Mayor Jerry Sanders said today he would enforce a stop-work order on Sunroad Enterprises’ 12-story office building near Montgomery Field.
Sanders has until now not taken a position on the matter. But today’s announcement marks a political victory for City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who has attacked the building for being a hazard to nearby pilots under federal and state guidelines despite opposition from some of Sanders’ aides.
“We made some errors, I made some errors, and we’re taking the steps necessary to correct it,” Sanders said at a press conference this morning. You can read his prepared remarks for the briefing here.
Sanders affirmed his support for the stop-work order and Aguirre’s civil lawsuit against Sunroad (not the lobbying charges against company executive Tom Story) in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration and the state Department of Transportation, which have called the building a nuisance.
The mayor also said that his chief operating officer, Ronne Froman, will be conducting an investigation to see how the Sunroad building made it this far through the city’s development review process.
“I would expect the investigation to be completed in a number of weeks, so that a number of safeguards can be put into place immediately,” Sanders said.
“But I’m also not conducting a witch hunt for someone in city service because I’m taking responsibility for it,” he added.
As recently as yesterday, Aguirre had criticized Sanders for not joining his fight when he announced that he was requesting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to be involved. Today, the city attorney said he was grateful for the mayor’s support.
“President Kennedy said, ‘An error doesn’t become a mistake unless you refuse to correct it,’ and I want to commend the mayor for stepping forward,” Aguirre said.