The latest Rogers for Council message is up at his official campaign web site. It’s actually pretty good, but there’s one thing he says there that’s wrong. Or shall we say it’s misleading, if not a bit petty.
Rogers fails to accurately describe how it was that HE obtained the tip about the Talaria appraisal, which he so eagerly attributes instead to one of his (always famously evasive) unknown correspondents and friends.
A long-time City Hall watcher recently told me that council members were not permitted to see an appraiser’s report discussing the value of property recently sold to a developer so he could complete his project. (The council ultimately took the staff’s recommendation and accepted the lowest value put on the property sought by the developer.) My long-time acquaintance insisted that, by some rationale or another, council members were talked into believing they had no right, nor a need, to see the appraiser’s report.
Skeptical that city staff had actually argued council members couldn’t or shouldn’t see the material, I asked a council member if the report was true.
Looking every bit as puzzled as I’d expected, the official replied, “What? That’s ridiculous! I’m sure staff would have let us see the appraisal if any of us had wanted to see it.”
I froze for a moment and thought, “Um, wait a minute. You were asked to set a value for city land, using a window provided by an appraiser that varied in price top-to-bottom by about $3 million, and you never even asked and didn’t care to see the actual appraisal for yourself to weigh the appraiser’s priorities, expertise and arguments?”
This was actually WORSE than accepting a ruling they could not see the report.
Rogers is right. But hey, we were the ones here who first:
a) asked the basic question about WHAT in the world the appraiser had said about these “remnant” city properties in question, as well as exactly how they were valued, and with what methodology, and we did so in about four different postings;
b) wanted to see the report ourselves and not just take staff’s word for its content;
c) demanded that the council get together and read it, and;
d) reported news-wise here that Dr. Gordon had indeed wanted to see it much earlier, but had been denied access.
Will still can’t play straight about things, can he? The old, old Will Rogers also wouldn’t have needed any “long-time City Hall watcher” to help him arrive at his wonderings about local politics. No, he would have been down there that very night demanding an answer from all concerned.
So where was he on Talaria? Two different hearing nights and no appearance?
Oh that’s right– we asked that question too.
BTW … if Rogers is really serious about this concern then he should go ahead and legally demand to see it. Because the official appraisal was cited in the staff report, it’s now fully disclosable under the state’s open records act. The city wouldn’t have any good reason to keep it secret, public policy wise, at least no longer. The Talaria negotiations and vote are now over and done with.
We too would love to see how much the city’s appraiser valued these supposedly useless remnants. We think staff fabricated the lowball figures in order to give a little extra gift to Burbank’s First Family. The official appraiser’s report would either prove or disprove our contention.
You can see here how marginal the city’s land is to the success of this project. Being only right in the center of the development it’s hardly worth a thing: