Carissa Carpenter shared the following release that explains why Morning View, LLC opposes Measure N as it is currently written. Morning View is exploring the possibility of building a large movie studio in the area pictured on the right.
Here's the Q&A Carpenter shared with Dixon Patch. The questions were posed by Morning View, not us. This is an effort on their part to clarify their stance:
Why have you been trying to work with the people behind Measure N?
Moring View has stated from the start we want to be part of the community and that means working together on matters that are important to the community. Additionally, we believe in open and transparent government. However, businesses, more so our industry must maintain a level or privacy and confidentiality regarding how we build and operate. We welcome openness in how we work with the city but cannot disclose corporate financial records, corporate proprietary information and our trade secrets to the public.
When did you start discussions?
As soon as we were aware of Measure N [we] started a discussion with the City and then Council. I think this was just a few days after our first press conference. We have peaked in our efforts to reach out last Monday the 10th.
Who have you been reaching out to?
A wide range of people in Dixon at first as we tried to understand the background and need for Measure N. We reached out to the Mayor and City Manager. Councilmember Ceremello has been in constant contact but it was not very productive. While I have had to attend to other personal and business matter, Robert and Mike were in contact with Terry Francke and later with Ourania.
What was the subject?
It was centered on how Measure N makes it impossible to build and operate. I do not want to go line by line – that is out there. We wanted to sit down and discuss it with them and, as I wrote in my letter, work with them to remove the impacts. I feel if they could hear it from the perspective of a CEO that must have privacy and confidentiality in operating a business that they would understand. We are not like all other businesses but I know other’s that require much more privacy then us and there is no way they would look at Dixon under Measure N. That was the subject.
What was your offer or suggestion?
We could never set up the meeting to personally present our suggestion so we had to do it by email. First we asked that at the Oct. 15th Measure N forum Ourania state that she is recommending a No on N so the impacts to businesses could be addressed. We recommended that following be considered:
12.01.02 “In case of requirements inconsistent with the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act or other statutes the requirement which would result in greater transparency or accommodation of timely and convenient public access shall apply” Due to the Measure’s sections 12.01.08 and 12.01.21 inconsistencies are created and this section, to the reader, appears to increase the need and allows for greater disclosure via a reduction of exempt documents. If the words “transparency or” were removed, one could read this as an effort for “greater accommodation of timely and convenient public access”. Again, the reader identifies two subjects – transparency in what documents/records are disclosed and – access in viewing those documents/records. Additionally, if it was written clearly “that nothing shall be construed to require disclosure of records currently exempt under the California Public Records Act”
It was our hopes the public could then discuss the merits of our request.
What has been the response?
For many days we expressed our concerns and were told we did not understand the law. Then it moved to providing a solution to which there was no reply.
Again, Ourania did not respond to our rest to meet and we have no additional contact.
However, Councilmember Ceremello placed an item on the agenda of his own, without our knowing. Once we reviewed the agenda we appreciated the effort to fix the problem with a resolution but the effort was of doubtful legality if Measure N past.
So I guess the answer to the question is not much other than you are wrong and silence. We do find it disconcerting we cannot sit down and talk with Ourania and Terry.
Do you think your view on Measure N is flawed?
No way. We have a large diverse team and each of us read it the same way and so do each of our attorneys. I can see why one public speaker said Measure N is also the attorney employment act.
I was in for surgery for the Oct. 9 council meeting and had to watch it from the city’s website later, see open government is a good thing, and was yelling at the computer screen when the City Attorney agreed with us. I felt vindicated but also really worried. The City Attorney confirmed Dixon under Measure N would not be able to withhold any of the public records they can current opt to withhold.
I wish they would have held that meeting a month ago!
Do you expect the Ourania Riddle to accept Morning View’s offer?
We only received an email reply that she will not turn my back on the people who signed the petition and all her supporters. She does not see any reason why Morning View cannot proceed with project and provide the “jobs and the positive economic impact” this project will bring to Northern California. Ourania also believes I was approached to say that Measure N will kill the studio in order to change public opinion against of the measure. Ourania is going to forgo meeting with us and take chances with the voters.
I am troubled she will not sit and talk with me and believes I cannot comprehend the impacts of her Measure on my business, that we are just a pawn in the campaign.
So with that mindset, and the failure to even sit and talk, no I do not expect agreement to resolution.
What are your plans short-term?
The Moring View team wishes to pursue other locations. However, I have heard the type of Measure has been presented to other cities. If that is the case, we might not be able to locate in California. My desire was to join the community and remain on the sidelines on Measure N. I want to locate in Dixon and don’t want to see business flee so I have no choice to side with the No on N effort and do what I can.
What if Measure N passes?
We are done. Our team has said no way, move on. We might have to look seriously if we can find another California location but are concerned this type of Sunshine Ordinance might spread in the State. We will have to reconsider our options. I do not want to focus any energy to that until Nov. 7th.
Will you move forward if the voters reject Measure N?
If the voter reject it by a wide margin they we will hit the ground running Nov. 7th. We are ready to purchase the land and start the process with the city. However, if the vote is really close… I don’t want to be holding my breath until the next election or having a yearly fight on my hands. We need to take a good look around and evaluate what is happening in other cities and then look at the options.