19
Fri, Apr

A Five Hour Snooze

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Good morning and welcome to your Los Angeles City Council. Today is Friday, December 8th, 2023. I'm Paul Krekorian, president of the council, and we're ready to begin today's meeting.  

Monica Rodriguez, CD7:  Can you hear me at all? There we go. Thank you, Mr. President.   Good morning, colleagues. It is with tremendous pride that, colleagues, I present to you today the welcoming of our second cohort of the Olivia Mitchell Youth Council. 

Very important leadership development that is going to assure that when policies are made in the future of this city, that we have young leaders that understand the fundamentals of how government works here at the local level.  

And by convening this diverse group of young people that are from each council district from across our city, we are assuring the ability to develop collaboration, (audience applauding)

 

 

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Thank you.   And so I'm really pleased to say that "Amerigotzi" is now Armenia's official submission for the Academy Awards for Best International Feature. And it's been gathering awards throughout the country and throughout the international film circuit. It's currently the highest grossing international film in the United States and I really urge you all to see it...

City Attorney, Jonathan Groat:  Okay and Mr. President, I could read the instructions for public comment now.  

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Okay, are there any other amendments that need to be read into the record before we move to public comment?    

City Attorney, Jonathan Groat: No, sir.   

Imelda Padilla, CD6:   So good morning, fellow Council members. I wanted to talk about item seven, which people are identifying as the AI motion that I presented a few weeks ago…   

[Three is a noticeable RUSH TO THE BATHROOM.]  

 

Los Angeles County Supevisor Lindsey P. Horvath has actually reduced Board meetings, but apparently the LA Times reports she thinks she's increased the meetings. We shall see...!

Paul Krekorian, Council President. So we've covered all the items that have been, where hearings have been held, correct?   

City Attorney, Jonathan Groat: Yes, Mr. President.   

Paul Krekorian, Council President:   Okay, then we can move to public comment if you could read the instructions in.  

City Attorney, Jonathan Groat:  Yes, sir. To members of the public wishing to provide public comment, we have a slightly new procedure…  you need to immediately and clearly get on topic. If you do not do so, or if you again stray off topic, you will forfeit your speaking time and we will move on to the next speaker…. The items that are open for public comment are items 10 through 25 and 32 through 33. Members of the public may also speak for up to one minute of general public comment, which will be held at the end of the meeting. 

City Attorney, Jonathan Groat:  Yes, so you have one minute.

Smart Speaker:  I thought there was a rule about putting public comment near the front of the meeting.  Your favorite rule 7, sir?  

Public Speaker:  I saw on twitter that you're in violation of rule seven with how you're doing general public comment. I looked it up and during each regular meeting the council shall provide a member of the public the opportunity to address the council on any issue with the subject matter within the subject matter jurisdiction of the council this shall be referred to as general public comment which generally shall be taken up at or near the beginning of each regular meeting.   By putting it at the end of the meeting you're keeping working people from being able to give their input.  

City Attorney, Jonathan Groat:  So just as a quick reminder due to the new procedure, before we begin public comment on the items, which will happen now, all of the hands will be lowered.  So anybody who wishes to request to speak, please raise your hand by pressing star nine now, only if you wanna speak on the items. We will do the same thing for general public comment at the end of the meeting. Thank you. 

Smart Speaker:  I think you should Cure and Correct this.

Junior Smart Speaker:  Fabulous. Thanks, hi this is Ruth, I've been trying to comment on items all morning. I think that you're lowering hands and not announcing it so people listening on the phone can't can't tell and know to re-raise their hands.  

Smart Speaker: That is exactly what happened to me throughout the meeting.  By the Time I got to speak it felt near sundown and I got one minute. I was totally faked out.  

 

Click above to hear the Smart Speaker congratulate the Council President on his sociopathy. 

 

City Attorney, Jonathan Groat:  Thank you. Before we go to public comment, Mr. Lee, you wanted to make an acknowledgement? 

John Lee, Staffer B, CD12:   Colleagues, every year I have the pleasure of bringing in the LEE 12 program. These are the future leaders of not only Council District 12, but our city here in Los Angeles.

Smart Speaker:  Not a jury, a youth development program. 

Monica Rodriguez, CD7:  Thank you for working, doing this important work. We're all, I know prior to Olivia Mitchell, I also had a Youth Council and it's about the, and I know the Y also does a great job of it too. Our treasured North Valley YMCA

Smart Speaker:   A smattering of anemic applause, as Studio City blood pressure inched upward. Staffer B and Nury and Sheila and Paul Krekorian and Adrin Nazarian's YMCA is a very naughty YMCA group.

