To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at email@example.com
It's never the crime, always the "secret report."
While the only crime here could be to taxpayers, despite Pasadena
officials promises to the contrary, the city seems to be ignoring the
usual rule of public relations: When bad news comes, get it out,
regardless of what the lawyers say. Politicians will pay the political
price while attorneys continue to collect their billable hours anyway if
they hide it.
It's simple: Don't let the media frame the bad news before you
can. The media usually will find out anyway, and it will focus on the
agency that should be open and transparent rather than the alleged
In this case, the ire is being directed at Pasadena and the ever-expanding Rose Bowl renovation
Reporter Brenda Gazzar revealed how a "secret report" details
how the original projected budget, which was pegged at $152 million,
should have been higher, closer to $200 million, and that project team
officials should have known it. The lower number was the one touted to
the public in 2010.
This should hardly be a surprise to anyone. Critics have
pointed out that the overreaching and unrealistic expectations were
coupled with underestimated cost projections since the project was first
So, shocker, a third-party review agreed. The reaction from
Pasadena is "pay no attention to that report. We know everything about
it but can't show it to you."
Pasadena officials, including Mayor Bill Bogaard, are hiding
behind questionable legal interpretations and are just making the
situation worse. The mayor even said that the report will be released
once litigation linked to the renovations is "ruled out." What happens
if litigation is not ruled out? Will the report be made public then?
No offense to the mayor, but the California Public Records Act
decides what has to be made public and when, not the mayor of Pasadena.
Open government advocates Terry Francke and Gil Aguirre have
already pointed out that the city's position is shaky at best, deceptive
at worst. Francke points out that the city's position that the report
is exempt because it's litigation "work product" is a ruse to keep it
from being made public. Aguirre notes that the report's original purpose
was based on concerns of how things were being run. To now claim it's
part of the litigation process, said Aguirre, is "absurd."
City Councilman Victor Gordo, president of the Rose Bowl
Operating Company, created an ad hoc committee that instigated the
report. (Note that ad hoc committees are exempt from following state
open meeting laws.)
He said, without a hint of sarcasm, that the project was "well planned."
Coming after news in December that Pasadena Unified School
District's construction project is a mess, I'm not sure that Pasadena
residents would agree anyone in Pasadena government can ever plan a
construction project well.
But have no fear, Gordo found a silver lining: "... these aren't overruns."
Right. The cost overruns will be detailed in the next secret report.