Reader Sandy wrote:

Eric: Thank you for stepping up and speaking out. The unions have ruined so many good things here in san diego—all because of their greed. From the pension fiasco in the city to the loss of jobs from the gaylord project, the unions have to be held accountable. I’ve got to say I’m not too happy with Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox. She isn’t to blame for the loss of gaylord, but why isn’t she mad as hell that her city lost so many jobs?!? Where is the outrage? Where is the accountability?

Thanks for the kind words! As a former union member (UAW, NEA) and the son of a retired UAW member, as well as someone who represents union construction firms, I think we need to be careful about generalizing all unions for the troubles we face. What needs to happen, and what leaders like Mayor Cox need to make sure to do, is hold certain union LEADERS accountable when their agendas and ways of doing business threaten our community. In the case of Gaylord their demands for a monopoly on all the work just cost this region 8000+ jobs and billions of dollars. Shame on them!

Reader Christopher Hall wrote:

Another project will come, everyone knows that, so no more complaining about one that was lost. Maybe go fishing for a while. The Gaylord project had unsurmountable EIR and CEQA problems. This is the real world where some projects don’t make it, and this one was not viable from the start. It was never the case that the political pull of the local union could sway state law and magically mitigate EIR and CEQA problems on behalf of Gaylord. On another point, this Cafesandiego rant is calculated to paint the image of good vs. evil, with labor implied as the bad guy. I find that to be willfull gross negligence. Labor is the renewable natural resource you people continue to slur and disrespect. Please just admit your too cheap to pay living wages and you just don’t care.

Yes, perhaps in another 10 years, we will have another project at this site. No one, and I mean no one, not JMI, not Manchester, not Santa Clause is interested in this property right now. Even if they were, their plans (I’ll check again with Santa Clause) are of much smaller scale and mean far less revenue to the local community and governments. But please, if you have something beyond the union rhetoric of “trust us, there are people waiting in the wings, let us know exactly who that is and when they will step in. Until then, an old maxim holds true in this instance: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Reader Maura Larkins wrote:

I don’t see any analysis of environmental obstacles in your essay, Eric. A lot of people—and other living things—who love the Nature Interpretive Center on the Chula Vista bayfront are happy now that Gaylord is gone. But their relief is tenuous. They worry that some other developer will come along and do pretty much the same thing Gaylord was going to do. Is there such a thing as a green developer? Could we find one of those to shepherd the delicate bayfront toward its likely destiny as a developed piece of land?

Please read “State of Fear” by Michael Creighton. I highly recommend it.

Reader BIA credentials wrote:

I like to know the background of “celebrity guests” Maybe others would too. link

Thank you. I especially hope that the Thomas Paine quote will cause reflection and thought.

Reader Rachel wrote:

Mr. Christen is a member of the American Taliban. He isn’t even a resident of this area. He does have a “roomie” that he shacks with when he’s forced to sleep “in town”. It would take much more than “a grain of salt” to believe anything that he writes. Go to the link above or search him out on the net to get a clear picture of this ULTRA EXTREAMIST!

Calling people you disagree with “American Taliban” only serves to diminish your side’s arguments (which are tenuous to start with) and exculpate the real enemies of this country who mean us great harm.

Let’s stay focused on the issue at hand and save the personal attacks for the Daily Kos.

Reader Al wrote:

WRONG again, Eric! Gaylord had to have active competition in the bidding process. The deal that they agreed to was that if there weren’t a minimum of 3 bidders NO agreement would apply and they could do anything that they wanted. Days later, Gaylord took back that deal. Maybe it was the fact that YOU threatened to sue if they reached a deal? The Port District has an email from a Gaylord executive that mentions this. This was also reported in the Star. Maybe you’ll share this with the public? If not, I’d be happy to!

The facts, again, are these: the unions demanded three union bidders would get first shot at any big package. If they couldn’t meet that requirement, then Gaylord would let them know they hadn’t met it and would give the unions 30 days to find the three bidders. Only at that time, and failing to find three bidders, would a merit shop contractor even be allowed to bid.

As for me being the one who threatened Gaylord, which is why they left, I believe they have a term for this in psychological circles and it’s called “projection.” We know who has the record of extortion here Al, and it’s not Eric Christen. Gaylord’s letter was quite clear who was “blackmailing” them, and the name associated with it was “unions” not Eric Christen. Come on, you can do better than this.

Reader Howiek wrote:

Sorry Mr. Hall but if you had been paying attention you would know by now that Chula Vista has spent the last 40 years going though one concept after another-failing in all, to develop this property from a useless swamp to something that they can be proud of. Gaylord presented the best offer of any and a deal of this sort will not present itself again anytime soon-maybe another 30 or 40 years. That’s not to say another developer won’t have a “plan” for the property, but can it be profitable and not be a taxpayer burden-as pointed out by the writers here on the voice probably not. And for the folks in Chula Vista who are now hoping the Chargers will come in to fill the void you can safely assume they are now gone for good as well.

Spot on!

— ERIC CHRISTEN

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