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Community Commentary -- Robert Morrison

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.