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Letter to the Editor: Response to Moreno Valley's Validation Lawsuit

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I object to the city's financing plan, as do others. Our objections are based on several different things. We intend to present all the arguments we collectively have to the court. We are confident the court will decide which arguments it will entertain not the city's contracted attorney.

If the city isn't suing its citizens, the summons shouldn't have threatened "NOTICE!"YOU HAVE BEEN SUED." The city was hoping for a default judgment that would terminate any future objections. That isn't going to happen.

One of the objections to this Validation Lawsuit is the claim to "low cost". The resolution states this $15 million project was going to cost $38 million in re-payments over a period of 30 years. The court complaint now shows a $20 million principal and forty years of payments, with no stated total for those repayments. The citizens of the City of Moreno Valley shouldn't be expected to write a blank check! No taxpayer should knowingly permit such a travesty.

Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and Caltrans both approved the $17 million for the Menifee HWY 215 project. All Measure A funded projects in Riverside County require RCTC approval. RCTC has not approved the funding for Nason St improvements between Fir and Cactus. Riverside County voters approved a process for expending Measure A funds when they voted for the measure. The City of Moreno Valley cannot unilaterally replace RCTC's authority with their own.

One has only to drive through the streets of Moreno Valley to understand the need for regular street maintenance provided by Measure A funds. This very short street expansion is not in the best interests of the entire community.

The economic development action plan introduced by Moreno Valley's newly hired city manager proposes to spend $23 million to improve the property known as Aquabella. The Aquabella property is only approved and entitled for a senior master planned residential community. This money has been approved even though the development agreement requires the developer of this property (Iddo Benzeevi) to pay for this street improvement.

The $38 million, along with a previously committed sum of $23 million, means the Moreno Valley City Council is committing over $60 million to a project that hasn't been approved or entitled. In fact this $60 million is for a medical campus/corridor that is currently only approved and entitled for a senior master planned community. No signed occupants. There is no way to make sense of spending $60 million for nothing more than an artists rendering without asking some questions that I trust will serve as food for thought. As you read these questions there is one question I really want you to think about. What else don't you know?

Did you know the Moreno Valley City Council kept the city manager vetting committee secret from the public for months in violation of the Brown Act? Did you know that each council member picked one person to be on that committee? Do you know which city council member picked which committee member? Did you know the only reason the public learned about the vetting committee is when Iddo Benzeevi thought his choice wasn't going to be picked so he went to the reporter? Did you know that three of the members of the city manager vetting committee were on the Board of Directors of the Rancho Belago Economic Council (Jamil Dada, Dave Slawson & Iddo Benzeevi)? Did you know it was the Rancho Belago Economic Council Board of Directors that asked the city to change the name of the east end to Rancho Belago? Did you know that vetting committee member Carl Rowe owns Integrated Care Communities which is right in the area of Nason to be improved with the new city managers' economic development plan? Did a very narrow group of hand picked individuals get to pick the new city manager who in turn proposed an economic development plan that boosted that personnel interests? Did you know the city manager is proposing a $100,000. bonus to the bid awarded contractor that can complete the Nason Street project through an empty lot? The businesses at Stoneridge Towne Centre are really suffering, so why isn't there an incentive to complete these improvements early?

Deanna Reeder
Moreno Valley, CA

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