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Below is a draft of my response to Richard Stone's letter to the Courier criticizing our decision to proceed with the demolition of BV.  If I receive copyright waivers from Richard and the Courier, I will also include Richard's letter.

Dear March—

Richard Stone’s letter regarding FEMA omits some key facts:

  1. Even if we postpone the Beverly Vista demolition, our attorneys can give no guarantees that we will ever receive a single penny from FEMA, much less $2 million. In a worst case scenario, we could end up wasting over $400,000 WITH NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT. Richard’s letter suggests that we are walking away from a "sure" $2,315,000. This is not accurate.
  2. The most egregious example is Richard including "$505,000 in SHPO historical funds" in his total. Regrettably, the chances of getting such $505,000 are slim. I challenge Richard to find any attorney who says otherwise.
  3. If you eliminate remote possibilities, as well as "double counting" errors, what remains at stake is $1,675,000 that we may never see even if we never demolish BV, and most of which we may yet receive even if we demolish BV tomorrow. Based on any reasonable probability analysis, the amount at stake is far less than Richard portrays. I have spent over 20 hours preparing such analysis, which is summarized on my website at www.geraldlunn.com.
  4. If the Board determines that the trailers at BV cannot be used and must bring in new structures, then we may need additional space to have even a nominal play area. The children at BV have already been cheated of decent facilities for almost five years. How much more should they have to endure?
  5. Richard ignores history by accusing us of showing "such great disdain for so many children." From 1994 until 1997, Richard sat silent while the District failed to meet critical FEMA deadlines. The Northridge earthquake occurred in January, 1994. Why wasn’t this taken care of before 1997, as in most Districts? Whose job was it to exercise oversight over this?
  6. We had a closed session meeting with our FEMA attorney before we voted to demolish BV. Richard left for dinner just as our attorney was walking in. Four Board members skipped dinner that day to get the facts. Apparently, Richard had a different priority.
  7. If Richard had remained in control of the Board, we would never have applied for over $15 million of state bond funds, Beverly Vista would still be waiting for an EIR, and meeting any FEMA deadline would not be an issue, because we would still be years away from demolition. The current situation is far from perfect, but the state bond funds appear virtually certain, the EIR is done, and, at long last, THE UNINHABITABLE BUILDINGS AT BV ARE COMING DOWN.

I join many residents in wishing that there was less bickering among Board members. However, I must respond to letters to the Courier that do not accurately represent what is going on.


Gerald Lunn

BHUSD Board Member


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