Going Directly to the Town

Officials at Marymount College, a Jesuit school in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, are frustrated by local bureaucrats’ delays in granting approval for the colleges plan to build a new library, gym, and dormitories. So, according to an article by Jeff Gottlieb in the Los Angeles Times:

Angry at what it says is the agonizingly slow pace of gaining approval for the more than $50-million project, the small Catholic college has decided to take the issue directly to the city’s voters with an initiative on the November ballot.

The college has hired a well-known political consultant and lobbyist, set up a website, sent every registered voter in the city pamphlets and a DVD making its case for the project and is running commercials on the cable TV system.

Marymount is currently a junior college but has plans to become a four-year school. The planned $50 million renovation of campus is part of that plan. According to the article, California developers frequently attempt to bypass local government for new projects: “A USC-Caltech study found that from 2000 to 2006, there were 22 land-use ballot initiatives involving large-scale developments in California.”

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer