Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CM PRESS # 718

Video from Israel.
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Always some interesting information.
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Seven times more likely.
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Common people fed up with lefties.
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Steve Smith over at the almost daily Daily Pilot says (here) the Parks and Recreation Commission should look at the facts when deciding whether or not to boot out Costa Mesa residents from the Downtown Community Center and replace them with basketball players from Santa Ana.

We agree. In fact, that's what we asked the Parks and Recreation Commission to do. Just look at the facts and make an intelligent and informed decision.

Unfortunately, there were very few facts available when the Commission was asked to make the decision last time around. That's why they made no decision. They didn't have enough facts to make a decision and they did the right thing by not making a decision. They were being cattle prodded into deciding something with few facts.

We discussed this at some length in CM PRESS # 711 on June 2, so we won't repeat everything from that issue, but here are just a few cogent points:

1. The Staff Report (Here) given to the Commission is a single page of paper typed on both sides and gives very few facts upon which an informed decision could be made. It focuses primarily on the amount of money the City can make by booting out presumed Costa Mesa residents from a facility that the residents own and which is paid for by their taxes, but is silent on the fact that the group that will replace Costa Mesa residents is from Santa Ana.

2. The Staff Report doesn't state how many players are in the basketball leagues, and the Commission thus couldn't determine the impact and wear and tear on the facility and the surrounding uses. Will there be fifty players? A hundred? Two hundred? There are no facts.

3. There is nothing in writing about where the basketball leagues are now playing and there are no letters of recommendation from their present landlord or other information.

Read the Staff Report for yourself (here it is again)and imagine that the applicant wanted to rent a property you own and displace some other tenants on that property and see if you'd enter a long term rental agreement without asking for some sort of standard tenant information sheet.

Smith says the Commission should look at the facts. Okay, Steve, what are the facts? Tell us. Do you have more facts that we don't have? Your column has no facts at all. It's just a factless, uninformed rant. Would you rent out a room in your home to someone based on the facts given to the Commission? How about an apartment you might own? Enough facts for you? How about a retail store? Enough facts to make a decision?

Standard and best practice in renting out space for a period of weeks or months is to have the applicant supply a rental application form with information that can be checked by the landlord. This wasn't done in this case.

Now, on one other point that seems to be confusing at least one Commissioner on this matter who seems to be unable to distinguish between the present pickup games and the proposed long term agreement; it is important to note that allowing local residents to show up and pay a couple of bucks for pickup games for a few hours--in a City of Costa Mesa owned Community Center (read, built and maintained primarily for Costa Mesa residents), which is what is being done now--is markedly different from renting out the space to an organization from a different city for six months, with an option for additional months, that will displace Costa Mesa residents.

In the former case, the use is more akin to paying your money to stay in a hotel room for the night. You wouldn't expect to fill out a long rental application.

The latter case is more analogous to renting out an apartment or a store to a long term tenant and kicking out others who are already occupying the space. In this case, a responsible landlord would ask for a rental application from the prospective long term tenant as part of the decision making process.

So, this is our challenge to Steve Smith: What are the facts? What are the details? Tell us the facts about the prospective tenant so that the Commission can make an informed and intelligent decision.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them. We may send a version of this column over to the almost daily Daily Pilot, but we don't expect them to run it.

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