Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Solomon Chronicles. Part 4. Conflict of Interest

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With the Town Council election on the horizon, LOVE will be presenting a series of articles entitled, “The Solomon Chronicles,” highlighting the abysmal record of Councilmember Steve Solomon who is running for re-election. This weekly series will highlight his 4-year record of incivility and his interdependent relationship with local developers. This series was written by a LOVE contributor and contains a synopsis of previous LOVE articles plus new information.
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Solomon had a dog in the golf course fight
As previously reported on LOVE, Councilmember Steve Solomon (via his development company, Canada Vistas, LLC) had property in escrow along the 17th and 18th holes of the Town-owned Canada golf course since at least December of 2017. His plan was to build golf-course-view condos and/or townhomes on that property. He therefore had a financial interest in what happened to those golf courses since he can’t build golf-course-view condos on property that no longer contains golf course views.

He remained in escrow on that property for all of 2018 and until at least April 2019 (the last date in which LOVE has documents stating that he was still in escrow). Why is this important? Because during all of 2018 and 2019 he consistently advocated from the dais to keep all 36 holes of golf open.

Solomon’s unethical behavior
At the June 6, 2018 council meeting, during the FY 2018/19 budget discussions, Solomon spoke on the benefits of (and voted in favor of) a $6 million bond that designated $3.8 million dollars for improvements on the golf courses…golf courses that were adjacent to his planned residential development.

Solomon voted to use public monies to improve land on which he had a financial interest
This was a clear conflict of interest. If Solomon had been honest and ethical, he would have recused himself from any votes having to do with the town-owned golf courses. Instead he voted to spend public money for his own potential gain.

A lie by omission is still a lie
At the July 18, 2018 council meeting, a resident revealed during the Call to Audience that Councilmember Solomon had a financial interest in what happened to the golf courses. Solomon responded:

“I just want to assure everyone that there was absolutely nothing that occurred that was unethical. I do not own property on the golf course.”

Solomon was lying by omission and he knew it. While he didn’t technically own any property on the golf course, he was in escrow to purchase property on the golf course. He conveniently left that part out.

The bottom line is that Solomon had a financial interest in maintaining the town-owned golf courses and he never revealed this information to the public. It was a resident who made the information public.

Desert land in foreground is the "escrow" parcel

The parcel surrounded by the 17th and 18th holes of the Canada Course

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The Solomon Chronicles: Part 5. “A Pattern of Incivility and Disrespect” will be published next Wednesday.