any idea what your talking about. i know you are a puppet for Luna who is pulling your strings. If Luna and crew are so strong on commercial development why don't we have any? Why are all of the businesses in town closing their doors? You can't blame it on Wal Mart, they are not here. If you attend the City Council meetings, and I know you do, how many small business owners have spoken in favor of Wal Mart-many. How many small business owners have spoken against Wal Mart-not many. The only people speaking against Wal Mart are people like you who have no business at all. With the annex being in the redevelopment district the tax benefits to Atascadero are significant. This whole thing boils down to you people having nothing else to do but talk against Wal Mart and their China connection. Globalization has led to China being one of the largest importers to the US not Wal Mart. If you are so against China I would suggest that you and your cronies have one of your secret meetings and just take an inventory of everything YOU use on a daily basis that originates in China. And please when your finished with that remove all of those items from your lifestyle and we will then not have to see or hear from you again.

You say George told you about Wal Mart? Remember that George doesn't always provide accurate information (that's a nice way of putting it).

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Residential brings "MORE PROFIT" to the DEVELOPER than commercial. It brings more cost to the community but no one was considering the community. It was all about "special interest". TOO hell with what was best for the city. It was all about what certain developers wanted and how much they could "personally" profit. Luna knew that and was trying to protect the commercial land but got getting voted out. Thats wahat I was saying.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Cindy says:


As much as I hate Wal Mart, so much so that I would not shop there, theybring substantial revenue to the city. Wal Mart being large, draws in many shoppers from outlying areas as far as 50 miles. All those shoppers spend their money at Wal Mart, in return Wal Mart generates huge sales tax. They also take care of their own maint. and pay huge monthly fees to the water and sewer services.

Wal Mart also destroys small busineses not only within the city limits but in other areas as well. They are preditors, but people will shop cheap junk over and over regardless and it makes them feel good.


Stefan

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Cindy says:


Residential development does not generate as much tax revenue vs. commersial. Also commercial investment pays better than residential and usually have less liability than with individual home owners. Coomercial development with retail sales base are the most economically adavantageous to a city because because of additional tax revenue through sales tax. Most propert tax is shared with the State and County so little is left for the city. At the same time the city has to prode more services to new devoplments that is widely spread vs. more concentrated commercial property. In addition, during developments, the city requires developers exorbiant amount of fees and special assessments besides the off site improvements.

So,rezoning from commercial to residential had tohave a good reason, like would not be feasible as commercial.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

YES YES YES We need commercial development. Karen has done some studies and hopefully she'll write about what she found in the next couple of months. Right now the best commercial location was sold to Wal-Mart and the contiguous properties were collected and brought out for Wal-Mart with the help of Wade McKinney-Jim Lewis and Warren Frace. They "snuck around" and did things "their way" without benefit of any public input. Now we are stuck with WM owning the biggest piece of prime commercial realeatate in Atascadero has. Great-just Great. I'll stop there.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

I've said this before and I'll say it again. The "special interest" developers were lobbying the CC for rezoning of prime commercial property to residential because residential brings more profit, and too hell with the best interest of the town or what the town needed. Luna & Pacas both voted against those projects and the re-zoning OF PRIME COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TO RESIDENTIAL but there was a couple of Good Old Boys and a Girl that kept voting it through FOR THE DEVELOPERS.The Chamber was all for it and was actually in bed with the residential developers and realtors rather than paying attention to the business community and a need for commercial development. This went on for years. Now you have your mess and you want to blame the people who tried to stop it but got out voted by your cronies. As for Wal-Mart, you have it all wrong. George told us about Wal-Mart, it wasn't the other way around.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

I might suggest that the City Council conduct another high dollar study to have someone write their obituary. The end is getting closer everyday. R.I.P.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

to Cindy


Well if you saw the City Councel last night you should know this City is broke. We accually need the WalMart. The stench of defeat was rising off of Rachell to the point of visibility. That girl coudn't analyze herself out of a paper bag. She proclaimed we have 11 million in reserves when in fact she spent 3.5 million to get us through 09 before the night was out. Thats all there realy was. All the rest were actually funds designated for specific purposes that we could take and redesignate. Her projections are terrible. I can see Home Depot losing 40% sales tax instead of the 20% she projected if not closing alltogether. Lowe's is a serious competator to Home Depot and many here in Atascadero will drive to Paso to check it out and buy! Home Depot has allready decided to close as many as 15 stores this year. I wonder!!! This City needs to LAY OFF PEOPLE NOW!!! and get that WallMart on line as soon as possiple. Rachell is an employee and so is the City Manager we can not expect them to suggest a meaningfull layoff we need the City Council to step up. If Ellen Bereau cann't afford to be a city council person she should resign and quit begging for money. She talked about getting more money for the City Council people several times last night. Its clear whats on her mind.

By: Anonymous on 5/14/08

Cindy, I know who you are and you are one of the Luna followers. Yes I do go to Paso Robles and everywhere else to shop because you are right, George Luna has voted no on most development. Your idea of special interest is anyone who make a profit. Luna is in it as much as anyone. Not to be as rude as some on this blog I'll just say that Luna doesn't tell the truth. He was at the meeting in Las Vegas where the city lured Wal Mart. Then you and your cronies, Tom Comar etc., found something new to do and Luna had to support you or he would lose is base of support. So as Atascadero goes down the tubes along with the developers and private lenders you and your cronies, along with Luna, will probably have a victory party when the county takes over.

By the way if all of these businesses, like Best Buy wanted to come here why didn't they? Probably becaused they would be Comarized.