Crime and homelessness in Downtown Santa Monica just get worse, and that’s part of the plan.
Editor's note: John Alle owns and operates a building on the Third Street Promenade. The grandson of immigrants, he is also a survivor of a violent assault by a homeless man. Based on information received and observation of the situation, the Observer believes the City today actively encourages intolerable conditions in Downtown Santa Monica e.g. runaway homelessness in order to force local landowners to sell their land cheap. The city can then announce that "retail in Santa Monica's core doesn't work anymore. It's like the airport- a holdover from another time. Now we need to build housing in DTSM." One by one, Alle says, local retail tenants are leaving Santa Monica's dying core. And we think it's a feature, not a bug. Here's why.
Another great tenant is leaving. Four (4) others on the Promenade are about to announce. Champs' last day was yesterday.
And our DTSM, Inc. CEO, like our City Manager David White, makes sure he gets a huge bonus! For what? Even the swap meet vendors he rents space to on Saturdays in the center of the Promenade are complaining because many are walking away with no more than $30 in sales each weekend. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2sK4QECf9S/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
Our new "security" company often walks right by and/or ignores junkies on the ground and others masturbating......We need sworn Santa Monica Police Officers walking the Promenade, Downtown and Ocean Avenue. The City Council needs to appropriate more funding now to hire more sworn officers, and undercover as well, to eliminate the drug dealers. And offer them signing bonuses.
"Walk-in, grab, and walk-out" theft continues in front of our hired security, an average of 15 times a month with some retailers. And in some cases, once an hour, mostly unreported. Unreported because the businesses face the likelihood of becoming "uninsurable", and Police response (usually under 10 minutes, which is great) arrives after the theft, so there is usually no report taken. Crime is rising. Physical assaults are rising on the Promenade, in our Downtown, and in our Parks.
Bad news yes, but a Santa Monica Police Department that includes the 300 sworn officers Chief Batista has publicly said he needs is the best solution.
The City using its empty buildings as mental health facilities and shelters is another solution.
Santa Monica is one of only a few cities which does not fund money for undercover detectives to walk our Promenade, Downtown, Ocean Avenue, and our parks, and one of only a few cities who refuses to offer bonuses to new recruits.
Take a walk and see how few patrons are on our Promenade, Downtown and Ocean Avenue, and how few of those are carrying bags with anything they have bought. 86% of residents won't. Even some of our own City Council members drive out of Santa Monica to see a movie.
DTSM, Inc will soon be a relic of the past. Property and business owners would be no worse off. That is in the works...DTSM Property and Business Owners are paying ridiculous assessments to have the funds misappropriated and a staff that continues to grow.
Consider who the longest serving Councilmembers are, and ask if we are any better off, or if things are getting worse.