When Staff Takes Over City Hall

In today’s installment, we have emails from Temecula City Staff including Patrick Richardson , Director of Planning and Redevelopment, and Bob Johnson, Assistant City Manager.  But first, our disclaimer:

This document has been obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from City of Temecula Records and passed on to Stop Summerhouse.

The first EMAIL is Bob Johnson addressing the Mayor.  He recommends that City Council members not attend the public workshops because they will be “put on the spot and forced to respond to issues prior to the City Council meeting”.  He says staff will serve as a buffer by allowing the community to vent and accurately answering questions.  He said this because the Mayor would like nothing better than to jump in the middle of the Summerhouse issue. The Mayor states that she has been a “very happy passanger and cheerleader” for Summerhouse.   So staff is keeping the City Council from hearing the public’s concerns?  Who did we elect? Bob Johnson or Mayor Edwards?

The second EMAIL is Dan York, City Engineer, congratulating Bob Johnson on “pulling the rabbit out of the hat” after reading Johnson’s prepared speech for the August 27th Rescue Mission public workshop (where the application for the Rescue Mission was withdrawn).  It is interesting that any questions or concerns that staff had about Johnson’s statement should not be sent to the City Council in conformance with the Brown Act.  Why did he send it to them if they weren’t supposed to hear any follow up? What does “pulling the rabbit out of the hat” mean anyway? What are they congratulating themselves over?

The third EMAIL is from Patrick Richardson speaking to Shawn Nelson about the county withdrawing their $2.5 million contribution to Summerhouse at Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone’s direction.  This money was withdrawn with the Rescue Mission elimination.  Shawn comments that this had already been discussed, and that the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) is expected to kick in an additional $2.5 million to cover it (bringing the total to $8.7 million).  He also comments that the amount per unit spent is significantly less than on other previous projects.  Wow! That’s scary.  How much have they paid on previous projects for this to be less? More on that in the next email.

The last EMAIL again from Patrick Richardson confirms the pre-Rescue Mission withdrawal contribution to be $6,085,000 or $55,319 per unit.  The RDA has at that number a $2 million shortfall.  The solution to that problem is reducing the First Time Homebuyer’s Program by $1.4 million, the Residential Improvement Program by $200,000, and the RDA/Housing Consulting Services by $400,000.  Let me get this straight.  The city thinks providing low income housing is more important than helping place a new family in a home for the first time?  At $8.7 million the new city contribution, $79,090 per unit, the new shortfall is $4.7 million. What other community programs are being cut to facilitate the creation of 110 units at Summerhouse?

There is still more to come. Stay tuned.


One Response to “When Staff Takes Over City Hall”

  1. Jane Sparticus Says:

    Hey! Thanks for all these great updates. I look forward to my evening read on this site and it’s nearly as good as watching the drama of “24” unfold. Excellent detective work!

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