Developers weigh in on SLO elections

October 28, 2014
Gary Grossman

Gary Grossman


Several developers with projects under consideration by the San Luis Obispo City Council are injecting cash into the election campaigns of two incumbents who have recently supported their development from behind the dais and a county official lobbying council members.

As the city of San Luis Obispo updates its general plan, the council is considering changes that would allow for high-density housing developments on the southern side of town. The council majority of Mayor Jan Marx, Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson and John Ashbaugh has thrown its support behind the proposed developments, while council members Kathy Smith and Dan Carpenter have so far stifled the projects.

Currently, Marx and Christianson are running for reelection. Smith’s seat is also up for election, but she opted not to seek another term on the council.

Both Marx and Christianson have received maximum allowable campaign donations from developers with ties to two of the proposed housing developments in Southern San Luis Obispo.

Gary Grossman, the head of Coastal Community Builders, plans to develop both retail space and housing on the property he holds in an escrow with rancher Ernie Dalidio.

In 2006, a ballot initiative to authorize the development of Ernies Dalido’s ranch into a 131-acre project incorporating residential, recreational, restaurants, retail, and a hotel was approved by voters by a 65-35 percent margin. Grossman is seeking to lower the amount of retail space approved by voters in favor of more lucrative residential units.

In addition to being at odds with Measure J, Grossman’s plans call for higher density housing than city and regional regulations currently allow in the area.

Grossman has given $300 each to Marx and Christianson.

Andrew Mangano is the past president of Mangano Homes, which is seeking to develop Avila Ranch, a 150-acre property near the San Luis Obispo airport. As with Grossman’s development, the city council must override existing regulations in order to make approval of the project possible.

Mangano has donated $300 to both Marx and Christianson campaigns. His wife Laurie Mangano has done the same.

Grossman and Andrew Mangano have also donated $1,000 each to a committee supporting Measure G, San Luis Obispo’s half cent sales tax measure. Marx and Christianson each helped place the measure on the ballot.

Additionally, Grossman and Laurie Mangano are major donors to the election campaigns of San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Caren Ray and Adam Hill. Grossman has donated $24,386 to Ray’s campaign.

Grossman and Mangano each donated $1,000 to Hill’s campaign account even though he is not currently running. Hill then lobbied San Luis Obispo Council members to support the high density housing requests of Grossman and the Manganos while donating the maximum, $300, to Marx.

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  1. falconbh says:

    New Tax Increases SLO County

    1. Outside Consultants Paid with Local Taxpayers Funds to manipulate the Voters.

    2. Developers Throwing Money To Support New Tax Increases.

    3. Tax Exempt Foundations using ‘Donations” to Support New Tax Increases.

    4. Unions and Professional Organizations Spending Time & Money To Support New Tax Increases .

    New Sales Tax Increases- SLO – Pismo – Atascadero
    New Tax Increases for Overzealous Building Plans
    New Double Taxation Road Tax
    New State Taxes On Ballot

    Then add +, Property Taxes or New Rent Increases , Automatic Water Rate Increases , South County Sanitation Automatic Rate Increase after election , Increasing Costs For Basic Core Items ,subtract- your Wages or Social Security that are Not increasing or decreasing !

    All these New Tax Increases become One Big Tax Burden for Years and Years.

    When you Vote; Ask yourself One Question

    Can I Afford All These New Tax Increases ?

    (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
  2. wineguyjc says:

    Corruption and misconduct at SLO, specifically in the Community Development Department and Building Division, no surprise there. In fact, the Community Development Dept in Santa Barbara and Capitola were both accused of misconduct and unfair treatment of local builders, property owners and contractors. Hmmm, common denominator or simply does slo recruit people who have a history of corruption? The choice is up to the readers

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  3. hijinks says:

    Marx, Christianson and Rivoire are running as a slate of candidates beholden to these developers. We even got a call today telling us to vote for all 3. The story doesn’t mention Rivoire, but here’s the loot he got from this same developer gang: $600 from the Manganos, $300 from Mangano’s sales agent Chris Richardson, and $300 from Grossman. That’s a cool $1200 bribe from guys who want to make money by building housing in an airport prohibition zone for housing. Rivoire is also in bed with the Chamber — brags about it in his candidate’s statement in the voter pamphlet sent out by the county, and they want this override of airport safety too (at the same time they want the airport to expand its offerings and prepare for more flights and bigger planes — go figure).

