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Santa Monica Wilmont Board Should Come Clean

September 20, 2012

Dear Editor,

I read with amusement the letter from outgoing Wilmont President Valerie Griffin where she protests that there is no "secret donor" who has underwritten her legal attacks on members and her attempt to prevent a free election for Wilmont Board members. ("LETTER: Wilmont Donors Not Hotel or Developer," September 19, 2012)

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

This whole debate is really about the Miramar project at Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. A lot of local residents are concerned that this project will be larger than the Santa Monica Mall. All the people Valerie has attempted to ban from the group are local residents who criticized this project and attempted to use the democratic process to make their views known.

Valerie's attorney has spent dozens of hours writing threatening letters and making broad pronouncements, and no doubt these hours are billed at regular attorneys rates of a few hundred dollars an hour.

As for Miramar: We know that the gigantic 550,000 square foot hotel redevelopment is financed by Michael Dell, who I believe is the 5th richest man in the United States. Do I have my facts right? I think I do. ("Santa Monica's Miramar Hotel Redevelopment Gets Initial Go-ahead," April 25, 2012)

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to connect the dots.

If Valerie Griffin has nothing to hide, then why is she hiding the truth?

She isn't fooling anybody.

For the record: I would like to formally request that Valerie Griffin and the old Wilmont Board allow us to inspect and copy all Wilmont records per California Corporations Code 6330-6333, so that we can understand the truth of what is being discussed, and use the democratic process to bring positive change.

Jim Pickrell
Instructor, Los Angeles City College
25 year Santa Monica Resident
3 year Wilmont member

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