Question of intent - Page 8

As lawsuits and regulators probe Lennar Corp.'s negligent approach to development on Hunters Point, a new campaign seeks to give the embattled corporation even more control over SF
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The air monitors were sold not just to the city but to the public as the major safeguards to the community, especially sensitive receptors, but during the most gigantic grading period and perhaps the most gigantic exposures, we don't know what the levels of asbestos were."

Fellow BAAQMD board member Sup. Jake McGoldrick, who was a key swing vote against urging a Lennar work stoppage at the Board of Supervisors meeting in July, is now joining Daly in demanding full enforcement of the law.

"The July 31 resolution had no way to force Lennar or the SFRA to do anything," McGoldrick told the Guardian, explaining why he's now taking a stronger stance. "It seemed that we'd reached the conclusion that the community didn't want to shut down the project, since it included 31 percent affordable housing, and that the work was essential in terns of revitalizing the area and that the evidence presented seemed to show that everything is now under control."

But because the coalition of Lennar supporters — who didn't mention they are on Lennar's payroll until after the July 31 resolution failed — is now pushing a ballot measure to vastly expand Lennar's control in our city, McGoldrick is demanding answers and accountability.

"We want to look into whether Lennar screwed up deliberately, and if so, fine them to the hilt," McGoldrick said. "But let's get the project on Parcel A going, because the grading has been completed and it will be beneficial to the community."

McGoldrick claimed that in July he and Daly knew they had an air district hearing coming.

"And we knew where the strongest action could be taken in terms of sticking it to Lennar and showing them we won't just be looking over your shoulder, we'll be standing on it," McGoldrick told us.

"A fine means we have warned you — and we've got a gun to your head. It means if you don't act properly, we can pull the trigger," McGoldrick said, noting that at the time of the July 31 vote the Parcel A grading was essentially done and no one could present any solid evidence that the public health had been harmed.

"So now the question is: did you or did you not do this? [A maximum fine of] $75,000 a day for 383 days, even if it's not a lot of money to Lennar — it's a lot of embarrassment," McGoldrick said.

But if Lennar tries to delay settling with the air district to avoid fines until after the June 2008 election, will its perceived unwillingness to face consequences backfire at the ballot box — and soil Newsom's reputation as a great environmentalist in the process?

As McGoldrick observed, "Some of us are having serious second thoughts about going forward with Lennar. Our feeling is, you should sit down and cooperate with the air district and settle this thing with them. And you know darn well that we are standing there, ready to pull the trigger."

He framed the issue this way: "We're saying to the Mayor's Office, you guys have a responsibility [to ensure Lennar is accountable] before you give them another 350 acres — on top of the 63 acres they already have — just to save the mayor's butt, since he blew it with the Olympics and the 49ers."

LENNAR BY THE NUMBERS

Number of days Lennar Corp. had been in violation of air district monitoring rules, according to the Sept.