17
Wed, Apr

Public-Private-Partnership-In-Crime

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK - Chief Michel Moore appeared in the John Ferraro council chambers at City Hall in Los Angeles, one of the most celebrated and unlawful chambers nationwide on Wednesday at yet another in a string of going away parties for the top cop who suited up for the first time in 1981.  

The Chief, who survived and thrived during some of the most toxic chapters in LAPD history is planning to spend time with his wife and daughter but will stay on the payroll as a lucrative consultant, alongside the lucrative interim Chief Dominic Choi.  Choi has promised to do virtually nothing, though quick to point out he’s not afraid to “kick down any doors.”  But will defer to the new Chief, whom Bass hoped to appoint by summer, for choosing which doors need to be kicked down. 

 

Respectful.

 

Smart Speaker: How about the doors to the 3rd floor, where the district offices are? 

Mayor Karen Bass and the Los Angeles City Council acknowledged Moore’s leadership through various crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Staffer B John Lee (CD12) called Moore ... a friend.  "Any man or woman who puts on that uniform... the best police department in the world.” 

This was too much for several people, so the daily removal proceedings began. The highly dishonorable, Paul Krekorian reiterated, ”The business of this council will not be disrupted," as he ordered Duarte and Graciano to dispense with the knaves. 

Following what amounted to a long and quite boring hour-long presentation to Moore, there was a tasteful but infuriating, ten-minute recess, that morphed into twenty-five. 

When they came back from the commercial, Hugo Soto Martinez (CD13) and Eunisses Hernandez (CD1) were introducing  Xochitl Gomez an Echo Park native and Dancing With The Stars champion.  

 

Xochitl Gomez, honoree.

 

Imelda Padilla showing early promise in the emerging knucklehead compo, jumped up to say that her nieces had wanted her to get tix into the final of Dancing With The Stars. Padilla slyly downplayed, "I told them, I'm not going to put any energy into... that."  She meant, "I'm not going to do anything untoward, but it came across, like "I'm not going to put energy into a dumb reality TV final..."  No harm no foul, just awk. Subsequently,  Padilla received the endorsement of Senator Alex Padilla in her bid to retain CD6 that she won by election, unlike Heather Hutt (CD10) who won by appointment.  

Eunisses Hernandez looked fantastic (CD1) by proving that wearing big yellow business suit-outfit, like Traci Park (CD11) is not strictly necessary.  One can dress like a person and look good.  

My public commentary was not heard at all, on this day and so nobody can say it was Krekorian (which it is),  Bob Blumenfield did the honors.  

I hoped to speak on the $294,000 and then $250,000 for Jemmott Rollins Group to provide city funds to non-profit organizations based in CD 8 and help these nonprofit organizations to apply for future funding from foundations and other sources of support and such funding is intended for one-time use. 

There was a Deferred Retirement Option Plan item clarifying language involving a participant who was hospitalized as a result of sustaining a serious injury on duty.  I was hoping to remind you that Chief Moore got a $1.27 million in 2018 before coming back 30 days later, once he tucked it under the mattress

 

L.A.'s New Police Chief Pretended To Retire and Got $1.27 Million for It - Scott Shackford

Cash-in on a controversial, costly program from city's new top cop.

I was also hoping to bang the Krekorian drum about his REQUEST for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), where Matt Hale his cheerful helper went to dig a hole and plant a million seeds, to report on the existing process for reviewing and adopting new technologies related to solar and battery system installations in commercial and residential properties...  They want a specific report back on meter socket adaptors, [Daily Double] naturally striving to make the process quicker and more transparent.   

Smart Speaker:  Yeah right. Buried in a long confusing agenda.  Are any lobbyists in on this?  

And I really wanted to speak about the Public-Private-Partnership (P3) proposal with AEG Plenary Conventions Los Angeles (APCLA), to evaluate the cost and schedule, including risk exposure and cost-sharing using revised APCLA numbers from February 2023. That's a year ago, we are being tricked as usual.  The Profits of the P3 projects can vary depending on the assumed risk, the level of competition, and the complexity and scope of the project. If the expertise in the partnership lies heavily on the private side, the government is at an inherent disadvantage.  

And always it was nice to see Armbruster Goldsmith & Delvac LLP trotting out a new athletic stadium for the University of Southern California (USC) Women's Soccer and Lacrosse teams... Sweet Varsity Blues.  

Sneak Sneak Sneak:

At 3:27:20... following a closed session, with nothing to report...  Krekorian recessed the regular meeting and called the special meeting. 13 members present. 

He called up Mike Dundas, to the table for a few sneaky questions on item 50...   

Paul Krekorian, Chair:  If you ... could if its... if there's anything... you can address the council about in open session...  I wanted to give you an opportunity to do that, and then we can determine if we'll need to go into closed session for further discussion.  