    Here’s the problem. Rivoire, who’s running behind a bike-friendly Halloween mask, knows squat about planning, but one of the very first votes he’ll cast if elected will be on the airport safety zone override. With a $1200 bribe in hand from those demanding it, how do you suppose he’ll vote?

    Oh, and he wants us to vote for Measure G too.

    (16) 32 Total Votes - 24 up - 8 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      Notice how several cities in this County are running candidates on a multi-ticket: Atascadero, Paso, Pismo, etc. Wow, we get a whole package in one Ad… People cannot even run on their own merit and values so they sell themselves in a package. Just goes to show you how the money and power are flowing in pockets!

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
  4. JMO says:

    I just drove by a development in Pismo where Grossman has a sign saying Vote for Caren Ray and another sign to vote No on Measure H. I don’t know what to do. My Sierra Club guide sheet says to vote for Caren Ray and vote Yes on Measure H. Well which is it? I want to do the right thing for the environment and ecotourism. I mean, the Sierra Club couldn’t have made a mistake, could it?

    (-5) 17 Total Votes - 6 up - 11 down
    • taxpayer says:

      It’s not a mistake. It’s about getting new members and mitigation money. Nowadays, the Sierra Club is not about saving the environment. It’s about making money. John Muir must be rolling over in his grave!

      (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
    • Myself says:

      The sierra club is a waste,anything they or Gov brown are in favor of I vote the other way.

      (3) 21 Total Votes - 12 up - 9 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        This is very sad, but the truth is you can no longer trust anyone or any organization. You can not just say Sierra Club and think this is the same organization of yesteryear. NOTHING IS WHAT IT WAS INCLUDING THIS COUNTRY, THIS GOVERNMENT, THE POLITICAL PARTIES, ETC. It is all a scam, about money, power, and votes.

        (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
        • hijinks says:

          The local SC endorsed Carlyn Christianson, who’s the biggest environmental fraud on the Council. They don’t even seem to understand what they’re doing these days.

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  5. falconbh says:

    Can We Really Afford More New Tax Increases !

    Take a look at your paycheck or social security, then look at what you are already paying in taxes,housing,food, as the cost keeps increasing.

    We need a “Time Out ” from New Sales Tax Increases, Overzealous New Building Taxes, Double Taxation Road Taxes, Automatic Rate Increases.

    Citizen Taxpayers Deserve some relief.

    New plan that is based on balancing budgets with existing growing revenues, reductions in costly number of senior managers, addressing the excessive pension,salary, and benefits that are driving all these excessive new taxes.

    Vote Be a free Independent Voter and do not give them your permission to be their victims.

    (20) 32 Total Votes - 26 up - 6 down
  6. DennySLO says:

    It all started when Ernie Dalidio had a vision and a plan that was approved by the majority of the SLO residents to build commercial space on his property. The downtown association, Copland’s and Jan Marx all fought tooth and nail to kill that project fearing that the downtown would die. By the way, Jan Marx was denying her involvement the whole time while doing her dirty behind closed doors. Also, Ernie was going to build an overpass to Prado road as part of his project! Ernie project was within the LUCE guidelines as it related to density for residential development too so there would’ve been no need to “overrule” the Land Use currently in place for the airport safety zones.

    So jumping ahead to Gary Grossman, he wants to develop the same property however he doesn’t want nearly the same retail space (good thing because the downtown association would have a cow) and he wants the support of all those businesses and the city council not to mention he wants to make money (nothing wrong with making money BTW). This is also the reason he has dumped cash into the “YES on G” measure.

    The problem as I see it;
    The city has received very bad advice from the city attorney. She says that if the city overrules the airport land use, the city will NOT be liable in the event of an accident. Wow, butter up and bend over SLO because taking that advice will cause some serious hurt to the taxpayers, not to mention the senseless loss of lives on the ground when an accident occurs.
    Also, the idea that there will be “head of household” or even “affordable” housing is laughable at best.

