Purpose

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 pdrouet@earthlink.net

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ara Najarian's Remarks at Yesterday's Metro Board Meeting

Posted on No 710 on Avenue 64 Facebook page, October 25, 2016

Read Ara Najarian's remarks from yesterday's Metro Board meeting about the motion to reinstate the SR-710 project to the accelerated funding list. Ara had confirmation from the County Counsel (who was in attendance) backing him up, and yet Knabe, Fasana, Chair DuBois and ultimately most of the Board forged ahead with total lack of regard for the County Counsel's opinion. Knabe's motion passed. There were only 3 votes against it: Najarian, Yaroslavsky and Garcetti (yet Garcetti's 3 appointees voted in favor of the motion). Remember that in July, when Ara asked the County Counsel to relinquish the Attorney-Client privilege of confidentiality for his opinions on "Who is in charge?", the Board jumped all over Ara and was adamant that Counsel Safer's opinions were sacrosanct and not to be questioned.
 Transcript for Direct Najarian’s comments on Item 71
Regular Board Meeting
October 24, 2013

Director Najarian: My friends have told me not to die on this sword; my enemies said go ahead
and do it. I think we need to make one thing clear. This motion and today’s action is not a pep
rally for those for or against the tunnel or anything involving the 710 project. That’s not what
we’re here about. And I’m hoping that today we can shine some light on exactly what this
Board has done in its past few months and what the Knabe, DuBois, Molina, Fasana, Antonovich
motion implies. The first thing I want to say is back in June, when we were discussing the
Measure R Ordinance and amending it, I was the 9th vote and we needed 9 votes to pass. The
reason why I voted to amend Measure R in June was because an amendment was made which
indicated that the 710 shall not be accelerated. I’m told by County Counsel that this motion
today can pass with only 6 votes or with 7 votes, simple majority. I find that unfair to me
because had this been included back in June, I would not have voted for the Measure R
ordinance amendment. So I do think it’s rather unfair to me to get me to vote one way based
on one premise and then a month or two later, based only with a simple majority, to pass this
amendment. I don’t think that’s fair and I think we should always be fair in what we do. This
entire motion is based on a false premise. Let me read the opening line to the Knabe motion
and it says…I don’t know if we can put that up there, can we put the pre‐amble or the
introduction? We don’t have the ability to do that? Well it won’t be long, it’s not very long. I
want everyone to understand this it says, “In June 2013, the MTA Board approved a Measure R
Acceleration Financing Plan to advance all Measure R second and third decade projects.” And
I’ve had a lengthy discussion with County Counsel and in reality; this Board did not pass the
Measure R Acceleration Financing Plan. If anyone wants to argue that, now is the time to do it;
because the premise of this motion is right here. We did not pass the Measure R Acceleration
Financing Plan. Isn’t that true, Mr. Safer?

Charles Safer: That’s true.

Director Najarian: Okay, how does that grab everyone? So the foundation upon which this
motion is based is false. And it’s not fair to the Board and it’s not fair to the public; to lead off
the motion with an incorrect, misleading, statement.

Director Knabe: Well it wasn’t misleading; it was just to show you how badly your amendment
was written. No I’m just saying, that’s the issue, it was a clarification. I agree with you, it
wasn’t a rally for or against the 710 but the reason for the amendment was because of the
inaccuracies within the confines of how you’re rushed to judge when an amendment came to
the Board.

Director Najarian: That’s gibberish, what are you saying Mr. Knabe? I’m talking about the
Measure R Acceleration Financing Plan. Did this Board pass it or did it not? The answer is we did
not. It’s inappropriate for you to state that leading off your motion.
Director Knabe: I think it’s a great motion.
 Director Najarian: I’m not here to argue with Mr. Knabe. The votes are in and I won’t die on
sword. I want everyone to know, as well as Legal Counsel, and create a record in future
challenge that that’s a problem. The next item is that, the 710 extension has no funding date.
Funds available under the Measure R ordinance indicate that the funding will be “to be
determined.” The 710 is not a second decade project that we can advance to the first decade.
It’s not a third decade project that we can advance to the second decade. It’s a completely
inappropriate and misleading motion to indicate that the 710 project can be advanced. The
710 is expected to draw interest by a Public‐Private Partnership. Those are funds; that’s a
funding plan that the MTA is not contributing to. This is the Public‐Private Partnership. So it’s a
completely misnomer and misrepresentation to the public, to the folks who support the 710,
whether it’s a tunnel or not and to the folks who are against it, that this can either be
accelerated or slowed down. Now my motion back in June was merely to underscore the fact
that the 710 project cannot be accelerated and will not be accelerated. So this motion before us
today is completely inappropriate, it’s improper. And it’s unfair to those people who are trying
to breathe some life into the 710 project because that’s not what it’s about. So we got a faulty
premise that it’s based on and we’ve got a representation to everyone that the 710 project can
be accelerated by the MTA Board; from either the third to the second decade or the second
decade to the first decade. Pull out your Measure R ordinance; it says “to be determined.” If
PPP comes in tomorrow, if Torgado comes in or some great financer; tomorrow, I presume that
funding will be available. If they don’t come in for five decades, that’s when the money comes
in. This Board has no control over that. So to bring this motion forward at this time, describing
it as acceleration is improper and it’s something we should not consider. We should lay this on
the table and not deal with it at this point. And let the funding come in when the funding comes
in.

Director Knabe: Madame Chair, the only part I agree with is the fact that this is not a rally for
or against the 710 extension. I think the motion speaks for itself. It was in response to the
previous action at the last minute without being noticed, so it’s a clarification so with that, I
would move the motion as amended.

Director Fasana; I’ll second.

Chair DuBois: Moved and seconded. Director Fasana also had a request to speak.

Director Fasana: Yes, thank you. I just would like to add but first I want to thank Director Knabe
for bringing this motion forward. There has been a decision made by the voters of this County
and the inclusion of the 710 project was not an accident, it was inserted deliberately into the
Measure. And it was inserted so that all voters can consider it along with the other projects that
we have. Many of our projects face environmental review. The funding plan for Measure R is
not adequate and we certainly know that there are projects that do not have adequate funding
through Measure R. Separating the progress and the ability to accelerate the 710 or any other
project in Measure R sets a very poor precedent with the voters of this County. The project
should all have an equitable opportunity to be considered. They should have the opportunity
for the voters then to know that we pursued due deliberation for this project along with the
others and we’ll review the alternatives at a proper time. I support the motion, the motion is
appropriate and it’s the equitable thing to do. I think it maintains faith with the voters
throughout this County that we will not pick and choose how we interpret the mandate for
Measure R. Thank you.

Chair DuBois: I have no one else who has asked to speak.

Director Najarian: If there are no other speakers. I just wish someone would answer and tell
me that I’m wrong in my statements regarding the funding of the 710 and the ability for it to be
accelerated as the current motion implies. Tell me I’m wrong, I already discussed that, tell me
I’m wrong.

Director Fasana: Madame Chair, if we get into the funding of all the projects for the Measure
R, we will be here for quite some time. I don’t know if that’s a real productive use of our time at
this point.

Director DuBois: I think it’s time to vote, will you please cast your votes using the screen in
front of you. Motion passes.