Sure enough, just like our hapless council majority, the local opinion maker couldn’t figure out what the Gordon discussion on the Talaria “remnants” was all about.
Here’s what they’re saying about it tonight:
The sale price of the city’s property — which an appraiser valued at just under $1 million on the low end and $3.7 million on the high end — was another point of contention Gordon raised during the council’s discussion.
He [David Gordon] argued that because the land is critical to the developer’s plans, “it’s absolutely worth every penny” of the nearly $4 million valuation.
The $1.2 million purchase price represented a steep discount of around 70% because of the irregular shape and location of the plots, which include part of Avon Street, an alley and a strip of land on the proposed site, according to city staff.
The last paragraph is what staff tried to claim, but there were not two appraisals for this same set of parcels. And certainly not two appraisals from the city’s own private appraiser.
Here’s what really happened, taken straight from the staff report:
Reading carefully, you can see that there were not two appraisals. What happened is that the appraiser first delivered the higher amount, and then someone else (staff?) applied an arbitrary and fishy “discount” on the original number. Notice in the above that the report does NOT say that the appraiser came up with the second number as some kind of viable option, which is what the Leader is clearly saying occurred.
Staff as well only calls the two figurings a “methodology that was used.” That’s a cute trick to cloud the proceedings. But the first # was the official appraisal, and the second was the lowball mickey-mouse “discount.”
Now, whether this lower number had the imprimatur of the official private-party appraiser is something to consider. The article says “yes” to this suggestion but with no proof. It makes it sound like R.P Laurain came up with both figures, and this mistaken assumption (or misreading) helps to legitimize the ridiculous lowball discounted figure.
In other words, the Leader completely missed the point about last night’s discussion. There was one estimate, and then a phony city-applied discount that benefited the developer.
Now the real proof will be if we can see the original appraiser’s report on the topic. We suspect that Laurain did indeed factor in the other limitations of the “remnants,” and did not in fact consider the property as being just like an open and intact parcel in the middle of the Talaria lot. As City Manager Scott stated was the case last night when he tried to save staff from Gordon’s intense questioning…**
But for now, nothing in the staff report says that this same appraiser came up with two different but equally viable numbers. That’s a Cusumano fantasy.
** Now that the CM has been caught in a possible fabrication here– and one that benefits the Cusumanos financially for a couple of mil, let’s see how easily they’ll release this appraiser document. That independent report will definitely explain the company’s rationale for the bigger figure– and we strongly suspect that it’s not based on what the CM says it is.
BTW, here’s another mistake from the same issue, in an article about the city clerk registering voters at Woodbury: .
In order to register to vote in Burbank, a person must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the city and at least 18 years old.
Not so. Anyone can register to vote in Burbank. But only Burbank residents can vote in Burbank elections. Big difference. The county figures it all out in the end.
So … is our city clerk’s office only going to register Burbank residents up there? The paper makes it sound like it. If so, they’re breaking the law (Elections Code 2158 (b)(2)). No one registering voters can discriminate against potential registrants in any way. Imagine what would happen if they could– and occasionally you’ll hear about GOP people refusing to register known Dems, that kind of thing.