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Thank you.  All right, Mr. Price, you had an acknowledgement.

Curren D. Price, CD9, Indictee:  Thank you, Mr. President. Yes, I just want to introduce a guest to the city, but no stranger, of course, to issues regarding community economic development. Dr. Charles Bella from Washington, D.C.  (audience applauding) 

Charles Bella, from DC:   It's an honor for me to be here. I developed the method, the philosophy, and the concepts related to STEM thirty-two years ago.  So I have decided that I'm gonna take the STEM of STEM, take all the modifications and improvements that have been done all over the world, and bring it to LA  working with people from LA to make it the model STEM program of the world.  So this is a commitment that I'm making here at the chamber. 

Smart Speaker:  Thank you, please see David Tristan in Ethics upstairs on the 26th floor, home of the collar flap incident with Sergio Perez now holding forth at the low low low as you can go profile Controller Kenneth Mejia's office.  There's a two elevator dimension near the top of the obelisk, you might bring an LAPD detail along. I always do.

Sent: Friday, December 8, 2023 at 12:14:09 PM PST 

From: Smart Speaker 

Dear, Groat: 

I just did as you said, and because I had signed up, it unsigned me up.  Now, I've signed up again.  I direct you to the comments of other members of the public who have similarly been blocked by your shameful behavior.  This meeting will be the subject of an expose... you have tried every dirty trick in the book.

cc - City Clerk, Mayor Bass,  Sean Hasset DA's PID,  Strefan Fauble, David Michaelson, [email protected], John Popoch, Karo Torossian

Smart Summarizer Speaker:   The very smart speaker, Barbara Brody, represents the Westside Neighborhood Council and the Coalition for Beautiful Los Angeles. She opposes the Transit-Oriented Communities Affordable Housing Incentive Program (TCN) and highlighted concerns about the impact on the city's ability to regulate signs, potential accidents, and the financial and environmental consequences. 

She questioned the justification of placing signs over parks and historical resources. Brody criticized the lack of review for housing priorities and expressed dismay over changes to the program, including a possible 30-year continuation. She mentions Metro's sign district negotiations at LAX, emphasizing the contradiction in reinstating signs. The second speaker insisted on speaking directly to Councilman Krekorian, expressing frustration with the broken and corrupt government system.

Other speakers commented on various agenda items, with some criticizing Councilman Krekorian's absence and expressing dissatisfaction with the handling of the NoHo District Project. 

Krekorian had the gaul to just get up when his constituents were criticizing him.  This is a very bad look and feel. 

Another speaker, Dan Silver, opposes the Metro TCN item, raising concerns about public safety, distracted driving, and the potential negative impact on historic locations and sensitive areas. Julie Carr also criticized Councilman Krekorian's absence during discussions related to the NoHo District Project.

In summary, the speakers expressed concerns about public safety, government transparency, and decision-making processes.

SAG-AFTRA Speaker:  Thank you. I am national co-chair of government affairs for SAG-AFTRA. I urge you all to think carefully about the vote for the TCN project. Please read the letter SAG-AFTRA put in the planning commission record. 

The entertainment industry brings in billions to our economy in Los Angeles, and there was zero outreach to any unions or groups, and these signs will have significant impact to their placement on filming for lucrative one-hour shows and features.  

LA rarely plays itself, and AI and CGI are currently too pricey to remove them. They will simply move productions elsewhere and lose the jobs, revenue, and tourism that brings in millions and millions of dollars.  

The 500 million this could make in 20 years will be dwarfed by we will lose three to 400 million in one year if these signs are voted up. 

 If any of you sitting there have taken a free billboard from this company, I urge you to recuse yourself. Have ethics, have integrity. Do not shove this through when no one wants it. It would not pass a poll, a vote, a proposition. No one in LA wants this.  Thank you.

A brief City Attorney montage:  "so please hold on we're going to put your hand down" ...

 "So let's go ahead and lower that speaker's hand and only take callers" ...

 "Okay, I'm sorry. We're gonna speak to the agenda items now. So go ahead and lower his hand" 

 

Kudos to the obfuscation team at City Hall, we look forward to the call data and DA prosecution.

Brentwood Speaker: Thank you. My name is Wendy Sue Rosen. I'm speaking on behalf of Brentwood Residence Coalition.  We all know that housing is a priority for the city, and following the mayor's executive director, the city identified available housing for every parcel noted in Zimas for the billboard project. 

