If He Only Had a Brain

Stupid is as Jim Silva does

Silva's actions when he was on the Huntington Beach City Council from 1988 to 1994 were a large part of why Sullivan and his three allies on the council had so little to work with. Silva supported the Koll Co. constantly, even when a majority of the council-and the city-thought the development ludicrous and destructive.

*In April 1993, Silva voted against the city asking the Board of Supervisors to yield Bolsa Chica jurisdiction to the City Council. The measure passed 4-2.

*In August 1993, Silva voted against applying for a grant to buy land near the wetlands in an effort to keep the land away from Koll. The measure passed 5-2.

*In February 1994, Silva voted against sending detailed criticisms of the Bolsa Chica development to the Board of Supervisors. The measure passed 4-2.

In May 1994, the Los Angeles Times reported that Koll Co. split $40,000 between Silva and Haydee Tillotson, his opponent for the 2nd District seat. When Silva won, Koll continued its generous support. Over the course of Silva's tenure on the board, Koll-its directors, employees, affiliates, attorneys, geologists, engineers, surveyors and consultants-contributed well more than $30,000 to Silva. In the past five months alone, Koll Co. executives contributed more than $10,000. To this day, despite staggering opposition from environmental groups and Huntington Beach residents, Koll remains committed to more than 1,000 homes on the Bolsa Chica bluffs. Koll's investment in Silva has paid off in spades.

In February 1995, Governor Pete Wilson appointed Silva to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The board oversees state air-pollution controls and monitors pollution-abatement programs. If you're the Koll Co. or the Irvine Co., it's the perfect spot for a man with Silva's lack of qualifications and intelligence. He hasn't attended one-quarter of CARB's 43 meetings. At many meetings, Silva says nothing more than "Here" during roll call. On the few occasions when he has spoken, it's vintage Silva. During a March 1997 meeting, he felt compelled to offer the following cliché-loaded insights:

I know that we have final deadlines followed by a final deadline. Jim, you wanted to make a point?

CARB chairman:

Jim Silva:

Right.

And I'm sure that we've all been at meetings where they say, "Well, we'll have a deadline," but if we don't meet that, then we'll create another one, which I think is really confusing the market, in this case, the manufacturers as well as the consumers. I don't want to poison the well, but I also realize that we have a target that we're shooting at. And I think if we're sending out mixed messages, we're going to be creating more problems on down the line. I will be supporting this, but I do have some reservations.

Good point.

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