La Quinta Measure G: So little time so many points to make
Earlier this year, the Chandi Group proposed a zoning change in the middle of residential neighborhood for an am/pm, gas station, car wash project, operating 24-hours which got the residents in an uproar. Chandi is a self-made multi-millionaire who owns these type low-end businesses, mostly in Indio and near the freeway.
The City was hell bent on approving this zoning change, much to the dismay of the residents. However, what they did not consider is that Chandi is a large contributor to the Republican party which pumps a lot of money into our Republican City Council campaigns…and they are certainly beholden.
So the residents got really organized, put up a website and made protest signs and held meetings and attended the Council meeting in droves when they were going to render a decision on this matter. What happened was Chandi pulled his request…and some residents feel we have won. I disagree. Many of us believe that after this election Chandi will bring this project before the Council again and it will be passed, of course, by those winning candidates who are beholden to him for his campaign contributions….unless we get a new Council majority, which we can do this election cycle. We need to get Paula Maietta in as Mayor and Joe Johnson as City Council…we still don’t have another Council candidate we support yet.
The City of La Quinta has Measure G on the ballot, a 1% sales tax increase. Many of us are against the increase. If you are not familiar with the site “Next Door” it is an app/blog/site that neighborhoods can form through the website called “Next Door” and the members must provide their addresses so that Next Door can assign them to a group of their neighbors. It is a pretty good way of communicating with just your neighbors. The biggest problem we have had is persons can sign on to be a “lead” so they can monitor the discussions, which can get out of line/heated, but some of these leaders get into censoring statements that do not agree with their positions, which in itself, creates heated discussions.
The Gem is a newsletter that is published by the Chamber of Commerce, and the City gives them over $100,000 each year, part of which is to pay for the publishing of the Gem (and they keep all the revenue generated from it – and the Chamber gets discounted rent at City Hall). The City Manager, Frank Spevacek (remember him?) has been running “paid advertisements” full pages and 2 pages long, in support of the tax increase (of course) and those of us who are against the tax increase felt it was wrong for the City to “indirectly” pay for those ads. So, a group was formed who is “paying” for the ads – and we wondered who this group was, so William Cain RFI’d the City to get the names and that is what the following email is about.
You couldn’t make this stuff up. Why would someone like Mark Johnson and George Batavick set up a website to take donations (Save the Gem) which sole purpose is to push the 1% Sales Tax increase and then form a committee put in $2,250 dollars to “Vote Yes on Measure G” and file a form 410 and 460 with the city with the same purpose to cram down the throat of the residents more taxes ?
Here is the list of your neighbors who want you to pay more sales tax:
Mark L. Johnson (he is with Coachella Valley Water District) who signed the 410 and is listed as Treasurer
George and Ellan Batavick ( Mr. Batavick who also signed the 410 and is listed as the assistant Treasurer and is also on the Investment Advisory Board ).
Sharrell Blakely ?
Dan and Edie Hylton (Mrs. Hylton retired from the city and has a pension to protect)
Ron and Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen, of course, is running for City Council)
Rob Bernheimer is CV Strategies. He is the same attorney from Indian Wells whose name was on the original promotional piece website “Save the Gem” for the tax increase. One of Bernheimer’s clients is Urban Housing Communities. They owned the property on Washington/50th that Chandi Group was going to put his gas station project on. In my opinion I would venture to say (and this is speculation) that after the election, if Evans wins and if she can get another like minded person on the Council to support the Chandi Group project it will come before the Council again and get a rubber stamp approval.
I hope people are smart enough to see these connections and vote Evans out or they will see that all their hard work to defeat this project will be for naught.
Erin Gillahy of CV Strategies (she doesn’t appear to even live in La Quinta but CV Strategies has the consulting contract for this group)
Richard Mills ?
Richard and Cynthia Leza ?
Andy Vossler (Landmark Golf with the contract at SilverRock)
Be sure to thank them for trying to take you hard earned money.
Again I will point out this could have been a “Special Tax” on the ballot then the residents would have know where their tax dollars were going ! No New Taxes should be a rallying cry.