    NO to the overrule
    NO on “G”
    NO on D-14
    NO onL-14

    Let’s reign in the local government and make them budget what they have and STOP sucking the taxpaying homeowner dry so the few may profit. if they truly wanted to “Keep SLO Great” that’s what would need to happen.

    (28) 42 Total Votes - 35 up - 7 down
    • Myself says:

      Now that you’ve mentioned it is Grossman going to put in the over pass as Dalido was going to.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Grossman won’t but Measure G will. Why do you think Client Pierce/Madonna, Grossman, Pierre Rademacher/Downtown Association are the lead supporters for Measure G?


        (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
    • capphd says:

      SLO voters, faced with verifiable fact, will still remain dumb enough to support these bloodsuckers. If this stupid county government can even consider these outrageous proposals we have a bigger problem than no water. There should logically be a complete, total ban on all new building unless its replacing an existing structure and doesn’t increase the footprint or water use. This would require the idiots running and ruining the county to act responsibly and in the best interest of others. Unfortunately, this will never happen, they are bottom-feeding politicians.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  7. slomike says:

    Possibly folks choose to donate to individuals rather than political sides. More probably they don’t wish to support candidates whose party counts racists, gun nuts, personhood advocates and climate change deniers as kindly uncles with the common good in mind.

    (-9) 49 Total Votes - 20 up - 29 down
    • Kevin Rice says:

      Why are you bringing Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) into this?

      (6) 34 Total Votes - 20 up - 14 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      I doubt very much that the individuals mentioned in this article would be making the donations they are making based on the issues you bring up. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were on the other side of some of those issues. They would be just as likely to support conservatives if they had (or were about to gain) a majority position on the City Council.

      When it comes to money from developers there is a long history in this county (and elsewhere) of expecting favorable legislation as a quid-pro-quo for the contributions. I would have to see evidence to believe otherwise given that history.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  8. tomsquawk says:

    and the water comes from where?

    (20) 24 Total Votes - 22 up - 2 down
  9. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Nice to see our “no-growther” “smart growthers” show their true colors. Money talks! I guess if you want to get re-elected badly enough you will sell out to the highest bidder. What hypocrites!

    (33) 53 Total Votes - 43 up - 10 down
    • Mr. Holly says:

      Some call it prostitution.

      (18) 38 Total Votes - 28 up - 10 down
    • racket says:

      Gives new meaning to “Greenie”.

      (14) 26 Total Votes - 20 up - 6 down
      • Myself says:

        Thats all this crap is about the folding green,all the rules and regulations are designed so that people can’t follow them,therefore fines come into play,how do you think these useless govt entintys continue to survive.

        (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
    • hijinks says:

      Why is it “smart growth” to stick a bunch of houses all by themselves out under the flight path into and out of the airport?

      Can you imagine the noise? This is how nuisance lawsuits that shut down airports get set up.

      Oh, and the smart growthers think all the people who live out there on Buckley Road will ride bikes or trikes everywhere they go. Through miles of industry and traffic. Yeah, real smart.

      (16) 24 Total Votes - 20 up - 4 down
      • racket says:

        Dude, read the article. It is smart growth because the developer is paying our green councilmembers to call it smart growth.

        (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
        • hijinks says:

          Actually, the council BELIEVE this nonsense! They talk smart growth all the time, whatever dumb things they do.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
      • tomsquawk says:

        it’s so they can complain about a general aviation airport?

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
        • hijinks says:

          General aviation? Huh? You must not live in SLO. We have real airlines here. There are jets, propjets, airline and private, in and out all hours of the day and night. It will become a general aviation airport once again, however, once this housing gets built and people sue the heck out of the airport and the city.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
          • tomsquawk says:

            you make a good point there. i belong to AOPA. “once this housing gets built and people sue the heck out of the airport and the city.”. same thing going on in my hometown(s).

            my grandson (11) and i were out fishing this morning. he was complaining about congestion of any sort. we discuused why i bought a small place in Wyoming; population 582,658 (2013) Dubois population 928.

            the point is Paul Ehrlich and his wife Anne were not far off the mark, meaning this is 1968 stuff that has become so apparent today. we didn’t listen then and we don’t now. approve another tract home project, please.

            do i need to interject Malthusian Economics?

            (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.