My name is Mike Hyde. I was part of a grassroots effort that defeated the attempt by the developers to change the urban line limit (ULL) in 2005. We won by 119 votes and in the Brentwood Press after the election we said that they (the proponents) would return … well, they’re back!
In 2006 I ran for council on a smart-growth platform and lost, but in that election there was a county wide ULL measure that did pass, allowing each city to redraw its own ULL for future use, and it was developer driven (of course).
There was a great phrase on the front page in the Brentwood Press shortly after the election of 2006. This phrase, in my opinion, defined that election and the future elections. It read “checkbook politics blew into Brentwood.” This was true in 2006, and in my opinion, we are living with the results in 2010.
In the 2006 election there was an outside developer group that spent tens of thousands of dollars on a few Brentwood mayoral and council candidates races. I want to be clear that these “darlings of the developers” did not directly accept money from this group; they stood silently by while the money was spent on their behalf.
The person who had the most money spent by this group in 2006 was Annette Beckstrand (who was soundly defeated by Bob Taylor in 2006). In my opinion, seeing that she is involved in Measure F (after all but leaving local politics after the 2006 election) is no coincidence at all.
Councilman Chris Becnel had around $20K spent on his behalf by this same outside developer group.
Why does more housing have to be part of the equation? In my opinion, this is where those outside developer groups are looking to get some return on their investment (ROI) from the election of 2006.
The election of 2006 taught me that the voters in Brentwood are a fickle bunch, who will vote for candidates not as much on the issues but rather on who had the fancy multicolored flyers, large signs sporting scare phrases, or promises of a rosy future for campaign slogans.
I opened the Brentwood Press last week and saw the colorful full-page ad extolling the wonderful things that are going to happen when the developer-driven Measure F passes in the next election. I also have read the letters to the editors saying about the same mantra, noting the real-estate-related names of the writers who all are saying about the same thing and vehemently attacking those who disagree with them.
In my opinion, this is all an extension of checkbook politics blowing into Brentwood.
Why do we need more housing? Don’t we have enough vacant and bank-owned housing units now? How will additional housing units help us regain the equity that all of us have lost?
Why are so many realtors gung-ho about adding new and unsold houses to a city that is still struggling with the fallout from mortgage industry meltdown a few years ago?
I laugh when the proponents of Measure F use the word “surplus” and “high-end housing.”
I thought Deer Ridge, Shadow Lakes and the other developments were “high-end housing” and I believe we have plenty of “surplus” housing in almost every development in the city!
In my opinion, the proponents of Measure F want all of us to check our brains at the door and believe that voting yes on Measure F will cure all that ails the Brentwood real estate market.
They also want you the voter to look the other way while a small group of real estate “experts” and mortgage bankers (bandits, really) and the ever-present puppet master developers build exactly what we do not need … more unsold housing units.
I sincerely hope the attitude of the Brentwood voters will change in time to vote down this “porky boondoggle” and see this Measure F for what it really is … another attempt by special interests to stick it to the residents and line their pockets in the process.
We can fight this special-interest invasion in Brentwood by voting the sitting council members out of office in November and vote in candidates who are running for office to protect Brentwood rather then trying to sell us out for their own profit.