Oh, they’ll kick and scream about Michael Hackman and Culver Studios now spending money to elect Dan and Denice, but they had zero problems with those same deep pockets just a few years ago. Former Councilmember and Mayor, Thomas Small, even took a salary from Culver City Forward, a group funded by Hackman Capital. And that $6500 monthly salary was during his time on City Council! Ethical? You be the judge.
Take a look at the leadership on Culver City Forward, which filed with the IRS as a non-profit. You’ll see School Board Member, Kelly Kent. Surprised? We are. Ms. Kent has made a name for herself siding with the Silbiger/Sahli-Wells/Fisch/Lee/McMorrin/Puza/MOVE/YIMBY politics, which have an anti-business, anti-growth flavor. What is she doing here?
Our take is that, like Mr. Small, Ms. Kent is also on the side of fake outrage that Hackman and the Studios are putting money into the game today. You have to realize that they’ve always put money in the game. This time it’s just not for Kent and Small’s teammates (who are ruining the town, mind you). Kent and Company started Culver City Forward in 2019 with an opening contribution of $300,000. Not too shabby! They surely didn’t complain then about “evil Hackman money”.
And Culver City Forward is clearly a business-focused group, though it does not seem to show many updates about their work. The only financial statement available is from 2019, where we can see Thomas Small’s salary. But again, if Kelly Kent and Thomas Small are so anti-development and anti-business, why are they one-third of the leadership of Culver City Forward? Do they just drift wherever their grift takes them?
Interestingly, you can see Thomas Small, who is a Silbiger/Sahli-Wells/Fisch/Lee/McMorrin/Puza/MOVE/YIMBY-ite, still wearing the CEO badge of Culver City Forward today and presenting even recently about how great all the changes are to downtown with the you-can’t-MOVE project. Seriously, Mr. Small uses empty academic language to describe our awful downtown streets as an example of “tactical urbanism” and “rapid urban prototyping”, like it’s really special — instead of being just a bunch of ugly plastic and worn paint and a wasted bus lane. Apparently, Thomas Small recently worked with RAND on a new vision for Rancho Higuera, so it’s time to read up and be concerned.
Importantly, Downtown Culver City business owners have been complaining about their lost revenue, due in part to the utter disaster the City made of the streets. It’s no joke and we are upset about this, and you should be too. We haven’t seen any new financial reports, but we hope Culver City Forward found some other people to put on the payroll. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more truth!