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Response to Media Inquiry

The following is a response sent to Lost Coast Outpost on October 9, 2023 in response to a request seeking comment for a story on the most recent lawsuits filed by Citizens for a Better Eureka.

Response to Media Inquiry

To: Ryan Burns

Lost Cost Outpost

From: Gail Rymer

Citizens for a Better Eureka

Thank you for your email to Rob Arkley regarding the lawsuits. As Rob is not a majority owner of Security National Properties Servicing Company, LLC, it is inappropriate for him to respond. Rob is not a Citizens for a Better Eureka member and does not participate in meetings or discussions.

On behalf of the Citizens for a Better Eureka, let me set the record straight regarding the organization's efforts. The number one focus is not about stopping housing but on the economic vitality of downtown. Downtown businesses will suffer significantly if parking is taken away. They rely on visitors coming into Eureka and employees from around the area being able to drive to work to keep their doors open. Restaurants will not be able to survive if close-by parking is lost – people do not feel safe walking downtown at night.

The Citizens for a Better Eureka members know that Eureka needs housing and favors housing developments. Still, there are more sensible options that won’t destroy downtown businesses. They are not trying to stop development; they are simply trying to save their businesses. Mr. Slattery wants to eliminate more than 600 downtown parking spaces. That will kill the economy of Eureka.

As shown in maps distributed by an anti-driving/parking organization, the city has many other potential lots to build housing that would not disrupt and economically impact downtown businesses. For years, many downtown businesses have tried to work with the city on its plans to build housing without compromising parking. It’s documented in your publication from City Council meetings going back to 2020, if not further. The Citizens for a Better Eureka was left with no choice. Bringing these lawsuits was the only avenue to force the city to reconsider its housing plan. It did not need to come to this if the city had worked with local business owners.

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