March 28, 2012
A recent letter from Nancy Kuechle expressed her support for Scott Malsin.
With all due respect for Nancy and what I believe are Mr. Malsin's good intentions,
my perceptions differ.
Malsin's website, under “Protecting the Character of Our City” states that “He put forward a plan that radically reduced permissible building size.. . .” Mr Malsin's Council votes have indicated otherwise. Remember the Entrada Project? Mr Malsin cast a deciding vote that effectively violated what his website says as he disregarded the will of the people-packed Council Chambers that night, and in effect violated the City's 56' high building limit by approving the building of a 13 story skyscraper, permitting something over 170 feet tall.
What makes Mr. Malsin think that taking advantage of loopholes is the way to follow plans? In effect, such behavior weakens the public's faith in government as responsive to our need, as too some of his other decisions. For example, is Mr Malsin really “protecting the character of our City” by overriding the signage ordinance to give us the tawdry circus-like signs adorning the Westfield Mall? Will he sell out what we cherish to bring in much needed revenue? Is this what his 20 years of experience has taught him?
At this time of economic duress Culver City needs a thinker and does on the dais, one who can both bring in the money and protect the character of our City. To thrive, we need to move from the old, autocratic type of top down leadership to one that is collaborative, that allows for and respects community input leading to creative, financially sound solutions.
Meghan Sahli-Wells' work provides good examples of this type of collaborative leadership. Responding to neighbors' concerns about negative impacts of a proposed development, she was instrumental in bringing together the developers, the City, and neighbors to work out win-win agreements that all could abide with.
Using her time, energy and quick intelligence to engage in collaborative work gained her the entire School Board's respect and endorsements. And Sahli-Wells knows how to bring in the money too. Parents of school age children know that she helped bring in about a million dollars in grants for the Schools.
Her collaborative style has not only won Meghan Sahli-Wells the School Board's and the people's support, it has also garnered endorsements from the people she will be working with to gain funding for our City's needs, namely our Congress Representative Karen Bass, Assembly Member Holly Mitchell and our Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Reading their accolades (on her website) will help you see that our leaders recognize the need for her style of leadership as they laud her for the much needed assets she will bring to Council.
Knowing she brings to City Council what we need to thrive during these critical times is why I am voting for Meghan Sahli-Wells for City Council and I invite you to do so too.
Suzanne De Benedittis