Do what is right for Arroyo Grande
October 31, 2015
OPINION By OTIS PAGE
I am coming late to this party, but I am ready to “stick my head above the trench” on the present ridiculous Arroyo Grande Council members Kristen Barneich, Barbara Harmon issue regarding Mack. Why?
First, some background:
Barneich endorsed the high density East Cherry project — joining the endorsement of projects concept with Councilman Guthrie — in July 2014.
In the summer of 2014, Randy Russom, the lead architect on the project, pitched a proposal to the AG City Council. Russom at the time was an AG planning commissioner while his significant other, Caren Ray, was getting large political donations from the project’s developer.
This Council action was prejudicial in endorsing the scope of the project before it was ever heard by the Arroyo Grande Planning Commission. But a serious conflict issue existed.
Barneich and Guthrie ignored Russom’s conflict introducing the project while as an employee of the consulting firm working on the project.
Barneich and Guthrie do not have “clean hands” on conflict issues.
Besides all this — legally, executive authority for the city only resides only with the council. How can there be conflict when no executive authority exists?
John Mack always disclosed his closeness and interest with the project — and his expertise was important in its assessment.
Is Nick Tompkins a darling of Barneich, Harmon and Guthrie? How much has he and other developers contributed to their election campaigns?
The issue is not being friendly to developers. The issue is doing the right thing for the City. And this issue is being mangled!
Something stinks here — and it isn’t Mack who I do not know and have never met.
LeeAnn’s article has a lot of meaning for me.
Otis Page is a citizen of Arroyo Grande.
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