Supporters of Mayor Alan Galbraith are criticizing his challenger, City Councilmember Geoff Ellsworth, over his declared action in a parking acceding involving the Las Alcobas Hotel.
The hotel, which lacks able on-site parking, accomplished an acceding with the adjacent St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Abbey in May 2017 acceptance the auberge to use the church’s parking lot from Sunday through Friday, except back the abbey is captivation a appropriate accident like a burial or a wedding.
The acceding charcoal in effect, but Ellsworth’s critics are abduction on a June 27, 2017 letter from the hotel’s managing accomplice accusing Ellsworth of causing “irreparable accident and harm” to the auberge by demography “active and advised accomplish to baffle with the hotel’s claimed and acknowledged relationships with the Church.”
“In particular, we accept abstruse from a adumbrative of the Abbey that Councilmember Ellsworth afresh placed abundant calls to the Abbey and visited the Abbey in an attack to aish the hotel’s absolute parking acceding and force the Abbey to abandon alive with the hotel,” wrote Guneet Bajwa in a letter to City Attorney Tom Brown. “This is not abandoned an attack by Councilmember Ellsworth to accident the hotel’s acceptability and basal bread-and-er viability, but additionally a bright abuse of the ethical and authoritative duties applicative to all adopted admiral beneath law.”
Galbraith’s supporters accept broadcast the letter in emails and Facebook posts. Back Bill Ryan aloft the affair in a letter to the editor this week, Ellsworth denied the accusation that he’d approved to baffle with the parking agreement.
“I had accomplished out to the abbey at the bidding of neighbors with apropos about assurance and cartage impacts surrounding the parking plan, and to accretion advice about the church’s affairs to abode the concerns,” Ellsworth wrote.
“In conversations with the City Attorney in the summer of 2017 apropos Mr. Bajwa’s letter, it was bright this amount would best be addressed by a Lath subcommittee, which has fabricated recommendations to abode those issues. The subcommittee was fabricated up of Paul Dohring and Peter White. So I attention readers to accede the sources of the attacks and the branding of me as ‘anti-business.’”
The “anti-business” accusation was collapsed by Galbraith adherent Kim Phinney, who ahead filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) over Ellsworth’s banking acknowledgment anatomy that showed assets from First Stampede LLC, Ellsworth’s Nevada-based business article that’s been revoked back 2011. The anatomy listed a St. Helena column appointment box for First Stampede.
Ellsworth filed an adapted anatomy that bare any acknowledgment of First Stampede, and the FPPC abandoned the complaint, which Ellsworth alleged “frivolous.”
Regarding the auberge parking, Phinney wrote, “Yes, I feel that Lath Member Ellsworth is not acting ethically or with transparency. His aggravating to change a antecedent lath accommodation by acting abandoned and not in acceptable acceptance apropos Las Alcobas and their parking acceding with their neighbors, is not ethical.”
Melanie Ward, secretary and appointment administrator at the St. Helena Seventh-day Adventist Church, said Ellsworth approached her in acknowledgment to a distinct neighbor’s affair and asked her if the abbey would accede not absolution the auberge use the parking lot.
“I wouldn’t say he pressured me,” Ward said.
She took the amount to the abbey lath and presented the parking acceding as “a adventitious for the abbey to advice the association out.” The acceding remained in place.
Ward said she had one or two conversations with Ellsworth, and never heard from him afresh afterwards Bajwa beatific his letter.
“I anticipate Geoff Ellsworth capital what was best,” added Ward, who said she charcoal aloof in the chase amid Ellsworth and Galbraith. “I’m aloof not abiding what he anticipation the band-aid was.”
Ward said the auberge has permission to use 40 spaces at the abbey and about uses about 30. The acceding charge be renewed every year and would accept to be renewed if the auberge is sold, she said.
Bajwa accepted the letter’s authenticity. “Ever back I wrote the letter, (Ellsworth) has backward away, and I anticipate that’s great,” he said.
Bajwa alleged the parking acceding “a win-win” for the auberge and the church.
“It solves a above botheration by putting all our advisers there so there’s no parking on the street,” he said.
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