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City To Consider Hiring PR Firm For $100M Gold Line Lawsuit

The Monrovia city manager is recommending that the City Council hire a public relations firm for $8,000 per month for "public relation services and litigation support" related to the $100 million Gold Line lawsuit.

The City Council will vote Tuesday on a proposal to hire a public relations firm for $8,000 per month to provide "public relation services and litigation support" for the city after a developer sued the city for $106 million for an alleged breach of contract.

Local developer Samuelson & Fetter sued Monrovia in August and alleged that the city breached a contract by allowing the Gold Line Construction Authority to build a parking structure that allegedly interfered with the developer's Station Square Transit Village plans.

Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile wants to hire public relations firm Cerrell Associates to create a "public outreach campaign" related to the lawsuit, according to a city staff report Lile wrote.

"Moving forward, it is critically important to embark on a public outreach campaign that will inform Monrovia residents and our community the facts of the lawsuit, as well as provide litigation support," the report states. "The proposed Agreement with Cerrell outlines a messaging campaign, a public outreach plan, a media relations plan, and support with the litigation process."

If approved, the city would enter into a 90-day contract with Cerrell, paying the firm a total of $24,000 through December. Rejecting the proposed agreement "may result in a lack of information being distributed to residents and the community about these critical legal and development issues," Lile wrote.

Samuelson & Fetter alleges that the city agreed to work with the GLCA to build its parking structure so that it would not adversely affect the firm's ability to develop its own adjacent land. The developer says it agreed to proceed based on the city's "false" representations that the parking lots would not interfere with its plans.

The city maintains that the state's elimination of redevelopment agencies threw a wrench in Gold Line development plans and alleges that Samuelson & Fetter failed to procure the land it needed for its plans to progress.

Dan Crandell October 03, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Administrative Report 2 (AR-2) was removed from the agenda at tonight's council meeting. No discussion No vote No reason given. Tom Adams you looked great behind that desk. Gillispy's Brothers Grain Mill was located on the counner of Olive and Ivy. My father worked there in the early 50's You were wondering so there you have it. Thanks Tom
Gayle M. Montgomery October 03, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Hey, Dan, I was wrapped up with a couple of starving teenaged grandkids tonight and missed catching any of the meeting. Is AR-2 the PR matter? I assume so but want to be sure. Thanks for the update.
Tom Adams October 03, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Dan, I didn't see you last night at the meeting? If you were there, I am sorry I missed you. The item was pulled so no action was taken on it.
Steve Buckner October 03, 2012 at 08:42 PM
No action taken on it, so we cant talk about it. Everyone who came to speak can now go home, Thanks for showing up.
Tom Adams October 03, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Steve, No one came to speak to it, if they did, they could talk. If you want, you canspeak to it at the next meeting.

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