Monday, February 12, 2007
NIMBY Michael D Pattinson faces worst nightmare in Santee
Michael D Pattinson is the CEO of Barratt American, a large development company that specializes in mass market McMansion style projects.
Michael D Pattinson writes a bi-weekly opinion column for the North County Times. His column appears every other Tuesday. You can read them on the NCT.com website click here
Pattinson and Barratt American are very aggressive politically and together they are good at cozying up to local city councils.
Pattinson dedicates most of his columns to attacking anyone who opposes his company's projects. He is especially fond of the word NIMBY, an out of date acrynom that stands for Not In My Back Yard. Originally, NIMBY was a positive term that referred to people who were good citizens and kept tabs on their neighborhoods and watched out for each other. Now the term NIMBY is mostly viewed as a negative, describing nosy busybody old ladies with nothing better to do with their time than to hinder progress.
It should be noted that Michael D Pattinson is not an American, he is from the UK. His backyard is across the Atlantic Ocean.
One of Barratt's more controversial projects is the 2,600 acre Fanita Ranch development. Fanita Ranch is located in the Santee back country. Barratt has carefully been crafting their Fanita Ranch project politically, winning the favor of the Santee city council and becoming a major advertiser on the conservative talk show, The Roger Hedgecock Show which is broadcast on KOGO AM 600.
The meat and potatoes of Roger Hedgecock's program are illegal alien issues. Hedgecock is against illegal aliens which makes him and Pattinson/Barratt odd bedfellows. The building industry is the biggest employer of illegal aliens in southern California; surpassing even agriculture and the service industry (hotels, restaurants).
The big builders of southern California like Barratt have a sneaky way of washing their hands of illegal alien labor, they hire sub-contractors. This way companies like Barratt and people like Michael D Pattinson can benefit from the cash-under-the-table labor that illegal aliens provide. By hiring sub-contractors that use illegal aliens, the savings from not having payroll taxes and workers comp insurance are passed on to Barratt American. If you are an honest sub-contractor who writes paychecks and takes out taxes and pays workers comp insurance then you are not going to be able to compete on price on bids with the other sub-contractor with all the illegal aliens in the back of his work truck.
(For some reason I never hear Hedgecock mention the burden of high payroll taxes and workers comp insurance rates on Calfornia business owners. All he ever mentions is the city services that illegal aliens use. I've never heard our congressman Brian Bilbray, a frequent guest on Hedgecock's show, mention worker's comp insurance or payroll taxes either. Bilbray had made a career of being an anti-illegal immigration guy, you think he'd bring it up every once and awhile.)
Pattinson recently dedicated one his North County Times columns to illegal alien labor. Some of his sub-contractors, a fence company, were busted hiring illegal aliens. Pattinson really liked the irony of a fence company hiring people that jumped a fence to get here. He then blamed the US government for letting the illegal aliens cross to the country in the first place. Apparently, Pattinson believes that if you leave your front door unlocked then you only have yourself to blame if someone walks in and steals your stuff. In Pattinson's eyes the thief is off the hook and you are too blame. He doesn't believe his sub-contractors (and himself from a safe distance) did anything wrong by hiring illegal aliens.
Read Employers stuck in border bind here.
You would think that Republican radio show host Roger Hedgecock would be wary of doing business with Michael D Pattinson and Barratt American, but the opposite is true. Roger reads the Baratt American ads on air personally and passionately. It's a sweet deal for Roger if you think about it. He gets good ratings by ranting against illegal aliens. Good ratings attract advertisers. Roger gets paid no matter if his advertisers employ illegal aliens or not. In fact, if the illegal alien problem was solved it would mean the end of Roger's show. Roger is benefiting from illegal aliens on several levels.
Michael D Pattinson, CEO of Barratt American hates NIMBY's, we've established that. So it's incredibly fascinating and hilarious to watch Pattinson and Barratt spin their tops when it was announced that a major electrical power plant is going up near Barratt's Fanita Ranch project.
Pattinson and Barrat are in a real bind, they can't come right out and protest that a freaking power plant is going right into the backyard of their 1,400 home project that has been in the works for years and sells an image of life among quiet preserves.
So, Barratt and Pattinson's only move is to let the local politicians be their shills and do the NIMBY style whining for them.
From the San Diego Union Tribune:
“Everybody's kind of stunned,” said Santee Mayor Randy Voepel. “You wake up and read that in the paper and it's not going to be a good day for you.”
City officials said they intend to get answers, and if necessary, fight the proposal. Councilman Jack Dale said he's concerned about the possible health effects on residents and the lack of notification.
“We're going to protect our city and our residents,” Dale said. “We're going to find out everything there is know about this . . . We're not just going to sit still and say, 'Hey, whatever you want to do.' ”
Read the whole SDUT story, Plant plan surprises developer and city here.
Yep, you would think that a guy like Michael D Pattinson would be less grouchy and embrace a power plant, afterall his 1,400 Fanita Ranch homes will use electricity. And, Pattinson did say that California should be more like China. In China, NIMBY protesters of power plants are usually jailed and sometimes shot to death.
Pattinson also once wrote a creepy and bizarre column titled Too many choices hinder democracy so I assume he won't mind not having a choice in this matter.
The people who have opposed Barratt American's Fanita Ranch project have been described as NIMBY's and yes, even communist. Maybe they can all go out and get a couple of beers together and laugh and laugh.
Check out the Save Fanita blog savefanita.blogspot.com (it has lots of videos to watch)
It's amusing to watch Pattinson join the NIMBY crowd, even if he is more of a NUMBY (Not Using My Brain, You?)