Mike Dundas, City Attorney:   Sir, it’s Mike Dundas, City Attorney's Office: Branch Chief of Municipal Law branch. The matter before you is an opportunity for us ... a request from the City Attorney's office to hire outside counsel in the Bird bankruptcy case. The attorney that we've selected is also representing cities of Long Beach, Santa Monica, well prospectively Santa Monica, San Jose, and San Diego.  

Collectively we are similarly situated with those jurisdictions in dealing with Bird in the Scooter business and they similarly have permitted operations in their jurisdictions.  As you know, Bird a Miami-based company has filed bankruptcy in the Southern District of Florida.  And one of the procedures for being able to participate in that Bankruptcy case is that in the Local Rules in the Southern District of Florida require a local counsel and that is part of the reason why we are seeking permission to hire outside counsel today. 

 If there's any questions about the particular litigation, I'd recommend we do that in closed session.  But ultimately this is a fairly simple procedural request. 

Paul Krekorian, Chair:  Very good.  Councilmember, Raman? 

Nithya Raman, Council member CD4:  I just had a question ... why if they're filing bankruptcy... what is our role in their bankruptcy case?  Like why.. what is? 

Mike Dundas, City Attorney:  The City of Los Angeles is listed as a creditor in that case, in part for a couple of reasons.  One, they are a permitee of the city and they owe permit fees and have ongoing obligations with respect to the performance of that permit. In addition something -- 

Nithya Raman, Council member CD4:  What is the like the kinds of fees that they're providing us? What is the order of magnitude?  

Mike Dundas, City Attorney:  I think it's in the tens of thousands of dollars.  Is that correct?  Yeah.   The larger issue is with respect to .. one of the conditions of the permit is they are obligated to indemnify us for any injuries that result from their customers using the scooter in the public right of way. And so there are a number of lawsuits that have been filed against the city, for the scooter users, and they've named the city as the defendant, so as part of the process... the bankruptcy case overlays on top of that, their contractual ...or permit obligations to indemnify us and pay for any judgments is now part of the credit claim in the bankruptcy court.  

Nithya Raman, Council member CD4:  So, the representation will be to ensure that we continue to be indemnified in those cases?  

Mike Dundas, City Attorney:  Yes.  

Nithya Raman, Council member CD4:  And that's what the outside counsel is required for? 

Mike Dundas, City Attorney:    Well, the.. it's outside bankruptcy counsel, which they have ...we have limited bankruptcy expertise in the city. We have inhouse bankruptcy attorneys but one of the requirements for practicing in the Southern District of Florida is to have a local counsel who is admitted in the southern district of Florida and  there is no attorney out our office who is admitted in that district, and so we also need - even if we were handling the case entirely ourselves, we'd still need to have local counsel. hired by us, to be able to represent us and receive process for us per the local rules of the court there. 

Nithya Raman, Council member CD4:  Thank you.  

Paul Krekorian, Chair: Alright.  Mindful of the fact that we are still in open session, Questions should be -- the city attorney will let us know if responses need to be in closed session.  Council member Blumenfield, do you have comments at this point? 

Bob Blumenfield, Council member CD3: Just... if since they're in bankruptcy, and the whole purpose is to limit our liability...do we need to now get all those Birds off the street?  

Mike Dundas, City Attorney:  That's something we would have to discuss in a closed session.  

Paul Krekorian, Chair:  That is probably beyond the scope of retaining general counsel... retaining local counsel in Florida. It's probably more appropriate for potential liability and such issues that we take that up in closed session.  

Bob Blumenfield, Council member CD3:  OK 

 Paul Krekorian, Chair: Council member McCosker? 

Tim McCosker Council member CD15: Thank you very much, I guess the indemnity is worth nothing without insurance... is part of this to make sure that ... well, first of all, is the insurance premium fully --  

Mike Dundas, City Attorney:   Again, that's probably an issue that should be taken up in closed session. 

Tim McCosker Council member CD15:  OK.

Alright, anything else members?  

Paul Krekorian, Chair:    We will need to take comments on this Special item 50.  Come up if you want to speak?   I see none let's go ahead to the phones for comment limited to item 50 on the special agenda, the hiring of local counsel in Florida…  

CityAttorney, Jonathan Groat:  No speakers on the phone.  

Paul Krekorian, Chair:   Very good public comment is closed as to this item.  With that members,  it sounded like there were a couple questions that we should take up in closed session so why don't we-- I apologize to our guests, but we are going to go back into closed session.  Let's secure the room for a closed session.   

County Exhaustion:

Last week, the Tuesday Board was canceled because having the day off for President's Day on Monday was simply too exhausting.  

