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Sparks fly over Midwick Tract development

Councilman Steven Placido faced heated criticism during Monday night’s City Council meeting for a letter he sent out announcing that a controversial Midwick Tract development had been put on hold. In the letter, he wrote, “Together we stood shoulder-to-shoulder addressing neighborhood concerns.  I made sure your voices were heard, and together, we have brought change to our community.”

But founders of a grassroots organization, Preserve Midwick, challenged Placido’s role.

“You never stood behind us, you had nothing to do with it,” Elizabeth Salina, a founder of the group, said before the Council. “For you to come out now and champion it and say this is ‘our victory,’ I think the people of Alhambra are smart enough to know that that’s not the case.”

Salinas, who plans to run against Placido in the upcoming general elections in November, called the issue “blatantly political,” saying that the Councilman’s claims of “standing shoulder-to-shoulder” with the residents who opposed the project from the very beginning were simply “not true.”

Various City Council members said in response that no councilman could have taken a side on the matter, as City Ventures has never formally presented an application to the city of Alhambra for the project. Placido claimed that the Council has been “very effective” and taken a proactive approach to giving residents the opportunity to share their concerns.

“We frontloaded this and let the community have four or five additional meetings,” he said. “I was always very up front with everybody, I was always very available, and I have made every effort to bring this community into the proposal.”

But the members of Preserve Midwick were not convinced. “Dr. Placido, can you honestly say you worked with us? How many doors did you knock on?” resident Aide Zeller asked. “Neither you nor your fellow Council members can take any credit for what has been accomplished.”

Mayor Barbara Messina said that Placido acted correctly on the matter, as he would have had to recuse himself by declaring a biased opinion, and that if elected, Salinas will also have to recuse herself. “I just want to clear the air,” Messina said. “We listen to your comments, but by no means is this a political ploy.”

The proposed site developer, City Ventures, did not respond to requests for information on the project.

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4 thoughts on “Sparks fly over Midwick Tract development”

  1. Come on, just another political ploy by a special interest politician beholden to developers…if Placido wins for re-election-“full steam ahead” (for the developers & sad day for the people)

  2. When the city is run by business interests, business interests will prevail. Mark my words, this project will start up again after the elections.

  3. Long Time Midwick Resident

    I attended the meetings and heard members of the council including Placido make comments about how great a job City Ventures was doing on other projects and what a fine company it is, but they could say not one word about the concerns of the residents. How does commenting on density,traffic or safety issues negate their vote? I believe they are hiding behind the vote issue so they can keep the residents in the dark as to their true opinions about the project in general. Now that the project is on hold until after the elections Placido plays politics and says he was with the hood all along. Baloney!

  4. With Messina supporting Palcido, it is clear where Placido’s loyalities lay…and it is not with the people, unless Placido is willing to reject Messina’s indorsement.

    What say you, Dr. Placido?