I am responding to your June 7 Free Lance editorial.
When the offer was made [to purchase the 400 block property], that was the listed price by the city. And if it was so low as you suggest, then after three years of aggressively trying to market the project, why was there only one offer?
The commercial and residential portion of the project will produce much more tax revenue than any proposal you are suggesting in your editorial.
California’s attorney general upheld the City Council vote and said the petition [to bring the issue to a public referendum] did not qualify. No laws were broken. And before the council vote, it went through all normal public reviews.
The city’s General Plan was recently reviewed and redone and the project meets all its criteria. Only one proposal [for the 400 block] was submitted.
The only reason the Community Foundation of San Benito County is involved is that a local private family is financing the total cost of the foundation portion of the project. Benitolink is funded through advertisers and local donations and their reporting of the 400 block is far more factual than the Free Lance’s bias of the mayor’s view.
Have you personally watched the complete City Council meeting of June 3? If not, you should. The majority of the speakers in favor of the project were downtown property owners or downtown business owners. There were 24 speakers—23 for and one against. Listen to their arguments for the project and then report the facts.
Editor’s note: The June 7 edition of the Free Lance featured a complete news report of the June 3 council meeting. See https://sanbenito.com/2019/06/07/council-rejects-mayors-400-block-claims/