This Tuesday I made an effort to give a general public comment to the County Board of Supervisors on matters under their jurisdiction, but not necessarily on their long and confusing agenda.  Despite my best attempts, I called in, was re-admitted to the meeting by an AT&T operator, and finally pressed one then zero. The automated voice came on saying, "You're in queue!"  But, alas, it didn't happen. This was a quiet victory for Lindsey P. Horvath who has been working hard to stymie dissent..  

She had curated a very nice agenda... of talking points that she and the sisterhood could pontificate about.  For folks who wanted to chime in, great.  Everyone else… wait around until 3 pm. 

A person of ordinary firmness who wanted to address the board on a subject of importance to them, that they know are out there because they spend the entire meeting redirecting them to go back to the virtual lobby and wait. "We're only taking comments on how great we are doing (not that great) in the APP development for DHS beds. General public comment will be later."  

I waited five hours, the automated voice came on saying, "You're in queue!"  But Supervisor Horvath closed the public comment window on my hand. Maybe we need an APP to help make public comment a reality, not a waste of the public’s time. 

We know why Horvath wants all the 'open season' 'free speech' general public comments at the bitter end.    

Because...  real people have real things to say! 

“Good morning. Or good afternoon now. I am here speaking on CS 1 and public comment. I am here representing the DHS Physicians who couldn't be here because they have direct patient care they didn't want to abandon their patients.  

With the lack of primary care, the lack of specialty care, we want to give good care within DHS. Please help us get a contract. All we are asking for is maternity leave. Benefits that are given out by every other healthcare provider in the county. Salaries that are semi-competitive. We have people leaving the county system every day, the vacancy rate is only going to get worse. So please, tell DHS to negotiate with us for a real contract. We want to go back to doing what we do best, which is taking care of patients.  

We have a crisis in a county hospital, Angelenos need your help now. There are over 400 physician vacancies with the increase in the patient population. An additional 300 vacancies are being proposed and budgets and not able to be filled as we speak. What that translates to is the remaining county providers are holding the line (to) intervene in the ongoing contract negotiations that have been prolonged over two years. 

The whole country was on lockdown due to COVID-19, we went to work every day, risking our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We care for our patients, we are devoted and compassionate. We deserve competitive compensation packages and better healthcare benefits like mega flex, to attract good physicians like us. 

My name is Patricia Castillo with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists. I am here to read a Letter from one of our veterinarians in the Department of Animal Care.  "I have been a Veterinarian for Los Angeles 19 years and have never seen such a veterinarian short staffing. We need a fair contract with better benefits and higher pay to be able to recruit and retain doctors. " This situation is dire, and we are unable to continue our mission of saving animal lives, protecting the public, and providing outreach services to our constituents.  

The recent unanimous approval of 211 units in a very high fire hazard zone within 1,000 feet of the Chiquita Canyon landfill, found in nearby communities. This is an example of this inappropriate land use approval. 

I am here because La County Juvenile Hall is unsuitable for youth a good place to start would be to release youth with less serious charges. And release date for youth will be released soon. To me it makes sense, incarcerated -- to decarcerate youth because moving them to a different facility may cause more harm. Now it is your responsibility to protect the youth. Let's invest in the youth justice reimagine. 

We're trying to do this the right way, but we have a lot of mathematical problems here. 

We have some sticking points on the cost of living and the cost of megaflex and previous speakers talk about fixing these problems with common sense solutions. We think we can do it, but in the background if the county says they don't have the money we look at what they made last year. You guys made $153 million on DHS. 1.5 to $2 billion is out there in a reserve fund. We've been very patient. We see this. We had good faith.  

So the question is, does LA county want to recruit and retain physicians? You have a rainy day fund of 1.8 billion dollars. It looks like it's right now... with the exodus of our doctors.  Use it. Use it, now when you need it. 

Smart Speaker:  Kind of sad. I was able to speak on some items…  

Moderator: Our first participant is Eric Preven, you may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you. What an interesting item. And we all heard it, the Sheriff said that the bail program is on the right path. And I was very encouraged to hear that just a small number of people re-offend, only five people. That's very very impressive. Dizzying percentages, but the typical American worker has 50 interruptions a day, with 70% of those interruptions having nothing to do with their work, which is interesting.  I am hoping that this program can reflect as we head into this election season, what I think it is intended to do, by being positioned up at the front of this magnificent board meeting today. Get Gascon Elected!  that's what this feels like to me, but I could be wrong.  If you try to get 1% better every day for a year, you will end up 37 times better by the time you are done. I'm not making that up.  

Moderator: Thank you, your time has expired, next speaker, please. Madam chair, there are no additional remote speakers in the queue.  

