5/23/09 Ukiah, North California
Dear Mr. Smith,
There are reasons most of us members of “Mendocino County Tomorrow” cannot identify ourselves as we march to assemble signatures for “Mendocino Crossings”, or Developers Diversified Realty, or whatever you want to call us. Yes, DDR/”Mendocino Crossings” is our sponsor with their $1,000 gift, and are helping us in many other ways*.
And it’s true we’re not actually a legally registered non-profit organization. But this is all about profit. In fact, most of us were hoping to profit directly on DDR’s coattails, before their stock prices fell from $70 to $2 a share. You can understand why we wouldn’t want our names associated with that, either.
And some of us were silenced at our very first meeting of “Mendocino County Tomorrow”, when that micro-economist “expert” from Sonoma State, Rob Eyler, told us that DDR’s mall there would create the worst possible outcome for economic development in Mendocino County. The room sure was quiet then, and we’ve been silent since. Silence really is golden!
But many of us are Realtors® and other business men and women in Ukiah, and would not like to be singled out for a boycott. If people in town knew we were collaborating with DDR’s hoax, selling our neighbors out, we’re afraid we’d be tarred and feathered! So we’re forced to operate by stealth, hoping that we can dupe enough people into signing a petition – you know, in the interests of democracy.
Not all of us are proud of our roles in this end run around the County planning processes, the elected officials and the will of the citizens. It’s hard for some of us to swallow this line about “taking it to the people”, especially after that last election. It’s really all about leapfrogging over the public. But with this petition, there won’t be any environmental review of the Masonite site. We’ll be saving the public a lot of time looking at that old dump. No “Love Canal” here!
I know that some have characterized this petition thing as some kind of “corporate hostile takeover”. That is so not us! We are not hostile, not at all. We are your neighbors, your associates and business partners. We just prefer to remain nameless. Think of us as your special “Secret Friends”. Others have already called us “collaborators”, as if we’re some kind of “fifth column”. Where do people get those ideas? And as for that sarcastic guy calling us “Mendocino County Yesterday”? Well, I think you can understand why we don’t want our names in the paper!
I wish I could say more, but I have to rush off to a “Board” meeting, if I can find it. Perhaps I can come out later, contact you, and we can discuss this more. Please don’t print my name, or put this in any stupid “blog”.
Mendocino County Tomorrow
*PS: See enclosure above. DDR/ “Mendocino Crossings” really helped us on the “Mendocino County Tomorrow” website!
[A letter we have yet to see from "Mendocino County Tomorrow" -EJ]