Index for Save Simi Valley
Simi Valley Business Friendly? NO!
The incumbents have claimed that Simi Valley is business friendly,
ignoring the facts and reality and the recent staff report regarding
Waste Management's landfill expansion and the desire of the Simi Valley City
Council to annex the land by any means possible.
The document can be found on the City of Simi Valley web page City Council agenda for 24-Jan-2011, staff report for item 6a, or a copy can be accessed here.
First off, it seems to be that the main reason for annexing the land is so that the City of Simi Valley can get their hands on the money that currently Ventura County gets. To annex the land, the City of Simi Valley needs to be able to be provide all urban services by the city as shown by the City's service plans AND enhance the efficient provision of urban services, which I don't think can be done.
It does not seem to meet any of the "Factors Favorable to Annexation" and and it seems to be that this attempt to annex the land violates the statutory criteria and local policy standards, specifically "Factors Unfavorable to Annexation" item 2, "The proposal would result in a premature intrusion of urbanization into a predominately agricultural or rural area", and item 6, "The proposal appears to be motivated by inter-agency rivalry or other motives not in the public interest". The land rural and does not have enough registered voters on it in order to try to get at it that way (more on that aspect later) and it seems that the main goal is to get the money that their rival, Ventura County, currently gets.
Further, the report states that "Annexations of unihabited territory are contingent upon support of the property owners within the proposed annexation area".
The first scenario involves annexation within the City's existing sphere of influence. WM owns enough property based on value that the City can't include other property to force the annexation (79.89%) and there are less than 12 registered voters in the area.
The second scenario involves annexation within the City's area of interest, but, again based on land value, WM has 50.5% of the assessed land valuation.
This means that neither of the above would work if WM opposes it and it is clear that the City does not care if WM opposes it. Due to this, the City Staff has come up with two options to force the annexation, which does not seem very business friendly at all.
The first scam is to include land which has at least 12 or more registered voters and to do this staff suggests including the residential neighborhood at the north end of Tapo Canyon. I am sure that those in that area will be happy to hear that they might be used by the City in order for the City to try to force their agenda against WM. Due to the amount of land that WM owns, there would still could be a problem and a possible election, which is uncertain what the outcome would be. I can guarantee that the political aspects would harm those on the Council as this is NOT the way to conduct business.
The second scam is to increase the land valuation in the surrounding unihabited territory. The suggestion is that the land around WM's property could obtain zone changes to allow for "major urban development" and "would likely consist of the high hundreds or low thousands or acres" AND "most likely thousands of developed units". Is this something that the residents of Simi Valley would really want???
The "Obstacles to Annexation" do not seem to be enough for City Staff to recommend that annexation not be pursued without acceptance from WM.
As an added note, included with the staff report is a letter from Barbra Williamson from Feb. 2008 in which she represents herself as a member of the task force as well as a City Council member. She also represented herself in the same way when she wrote a letter to WM requesting a debate. The Code of Conduct requires a Council Member to be clear as to whether they are representing the City, as a Council Member, or speaking for themselves. This conduct seems to violate the Code of Conduct and also is a Conflict of Interest, but the Council does seem to care to do anything about it. No doubt just protecting their own.
It reminds me a a bumper sticker I saw in the Lake Tahoe area which said "Corrupt Polititians are a renewable resource".
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