Friday, September 30, 2005 | The fantasy world that John McNab lives in is so convoluted with back room deals, secret partners, spies and mob bosses, Oliver Stone wouldn’t know how to make sense of it. There are so many lies and inaccuracies in his column “Unlike Stanford, McMillin Failed the Test of Greatness,” I don’t even know where to begin.
So let’s start with the easy one. Corky McMillin rarely attended public hearings. Certainly none in the last three years. So the man standing in the back of the room “icily staring” at Councilmember Peters was not Corky McMillin. I don’t know who it was. Maybe it was a member of the community who was tired of John McNab’s antics. Maybe that’s the reason the man was “avoiding conversations with opponents.” Maybe he was simply a figment of McNab’s imagination. But it certainly wasn’t Corky.
Next, McNab makes it seem as though The Corky McMillin Companies came up with the NTC Reuse Plan. In fact, the city, community and Navy developed the reuse plan from 1993-1998, long before the McMillin Companies ever got involved. In 1999, after being selected as the master developer, we were asked to implement the city’s and community’s approved plan and vision. And that is what we’re doing.
What McNab won’t tell you is that early on he developed and lobbied for his own NTC Reuse plan – one that included “8,800 beds and dining facilities capable of serving over 120,000 meals per day.” Yes, he advocated for NTC to become a homeless shelter. When his plan was soundly rejected by Point Lomans and the city of San Diego at every turn, he insisted corruption was involved and made it his life’s work to fight whatever was going to be built there, and whoever was going to build it. This is not a man out for the public good. He’s out for vengeance. And his vengeance has delayed the completion of the city and community’s vision for the former naval training center.
McNab likes to change the subject when you ask him about his lawsuits against the Liberty Station project. He’s filed three. Two of them were tossed out of court because they had no merit. His response when asked about it is, as is typical of a conspiracy theorist, that the judges were corrupt. That seems to be his answer any time he doesn’t get his way. He settled the third lawsuit with our insurance company for $100,000, a fact he will refuse to talk about. Is this a man who is fighting for principle? Or more money?
His tangled web of connections and political contributions is more like a scene from “A Beautiful Mind” than reality. The man has found a way to indict every politician or attorney who may have had coffee with a McMillin employee, consultant or contractor in the last 25 years.
True, we work closely with city officials and politicians. We have a great relationship with our partner on this project, the city’s Redevelopment Agency. But the merits of this project stand on their own. That is the reason each and every one of his appeals has been rejected.
McNab makes accusations founded in his own fantasy land. The hotel project he speaks of, for example, complies completely with our agreement. The public use and the city’s estimated TOT’s are completely intact. He has no facts to back up his wild accusations.
John McNab would be complaining about whoever was selected to build this project. If it was another developer he would be complaining that the “blue ribbon” selection committee was corrupt and they should have selected the home town builder. John McNab will never be happy.
We are deeply saddened that the Voice of San Diego would choose to run this column, filled with lies and inaccuracies, the day after 3,000 people attended a service to celebrate the life of a man who gave back to this community for 45 years.
The good news: This redevelopment project will go on. We will fulfill all of Corky’s promises to the people of this city. Liberty Station will soon be a place the citizens of San Diego can enjoy and be proud of. And that will be Corky McMillin’s legacy.
Walter Heiberg is senior vice president of The Corky McMillin Companies.