|Bob and a funny hat.|
Brett M: I’ve been watching council meetings since the 1990’s, and have noticed in the vast majority of development decisions, you voted to support developers, ignoring the objections of neighboring residents.
1. Bob, as self-proclaimed property rights advocate, I have to ask if you support the rights of neighboring homeowners? Shouldn’t a neighbor have the right to object to a mansion that towers over theirs or causes negative visual, or privacy impact to their property? Should the rights of a developer building a spec house override the opinions of the neighbors who have lived and may continue to live on that street for years?
Would you personally be excited to have 12,000+ square foot “homes” on both sides of you, dwarfing your house, being run as birthing centers, with 8 cars in the driveway, or simply dark and vacant? Imagine you didn’t live in an HOA area, had no say on the project, and the house was in a style that clashed with every other house on the street.
2. “Single Family Residences” by it’s very definition is where a single family resides. What is your opinion on very large “single family residences” being used to house multiple families, used as maternity centers, being rented out to multiple parties as extended stays, or being used as a place of business?
3. The historic Anoakia property was demolished on 3-2 vote, yours included, with very little notice to Arcadia residents. Is this really a “power to the people” move, when a site of historic significance is demolished at the whim of a 3-2 vote? Shouldn’t more than 5 people have been consulted before such a drastic move? Given respect to history, what is your criteria for what should be protected vs what is allowed to be demolished?
5. You’ve often said that Arcadia is well run and doesn’t need to take notes from neighboring cities. Cities like Pasadena, Monrovia, and even La Canada regularly get diverse new shops, restaurants and attractive new shopping centers while Arcadia remains stagnant. Shouldn’t we look into why companies are choosing other local cities, but not Arcadia? During your time on the council, the only major developments Arcadia saw were new mansions, more condos and Westfield Mall expansion. Once we find out what’s keeping new businesses out, why don’t we work on outreach to bring companies here?
6. Many long time residents feel Arcadia is losing or has lost the character and sense of community it once had. The response from the council has been “tax revenues are up” and “be happy you’ll make good money when you sell your homes”. The implication is that Arcadia has a future slated in mansions and investment properties, nothing is going to change, and if we want a sense of community we’ll have to move elsewhere. We’re being told to be happy and that everything is so wonderful and yet we see nothing new or improved for existing residents. If tax revenues due to mansionization are so great, why isn’t Arcadia seeing freshly paved streets, undergrounding of unsightly power poles, or even improved landscaping on street medians? Where exactly is all that extra revenue going? Do you believe tax revenue for mansions supersedes maintaining what made Arcadia unique in the first place?
7. At a 2015 council meeting, you spoke about the Special Olympics and used the term “retarded athletes”. Given the negative connotation of the term “retarded” do you consider this an appropriate term for people with disabilities?
To everyone reading these comments, I encourage you to research the candidates and know where they stand on the issues. Some candidates believe Arcadia couldn’t be better and will use a condescending tone to force us to accept mansionization and lack of business growth. Some candidates actually care what the people of Arcadia want, would like to see more rights for neighbors, and want the city to head in a new, more positive direction.