Richard Riehl 2 a.m., March 4
City emails show Mitt Romney fast at work on La Jolla remodel only three days after losing the election
Mitt Romney wasted little time getting project back on track
Sunday former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney emerged from hiding for his first interview since losing the election in November.
According to a report from Reuters, the GOP contender and his wife Ann have been holed up in their beach front home in La Jolla.
That, however, doesn't mean the couple has been wallowing in defeat for the past four months. In fact, it appears that much of that time was spent preparing for the complete overhaul of thier oceanfront vacation home.
Emails obtained in a public records request show that it only took the former Governor two days before contacting lawyer Matt Peterson to get the project back on track with the City. The quick recovery even seemed to startle his own lawyer.
On November 7, the day after the election, Michelle Sokolowski, project manager for the City's Development Services Department, contacted Peterson for an update.
"I'm going to give Mitt and Ann a few weeks to recover before I contact them regarding this," Peterson wrote to Sokolowski.
Two days later, on November 9, Peterson had a slightly different tone.
"I just heard from Mitt. He [and] Ann want to proceed with the [Coastal Development Permit] ASAP, so please re-activate," Peterson wrote.
Restarting the project after a year long delay wasn't as simple as getting a green light from Romney. Peterson was told that the environmental impact report was unfinished and that he needed to obtain a water quality report as well as submit new architectural plans.
Peterson wasted no time trying to get the project approved.
"Thanks for jumping on this," wrote Peterson. "Mitt and Ann really appreciate that. Maybe I could take a shot at preparing draft responses to comments and get those over to you to speed things up."
By January 18, Romney's attorney was already pushing to schedule a hearing date but more work needed to be done.
"As indicated before, scheduling a hearing date is a bit premature, especially when the [Mitigated Negative Declaration] has not been published in draft form. Again, this is a Process 3 decision, the hearing dates are fairly frequent so it should not be difficult to schedule one once the document has been published."
On January 31, Peterson tried to get the project moving at a faster pace by adding director of Development Services, Kelly Broughton into the mix.
"Mitt wants to be involved in everything... I am meeting...at the site with Mitt to confirm that there is no public view issue on [February 8]. I cc'd Kelly [Broughton] because he is working on breaking the log jam regarding finalizing environmental documents."
A hearing date on the project, which calls for tripling the size of the current home as well as adding a 3,600 square-foot basement and a garage with car-lifts, is expected to be scheduled later this month.
More like this:
- Mitt and Bob show — Aug. 14, 2013
- Mitt Romney's renovation hits a snag. Appeal filed to halt project. — June 13, 2013
- Mitt Romney moves forward on massive renovation of La Jolla home — Feb. 4, 2013
- U-T San Diego's claim that a computer glitch caused Mitt Romney to submit late payments not supported by City documents — Oct. 23, 2012
- Mitt Romney lags on paying La Jolla beach house building fees to city — Sept. 7, 2012