Dana's Comments Held Suspect

Supervisor Deane Dana's comments on Marina del Rey cityhood (Times, Feb. 13) are replete with misstatements. They should be highly suspect, since his campaign funds have been fatly fueled with contributions from the marina lessees who own apartment buildings, store buildings and boat slips--and rent the land.

When he says that public funds built the marina, he conveniently forgets the role the Army Corps of Engineers played in dredging the various marina channels, with no cost to the county. When he contends that the tenants did not build the marina, he forgets that a portion of the rentals of apartments and stores and boat slips retired the bonds which financed part of the marina, and that the county has profited richly from such tenant contributions.

When he uses fear of a local city council reserving marina facilities for use of local residents instead of people from all over the county, he is well aware this is a phantom raised by himself . . . with no basis in fact or intention . . . (which), to use an old-fashioned expression beginning with the same letter as a modern one, it is a lot of balderdash.

Dana is more responsible for the marina cityhood movement than anyone else. He proposed altering the master lease, by which the marina (has been) guided since its beginnings, from giving lessees a "fair and reasonable return on their investment" to being able to charge "fair market value," with the lessees determining what so-called "fair market value" is. No tenants were represented at any hearing for this change.

As a result, rents in the marina are, in many cases, being raised as much as 40% to 60%--and that is only the beginning. Longtime residents are being forced to vacate during a severe apartment shortage elsewhere.

To reiterate, marina lessees do not own their land; they lease it. By paying only 7 1/2% of their rental income to the county, and being able to charge rents equal to those of landlords who do own their land and pay 12% to 16% mortgage interest, they are given free rein to gobble up enormous profits at the expense of unprotected tenants, and it is this financial gluttony that cityhood will end.


Marina del Rey

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