Yesterday, we promised to investigate why SanTana officials were so adamant in redrawing the boundaries for its much-vaunted Renaissance Plan so that planning commissioner Victoria Bentacourt could vote it. Actually, we knew what we wanted to write, but there were football games to watch, broder! But now, Betancourt.
President of Coneybeare Staffing, Betancourt is a developer's dream--not only will she vote on your project, she'll also buy property from you mere days after voting on it. Consider her 2006 fiasco, when SanTana activists discovered Betancourt voted on ground-floor plans for the reprehensible One Broadway Plaza 37-story Freudian tower then accepted a plane ride to Hawaii and lodging 10 days later to check out a condo she bought from One Broadway Plaza owner Mike Harrah. The Fair Political Practices Committee ultimately cleared Betancourt, but that didn't make the episode any less smelly.
But Betancourt stands to gain much more if the Renaissance Plan gets passed. She sits on the board of the Santa Ana Business Bank, which counts as members councilmember Carlos Bustamante and trolley king George Pla, whose Cordoba Corporation is already planning SanTana's light-rail dreams. A Betancourt vote in favor...ah, let's get real; anyone actually think Betancourt would vote against something that would benefit her, her pals and a city that employs her company's services? Might be legal, but that conflict-of-influenza bug still produces one Icky Vicky!
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*UPDATE: The Associated Press files a dispatch about SanTana's Renaissance Plan redrawing. Unsurprisingly, Pulido and Sarmiento didn't return a call.