The Greggs and their surrogates are fond of trying to frighten
Glendalians at every possible opportunity with threats of enormous
taxpayer litigation costs if the city continues to thwart their
development plans. It’s way past time for a little reality check.
Thus far, Oakmont V litigation costs for the city are less than $4 per
Glendale resident, not a frightening number for anyone. If a miracle
happens and the Greggs see the light of rationality, total litigation
costs might be no more than $2 million, which is about $10 per Glendale
person. Unfortunately if the Greggs continue their hardball tactics,
litigation costs could be as much as $10 million, for a per-person cost
of $50. These costs certainly don’t look like personal financial disaster
for the people of Glendale.
Probably for most of the supporters of Oakmont V and many others,
neither of these scenarios on individual costs represent anything much
more than lunch money. There are, of course, many others in Glendale that
if the amounts had to come out of pocket, it could be a hardship. But
these costs do not come out of pocket. No one from the city will come to
the door or send a letter demanding payment, nor will there be a special
assessment on the tax bills. So breathe easy; your personal financial
security is not in jeopardy.
But before I get hammered, I acknowledge that the city litigation
payments will not materialize out of thin air. The costs will have to be
defrayed through the usual annual city budget-balancing act.
Jerry Barrone concludes in his April 23 letter, “While Mr. Morrison
might not care about the potential damages costing Glendale taxpayers
tens of millions of dollars, I do.” Because Barrone undoubtedly reaped
millions in retirement benefits from his savings and loan, I suspect that
he would not think twice about pulling out his platinum credit card for
one restaurant dinner -- a charge likely to be equal to or more than the
individual cost in my worst-case scenario. In other words, in his case,
helping to preserve the Oakmont V property as open space is not worth the
price of one dinner.
Contrary to what Barrone implies, I do not want the city to pay
millions for litigation costs, and I am therefore angry as hell that the
bullying Greggs are forcing the city to incur these costs. They know how
important keeping Oakmont V as open space is to the people of Glendale,
but their arrogant refusal (as far as I know) to even consider discussing
negotiating a settlement with the city is an insult to all of us. We must
continue supporting the city in its fight against these bullies and
strongly encourage it not to surrender. This is even easier to do when we
see the individual costs of this fight in a realistic light.