The City of Solvang is reopening old wounds with the latest proposal to pave over the Vet’s Hall and do a development with Mr. St. George. The fact is they tried and failed to evict the veterans about 20 years ago and haven’t done anything to fix the building since. The rub is all these issues were addressed in the case of Veterans of Foreign Wars vs. City of El Paso de Robles in 1998. The City of Solvang is beating a dead horse and they know it.
The city has not funded repairs and retrofit for a property they hold in trust for the veterans and the community since it was built. Did the city give notice of the hearing to the veterans like me in the Santa Ynez Valley? I don’t think so.
Mayor Toussaint should focus on maintaining the Veterans building and not chasing the almighty dollar at the expense of a landmark facility that predates the City of Solvang by decades. The valley is up on arms for good reason This is not the first bad idea the city and staff have visited upon the community. Solvang needs a good hard look in the mirror about their priorities to include maintaining essential facilities and services housed in the Veteran’s Building.
This is an issue which really should be reviewed by the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury as to the city’s conflicts in even considering such a proposal without review of why the facility has not been retrofitted andmaintained by the City of Solvang in the first place.