Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: No Benefit for Locals

Re: “Great Wet Hope” (GT, 9/15): Thanks for publishing the well-researched and informative article by Erin Malsbury about the water situation in Santa Cruz County. 

I have to disagree, however, with a comment quoted in the piece by Sierra Ryan, the Interim Water Resources Manager for Santa Cruz County. She claims that since new buildings are more water-efficient than old ones, the impact of development is irrelevant. In fact, these more efficient units are not replacing the old units, they’re just further adding to the demand by causing an increase in the population of our county, as well as adding to our traffic problems that are so apparent.

One would have to wonder why the Santa Cruz City Council majority have recently approved several projects amounting to more than a thousand new units (a minute fraction of them being affordable) without addressing the obvious water and traffic issues. At the same time, the city is continuing to force single residences to subsidize the water rates that business, hotels, the University and especially constructions projects pay.

The answer is unfortunately quite simple: the developers and real estate interests have bought the council majority their jobs by spending $750,000 on a recent recall election. This figure is especially shocking, taking into account the fact that the average council election has an expenditure of less than $30,000. 

Yes folks, monied special interests have captured our town just as they have so frequently in larger political venues. People should be aware that they’re abdicating their responsibility of being informed voters if they are allowing themselves to be influenced by massive misinformation campaigns flooding their mailboxes with flyers. A good rule of thumb is if you see a lot of money being spent on an issue or campaign, ask yourself what special interests are at work here, and if they are acting in the public good—which would be very rare.

The onslaught has begun—witness the corner of Laurel and Front Street, which will take up an entire city block with an eight-story building, and is only a forerunner of many monstrous projects approved by the current majority. The livability of our city is going to continue to get worse. These projects do not benefit the current residents of Santa Cruz, only the greedy developers. It’s up to us whether we will limit further damage in the future.

Fred Geiger
Santa Cruz

This letter does not necessarily reflect the views of Good Times.To submit a letter to the editor of Good Times: Letters should be originals—not copies of letters sent to other publications. Please include your name and email address to help us verify your submission (email address will not be published). Please be brief. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and to correct factual inaccuracies known to us. Send letters to [email protected].

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Carol Polhamus

    September 29, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    Not sure where Mr. Geiger got his figures from, but they are wildly inaccurate. The accurate figures for the recall campaign can be found on the city election website. As one of the organizers of the recall, I can also state that his premise that the recall was prompted by real estate interests desiring to have development projects approved is also incorrect. The recall was prompted by the attempt to pass rent control immediately after the sound defeat of Measure M at the polls, several proposals to create transitional homeless encampments in various neighborhoods throughout the city, the attempt to keep the Ross Camp open including one councilmember’s testifying against the city in a lawsuit brought by homeless activists, and poor treatment of city staff. The majority of city voters of all occupations voted to recall the two councilmembers.
    Multiple prohousing bills have passed in California recently that greatly restrict the city’s ability to reject development projects, including SB9, SB10, SB35, SB330. Maybe Mr. Geiger should read about their impact on local housing projects.

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