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LOCAL Announcement :: Labor & Economics

Ralph Meyberg to speak tonight on Santa Cruz Coast Hotel, aka Rotkin's Folly

Ralph Meyberg, community activist with SCRAP (Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning), will air on a taped interview at 7 PM tonight on Free Radio Santa Cruz on the Bathrobespierre's Broadsides show at 101.1 FM and as well as at the Vet's Hall live at 7:30 PM.
Ralph Meyberg, community activist with SCRAP (Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning), will air on a taped interview at 7 PM tonight on Free Radio Santa Cruz on the Bathrobespierre's Broadsides show at 101.1 FM and

To contact SCRAP, e-mail: SantaCruzansForResponsiblePlan (at)

Meyberg will also be speaking at the People's Democratic Club at the Vet's Hall tonight at 7:30 PM (see below).

For additional commentary, check out

Also note: [according to Bruce Bratton]: "PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC CLUB MEETING. The PDC meeting this Thursday night will have Don Lane and Bob Blitzer taking on the pro convention center side and Pat Matejcek from the Sierra Club and Ralph Meyberg representing the negative side of the Coast Hotel Convention Center Redevelopment Project. As Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt said in her op-ed piece in last Sunday's Sentinel "the community is deeply divided and that the process to date has fostered, rather than avoided that result." Is it even possible to hear "the other side" now? Let's attend the PDC meeting and see what happens. It's at the Vet's Hall at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, January 27 call the PDC at 420-1133 for information."

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Opposition on the Executive Board of SEIU Local 415

Despite opposition, the Executive Board of SEIU Local 415 voted to endorse this project the night it passed in City Council.

The vote was 13 in favor, 5 opposed, and 2 abstaining.

Those speaking for the project included Cliff Tillman, Executive Director of SEIU Local 415, and former campaign manager of Tony Madrigal. In addition to working directly on his campaign, Cliff Tillman gave Tony Madrigal a large amount of paid time off from his union duties to run for City Council.

Tillman argued that the concerns union members have about the project could be incorporated into the plan after it was passed.

I spoke against an endorsement of the project pointing out that public input would pretty much end after thing passed and that now was the time to voice our concerns.

I spoke in favor of guarantees for the adjacent residents who will now be in the shadow of this monstrous project and face potential health problems from black mold. I demanded that the plan include sitting down with residents and coming up with a solution that they would agree with, a solution that would include relocation if necessary.

In addition I pointed out problems with spending well over $30 million dollars of taxpayer’s money on a project to help the capitalists make more money, calling it welfare to the rich. Santa Cruz taxpayers will be paying for this project for many years to come, and the fact that it is being paid for through bonds means that the final price out of our pockets will probably be about $60 million dollars, and that doesn’t even include additional costs to infrastructure.

Projections of increased revenue through taxes and parking fees are purely speculative in a world where more and more conferences are being done via the Internet and deeper economic problems for the capitalist system are inevitable due to a number of factors including the war in Iraq combined with the falling rate of profit.

It is not the place for the city government to get involved in the capitalist speculation of the hotel and convention market with taxpayer's money.

$30 million bond in Welfare to Rich Hotel development

When the RDA sells the bonds to raise $30 million, what will the eventual interest rates be for us? Over the next 30 years, interest rates could rise to up to $80 million!!

Will the Coastal Commission approve this project despite it being in violation of their current codes in several areas?

What will be the costs of infrastructure to support this project--costs which will be borne by the taxpayers?

How has this council bypassed the 1998 city council which found the West Coast Hotel site "unsuitable" for a hotel/conference center?

How has this council repudiated the Brookings Institute Report which warns of the folly of cities spending money to build conference/convention centers in an effort to balance city coffers?

Rotkins claim that the square footage is different in the report,sounds pretty weak when the report concludes that such conference space use peaked back in 1993.

Don Lane recently revealed that he is being paid to support the Coast Hotel project.

Former Mayor Celia Scott, said the indebtedness the City will incurr rightly belongs on the ballot since its, in essence, increase in taxation. HUFF urges people to call the City Council and insist on a referendum.

La Bahia has been approved for a 118-room hotel. why not proceed with that since over 2000 people contributed in public comment to come up with this plan. Scott Kennedy, apparently, bypassed all public process to breath life into this project in quite a cavalier way.

The City Council meets on Tuesday Feb. 8th for a 2nd reading of the ordinance. Call 420-5020 and ask for a referendum.


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