TO: Council Members
FROM: Kenneth Palmer
2018 Skylark Ln.
San Luis Obispo
SUBJECT: Johnson Avenue Housing Project EIR meeting, Thursday, January 30, 2014
With regard to this meeting, there are two issues I would like to bring to your attention.
First let me provide my impression of the meeting. Mr. Grigsby’s letter to you characterizes the meeting as a “Rocky Start” “ but —answering several important questions, clarifying misconceptions and providing useful feedback”—- etc. etc. etc. He must be describing a different meeting then the one I attended. In my career as a professor, management consultant, and elected public official, I can’t ever recall such a poorly thought out and orchestrated forum. However if the object was to anger and frustrate attendees as quickly as possible, and sustain it throughout the meeting, the objective was met.
The second issue for me is even more disturbing. This was not just a question and answer session. Both the city and the project applicant (School District) were present. Further, the clear and unmistakable impression was that the City and the Applicant were hand in hand in defending and advocating for the EIR and thus the project. This is a project that has yet to come before the Planning commission or the City council, where it presumably will receive a fair and impartial hearing prior to a decision. While I am confident that both the planning commission and the Council will fairly and objectively review this project, the “joint forum” format (applicant and City) and the appearance of advocacy by the city staff at this stage is troubling, and I believe should be of concern to the council.
Kenneth F. Palmer