Six of the parcels that you're about to vote on have been identified for housing by the city of Los Angeles, one in Paul Krekorian's district.  Metro took the mayor's challenge, and they identified properties in the billboard in the city for housing. 17 properties for housing were identified by Metro. Five are also identified for building for the billboard program.  CD1 removed one of those during the PLUM process, leaving four parcels that you are about to vote on, that have been identified for housing and billboards. 

 Interestingly, two of these parcels have been identified by both Metro and the City of Los Angeles for housing. Those two are in Paul Krekorian's district, and they are both on the agenda today to be voted on. If you vote today on those items, you are prioritizing crass commercialism over people and housing. 

Bob Blumenfield, CD3 (from the floor): I’m troubled by the order in which we're considering various elements of the TCN program. And I'd like to take the opportunity, with this new funding, ultimately, for us to prioritize those safety improvements for biking and walking. These are not frivolous extras when we need to address both the first and last mile issues and the increase in fatalities.   According to the latest ComStat report from LAPD, through November 18 of this year, 294 Angelenos have died in traffic collisions, up more than 8% from last year's record number, and more than 60% of the victims of traffic violence were people walking and biking.

Paul Krekorian: Council President: Thank you very much, Mr. Blumenfield. We look forward to having that conversation in the Budget Finance and Innovation Committee, ("which, if you don't shut up will be chaired by Councilwoman Padilla.")  as well as here in council ("once we've offered no virtual comment committee hearings.") Having the additional revenues ("from this sellout") that will be necessary to make those improvements will be an important step forward for our city. 

[Dry heaving is heard in chambers.] 

Next, there was an 8 minute mini filibuster of sorts during which time, the city attorney Jonathan Groat, read out more than 1150 words of detailed verbal amendments.  The absolute opposite of transparent. 

Bob Blumenfield, Fake Chair:  Okay, then I'm going to call a number of names and as I call your name please make your way to the left hand side to speak about items 26 through 30 on the agenda.

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney:  And for clarification Mr. President, 31 is on the special and it is also, because it's on the special, it will be open for a public comment. 

Smart Speaker:  Could not be more confusing. FYI

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney:  Which items would you like to speak to?  

Speaker:  26 please.

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney:  Okay, so you have one minute for item 26.

Speaker:  Hello my name is Elaine Loring I'm glad president Krekorian is in the chamber now.  I'm not going to repeat my comments from earlier. I emailed them to his office  

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney:  Next Speaker, Which items would you like to speak to?  

Speaker:  All right so 26 is bullshit there's tons of empty retail and commercial space in LA, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of square feet so we shouldn't be building mixed use because we don't need more retail or commercial we just need housing.  These people who like to tout the housing shortage. There's no housing shortage if you can afford market rate.  If you can afford 3000 a month in rent you can live in any kind of housing in any part of the city. So I don't know why we're approving any plan for new retail or commercial any plan for any housing that isn't affordable or public or free or income indexed.

Bob Blumenfield, Fake Chair:  Councilmember Yaroslavsky?   

Katy Yaroslavsky, CD5:  Thank you council president, we're going to push the energy and environment committee back to start at two thank you.  

Bob Blumenfield, Fake Chair:  Thank you.

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney: Yes, which items would you like to speak to? 

Speaker:  I'm trying to speak on general public comment.

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney: So general public comment is at the end of the regular meeting, so please hold on we're going to put your hand down and then we're going to move on to the next caller. This is only for comments on the special meeting items.

Speaker:  What items are available then?   

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney:  Items 26 through 31 

Speaker:  I’m on the website, I don't see 26 through 31. I see it's goes to up to 25.  

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney:  So it's the special meeting agenda, we’re going to move on to the next caller please.  No hands are raised in the cue.  

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  All right that will close public comment on items 26 through 31. Let's open the roll close the roll and tabulate the votes   

City Clerk: 12 ayes.  

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Very good, thank you.  Next the last item on the special agenda is a closed session item that was heard by budget and finance committee.  

City Clerk:  Shall I read the settlement amount?  

Paul Krekorian, Council President Yes, please.  Item 31 in the case entitled James City of Los Angeles et al. there is a recommendation to expend up to $3.1 million in settlement.  

Paul Krekorian, Council President:  Very good. Thank you.

Smart Speaker: Very bad. 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions of Mr. Preven are not necessarily those of CityWatchLA.com.)