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LOCAL News :: Labor & Economics : Poverty & Urban Development

SCRAP Kicks Off Anti-Hotel Petition Drive

(14 Feb, 2005) Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning (SCRAP) held a press conference this morning at the wharf announcing their petition-drive kick-off. If the group can acquire at least 4,000 valid signatures, the "Coast Hotel" issue will be placed on the ballot for a city-wide vote. Speakers/supporters included at least a half-dozen former SC Mayors.

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Re: SCRAP Kicks Off Anti-Hotel Petition Drive

Why doesnt SCRAP focus on creating the jobs that people need instead of playing politics and hurting the Santa Cruz economy during these hard times?

A word about jobs

As a homeless advocate, I am very concerned about the lack of well-paid jobs in the Santa Cruz area. While the above poster expresses a real concern regarding the high-paid jobs this project will generate for skilled workers such as plumbers, electricians, and other trade unionists, we cannot ignore the other implications the Coast Hotel Project would have.

These high-paid jobs would only be for about 2 or 3 years. The City will be on the hook with a $30 million debt for the next 30 years. Some claim that with the interest on the debt, the City will wind up paying closer to $60 million when all is said and done. This is like the false prosperity of running up the limit on your credit card!

I think the trade unions are being selfish, thinking only of their own personal benefit without considering the huge risk the city would take on, and the false prosperity generated by the city mortgaging its future for....WHAT??? A for-profit hotel owned by a private corporation in Boise, Idaho?

Ralph Meyberg has correctly stated that the already approved La Bahia project would build a hotel with an additional 112 rooms and generate high paying jobs from that project. The project bordered by Bulkhead St. is another job-generator. Developing the Rittenhouse property is another likely job-generating project the city is ignoring.

In other words, there are many projects the city could get behind instead, and use those RDA resources on projects which have community support, have gone thru the proper planning channels, and fit into our community in sane, carefully planned growth.

Once built, the Coast Hotel may or may not have well-paid union jobs for hotel workers. But there are no guarantees. In fact, I bet that in the end, the hotel will be staffed by low-paid mostly foreign workers who will have few benefits and little job security.

Noon Tuesday Rally in Front of Civic Auditorium for Pro-Coast Hotel Folks

The Sentinel announced--and pro-hotel union guy Tony Hill confirmed today--that supporters of the Santa Cruz Coast Hotel will be holding their own rally in front of the Civic Auditorium on Tuesday February 22 at noon.

I suggested to folks circulating referendum petitions that they show up there--even though the organizers support the hotel, since folks with different opinions will probably be wandering through.

Also, I find it interesting that City Attorney-for-Life John Barisone has decreed there be three petitions instead of one for this referendum, making it trebly expensive and inconvenient for those trying to overturn the City Council decision.


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