Brea Taxpayer ALERT – Stop the $9M Parking Structure Ripoff! (Non-Breans: It’s Like Anaheim in Miniature!)


[Cross-posted from THE BREAN, where I also spend some of my bloggin’ time.]

Here it comes — as suddenly as predicted, as ridiculous as expected: it’s the $9,000,000 parking structure giveaway.

On April 15th, 2015, at 6 p.m. — i.e., TODAY! — the Brea City Council will be deliberating on whether or not to spend $9M of your money to build a parking structure in the Brea Downtown.  This structure will be conveniently located right next to the properties owned by Dwight Manley, who was — coincidentally, I’m sure — the major financial contributor to two of our newest council members Cecilia Hupp and Steve Vargas.

Oh, and I hope you’re asking yourself, “Why is this meeting a “special meeting” scheduled on a Wednesday at 6 p.m. and not on a normal council meeting day and time?” (That’d be the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m.)  Apparently Dwight Manley is a huge hurry to get this approved — and Mayor Marty Simonoff, who sets the agenda, days, and times of council meetings, is only too willing to oblige.

Here’s the link to the agenda for Wednesday’s [today’s!] “Special Meeting,” where the Council will be ready to act in “Potential consideration of a motion instructing staff to proceed with the project to construct the proposed Downtown Parking Structure”— or, in other words, to just go ahead and spend $9M out of the City’s $17M General Fund reserves on this project that most citizens of Brea don’t even know about:

This is a flat-out giveaway.  A boondoggle.  Even — a ripoff.  And it raises some serious questions:

1.  If Manley wants this parking structure so badly — which will make his downtown properties shoot up in value — why isn’t he paying for it himself?

2.  What else would you like to see $9M of your taxpayer dollars spent on instead of a parking structure?  Yes, parking is an issue during the peak hours on Friday and Saturday nights.  But is that the most important problem facing our city?  Is it a $9M problem?  What about paying down Brea’s unfunded pension liability?  What about more police and fire services?  What about traffic improvements?  You can surely think of 100 things better to spend $9M on than another parking structure.

3.  Is a parking structure really needed?  There is a massive parking structure at the end of Birch street that is never full!

If you think this is as much of a boondoggle as I do, make sure you let the Brea City Council know.  Email them.  Call them.  Better yet – attend the meeting on April 15 at 6pm and tell them directly!

Marty Simonoff, Mayor – 714-990-7702 –
Cecilia Hupp – 714-990-7704 –
Christine Marick – 714-990-7700 –
Glenn Parker – 714-990-7703 –
Steven Vargas – 714-990-7701 –

The math behind this deal is so sketchy that  the Staff Report recommends only that the Council “Receive staff presentation, discuss policy issues, and provide staff direction regarding any desired information needs and process for next steps to consider the parking structure.”  That’s what the professionals have to say.

Check out the Staff Report yourself at the following link:

Potential consideration of a motion instructing staff to proceed with the project to construct the proposed Downtown Parking Structure

Really?!  The parking structure would be built on a parking lot that already has 178 spaces. The structure will have 485 spaces. That’s a net gain of 307 parking spaces!  $9M for 307 more parking spaces — most of which will remain unused by far most of the time!

Do YOU think you’re ready for the City Council to vote — THIS WEDNESDAY TODAY at 6 P.M. — on whether to spend $9 million of YOUR MONEY (if you, like me, are a Brean) RIGHT NOW on a parking garage that will mostly serve to increase the value of Dwight Manley’s downtown property?

I hope not.

We’ll be here watching to keep you informed on what your Brea City Council is doing.  Stay tuned.  (And if you think our logo is cluttered, just wait until you see what hundreds of more cars at peak hours will do to Brea Blvd. between Ash and Imperial!)


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)