There was also the potential to explore the addition of a major public benefit through a regional community theater
In section 5a of the official response — required by state law — to the Santa Clara County Grand Jury Report of June 16, 2014, we fail to connect the dots, to say the least:
What is the relationship between Arrillaga trying to buy the property he has been leasing from us and his desire to build an office tower on parkland and a community center (also known as MacArthur Park Restaurant and or El Camino Park, or 27 Uni)?
Why did City Staff and Council try to mis-lead the public, with full cooperation from the Press (Weekly, Daily News and Post) about “the theatre” or “Theatreworks” as opposed to “Office towers” per se?
(It is a secondary matter as to why Theatreworks, a private non-governmental organization, would so willingly play the dupe here, beyond just their private gain: why not just start their own campaign to move downtown?)
The backstory, and I may be the only person with significant background here, and or an incentive to be heard or have closure, is that the Arrillaga project and staff’s spin on it, or shaping of it, overlapped with the public interest and outcry and petitions about some type of public-private partnership to bring live arts to nearby 456 University (aka The Varsity Theatre). My understanding is: Amy French of City Staff heard the arguments about the desire to get something going at 456 and used that sense to help Arrillaga proceed with his otherwise ridiculous project. The implication is that beyond ramming down our throat an unpopular idea, or tricking us, we also despite a public “lets look into it” front deliberately scuttled the idea of finding a cultural tenant for 456.
I think Pat Burt and Greg Schmid should go back to drawing board and make our official response take into better account the assertions I make here. And I think Jim Keene the City Manager should have more of a fear of God or Democracy and be less like some kind of scion. How many more will he add to his team?
I don’t think the rest of us not in leadership, and there may be 50,000 of us to their 50 or 75, think we have considered fully the significance of the GJR.
And why don’t they sign the document, PB and GSd?
document dated 9/8/14 or #5073
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
0 minutes ago
I still wonder what is the connection between the 7.7 deal and 27 Uni?
Also, I may be alone but I think we need to discuss how or why staff and council took the interest in 456 Uni, The Varsity and used that to push thru or push for 27 Uni: we added the Theatreworks element, after hearing people like me lobby for a public-private partnership for a cultural use of The Varsity. The initiatives overlapped, which is not obvious given the long dark period to start 27.
I thought Burt and Schmid officially wrote the response: why aren’t their names on it? At the time I argued privately that Burt should not be allowed to work on this, but agreed to hold my tongue in deference to the Holman campaign for re-election.
This is really a job for the Feds as much as GJ. Its a RICO case (I’m not a Federal investigator but have a few friends who are. Actually Dennis Burns our chief went to high school with a famous federal watchdog and whistleblower named Kevin Ryan– we may need a guy of that stature to get this sorted).