Moderator: Our first participant is Eric Preven, you may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you. This is a teeny bit reminiscent of the fiasco, known as C. E. S.  the Coordinated Entry System. Everything all in one helpful computerized place. But as that idiot Kevin De Leon (CD14) says, "if you aren't building housing or acquiring housing," you aren't doing what we need done.  So organizing the beds on an APP that everybody can access together is probably a good strategy, if it is cheap and doable. I heard Holly Mitchell, say it's very expensive. The product should be easy to use, for the big money we are paying.  We certainly don't want to create extra work for our hardworking underpaid workers or our lazy overpaid workers.  But the stone-cold truth is we have a serious shortage of beds.  And that is what we need... more beds!  That's what we need. And until we pay our employees reasonable wages to retain them, and until we expose what we’ve been doing... we're in bad shape. 

So, that's why I am so disappointed that you took off the day after President's day.  We have told you that we need more vigorous engaged meetings, Supervisor,  and Maria Chong Castillo knows,  the county counsel knows.  The last straw was denying my general public comment so I wouldn't reference the emails and documents about public meeting protocol.  

We should not have to wait five hours to deliver a general public comment to our elected leaders.  

Moderator: Our next participant is Eric Preven, you may begin.  

Smart Speaker: I am sure that I lowered my hand, appropriately.  But is this a general public comment?  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: No, this is item 5. If you don't want to speak we will go to our next speaker.  

Moderator: Our first participant is Eric Preven. You may begin. 

Smart Speaker: Thank You. This is important and there’s another item about honoring female veterans.  And let’s not forget about Private Cathay Williams.  She was a black woman who lived during the civil war and she fought to help her country, but she was denied that basic right, so she enlisted in secret, under a pseudonym. She called herself William. And speeding through to the end… she was honorably discharged. But she was a great hero and is listed as one of the most courageous sheroes among our women warriors.  So thank you for this deeply moving acknowledgment. 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Thank you, next speaker, please.  

Moderator: Madam chair, there are no other remote speakers.  

Moderator: Our first participant is Eric Preven. You may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you. Thank you for taking swift action slash “getting there eventually” to take care of this incredibly noxious experience in these peoples' neighborhoods.  As you know, it’s not the only part of town where toxic chemicals are all over the place and it’s… very bad. I remember at a robust hearing for the Chiquita landfill a few years ago there was massive opposition to expanding… and Mark Ridley-Thomas seemed to be AWOL.  We eventually figured out that he had slipped out the back Jack to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Storytelling to help cut a ribbon.  So, the public was begging for the county to protect them at Chiquita, and MRT was over with Eric Garcetti, Herb J. Wesson, and 
Curren D. Price all acting like fat cats -- while the constituents squirmed.  It was appalling beyond belief.  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair:  This is on the Chiquita Canyon landfill -- 

Smart Speaker: Yes, that was the hearing. And when he finally came back, he tried to allege that asking where the hell he was was ‘harassment!   It’s a timeless classic, here’s vintage authentic excerpts from the boardroom picking… MRT, v. Smart Speaker. 

We later learned via CPRA and the compliant media that MRT was over at the Lucas. I just hope Mellody Hobson and the old codger will make the narrative museum free to the public.  Like the Hammer.  And while I’m hoping, I hope the people near Chiquita get their problems resolved as quickly as possible. Thanks for having this shameful item back on the agenda.  Where are we with the Covington Burling fraud write-up? 

Moderator: Next speaker, please. 

Moderator: There are no other remote speakers to address the board.  

Moderator: Our next participant is Eric Preven. You may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you. Thanks for recognizing women veterans. I think it's important that in America in 2022 we'll have 1.6 million, almost 2 million women veterans (there are 14.3 million men).   But women should be recognized and it was interesting to hear the point about how the military provides top quality maternal care which stands in contrast to some of the other ways women veterans are treated. But let’s remember -- Bea Arthur who played Maude was a veteran who drove a truck in the military.  And I believe astronaut Eileen Collins was a big militarist. I just hope this deeply moving motion is about doing something to improve the lives of women veterans and the men and women who love them..  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair:  Thank you.  

Executive officer: Thank you. Next speaker. 

Male Veteran Speaker: Yeah, I was calling regarding another matter. I just want to say how they say that they want equality and the last lady who said it's disappointing to come and not be able to get the services that they receive and that they were fighting for. But men do that all the time and there's very little to help men and they get railroaded by the system I thought it was just crazy how they said that they don't get the assistance and they were out there fighting for. Men have been out there fighting for the same things but rarely looked at as less of a human being basically by the government how they do it in family court and just overall. It's so easy for a man to get railroaded in court and I'm calling regarding another matter but I wanted to point that out. How it should be, they want equality and it should be equal for both. 

Moderator: Madam chair, there are no further remote speakers. to address the board 

After six minutes of moving acknowledgments...  

Supervisor Hilda Solis:  Lastly I just want to call attention to wish my father who passed away some years ago happy birthday. Today he would have become 100 years old. God bless you, Dad, Raul Solis. Thank you. That concludes my statements, madam chair. 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: That's beautiful, supervisor. 

 

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