19
Wed, Jun

Shanking it! 

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Smart Speaker: And I want to take a moment to thank the council member and lobbyist, Tim Mcosker for stepping up for municipal golf, again.  After his brother stepped up from his role.  

It's such a nice thing and to have a lobbyist family playing golf alongside elected officials, father and son, mother and son, mother and daughter, father and daughter.  Zev and Rick Orlov.  

The Knabes. 

All the local people in Studio City showed up one morning and clung to the fence hoping, hoping, and praying that Studio City's heart and soul and the lungs of the community would be left alone and Harvard Westlake would come to their senses.    

We're going to get you all, all of you will be rounded up and aired out for what you really are, which is sellouts.  There is simply no reason to benefit the billionaires over the babies who live in the area. There is no reason to do that. 

 

The Raman-Krekorian alliance to destroy Studio City Golf and Tennis well underway. 

 

Early in the meeting Hugo Soto-Martinez (CD13) who apparently did a bit of street art... as a young activist introduced  EL MAC (Miles MacGregor) an internationally renowned artist born and based in Los Angeles. 

EL MAC: I’m always skeptical of politicians no offense. 

Hugo Soto-Martinez (CD13):  You should be. You should be. You should be.

EL MAC.

 

Smart Speaker:  Yes, they will water down measures that they got elected to promote.  

EL MAC works in large format and appears clearly visible on the public telecast. The man has been commissioned to paint all over the world, for museums, universities, and other cultural institutions.  

Smart Speaker:  One wonders if he noticed the size of the public speakers who were not elected officials or honorees on channel 35? One also wonders if EL MAC knew that the Hugo who was introducing him was working hand in hand with… Herb Wesson.  

Hold on:  Isn’t it true that: “Former City officials and employees may not receive compensation for attempting to influence any City agency regarding matters in which they “personally and substantially” participated during City service.” 

So, the former council president who last amended the rules, now stepping in for big money interests to hold the line on … the corrupt little council.  Sigh. 

As with everything related to the Ethics Commission, nothing is as it appears.  

Everything has to be quadruple-checked. [Except Krekorian’s matching fund legitimacy and LAFD overtime]. 

Strongman Returns:

On May 8, 2024, The LA County Federation of Labor, led by former Council President Herb Wesson, orchestrated a campaign to dilute the proposed reforms. 

— it worked. 

As many recall, it was Herb Wesson who slammed Greig Smith into Mitchell Englander’s CD12 seat in 2018 tk. when he announced he was going to quit to be a lobbyist slash felon.   

We begged the LA Times to investigate and challenge Greig Smith’s appointment because he had been a paid lobbyist for Waste Management.  

Yes, what about the lifetime ban?  

Wesson says he got a waiver.  

Then in 2022, Wesson rose from the ashes when Mark Ridley-Thomas (CD10)had to step aside when his federal charges got …sent back to the committee.. 

Later that summer Wesson's pay was halted by Judge Strobel and his chief of staff, Heather Hutt, was installed as nonvoting caretaker for the 10th District.

Smart Speaker: Get her out!

Then, in early August, a twist: Judge Strobel recused herself, noting that she had worked as a staff member for the elected Charter Reform Commission, one of two commissions tasked to rewrite the city charter. 

The case was reassigned to Judge Mitchell Beckloff.  

Smart Speaker:  Hope you are feeling better, sir?  Why did Curren Price and John Lee vote on this Ethics Reform package, if they are facing charges?

The revolving door never stops spinning. 

Safe Passage Admin fees are robust!  Extend contract! 

 

Open For Business: 

As Los Angeles residents clamor for a less corrupt, more transparent, and representative government, the recent developments within the City Council only deepen our collective disillusionment. 

In a city rife with scandals and ethical breaches, hope for meaningful reform seemed tantalizingly close.  

Yet, when the opportunity presented itself, it was two influential council members, Paul Krekorian and Nithya Raman, who despite failing miserably at uniting the council behind a strong reform package, cast themselves as the lone principled dissenters.  

But no one really believes they were outsmarted by the 13 council members of ordinary intelligence, who voted to approve the amended package.  

The watering down was predictable and very likely put in motion by Paul Krekorian and his old sensei… Herb Wesson, Business Card, Consultant! 

Krekorian and Raman among the higher IQ council members, teaming up is nauseating.  

Raman of CD4 absorbed all of the controversial projects that Karo and Krekorian put in play in CD2, following redistricting. [Sportsmen’s Lodge, Golf & Tennis, Studio City Rec Center]. 

The proposed amendments, intended to strengthen ethics regulations, were crucial steps towards rebuilding faith in our local governance. It was the progressives Soto-Martinez and Eunisses Hernandez who are being credited with gutting the Ethics reform package.  

Paul Krekorian and Nithya Raman holding hands dissenting is as infuriating as it gets.  

They had plenty of time to git r done, and by allowing weak piecemeal politics to rule the day, have effectively undermined that effort, leaving Angelenos with a significantly watered-down measure that will not fix the systemic issues plaguing our city.   

As for the last-minute amendments by Soto-Martinez (CD13) and Hernandez (CD1), they reek of self-interest, prioritizing political expediency over the urgent need for real change.  The council essentially voted to shield themselves and their cronies from meaningful oversight, perpetuating a culture of impunity within City Hall.  

The rejection of key proposals, such as expanding the size of the Ethics Commission and allowing it to hire independent legal counsel, speaks volumes about the Council's commitment to genuine accountability.   

We must continue to demand transparency, accountability, and representation from those who purport to serve us.  They cannot silence our voices.  

The proposed set of reforms heard by City Council on Wednesday included a tripling of the Ethics commission’s menu of penalties from $5,000 to $15,000.   

Smart Speaker:  Great, there’s a standing order to only collect half of the penalties levied. Will this do anything? 

County Caution: 

Moderator: Yes, Eric Preven you may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you. Thank you for those very moving presentations and all of the young people, hoping to get a look at one of those poems. Very intriguing. As to the oil fields ordinance, Bruckner bent over backward to assist Mr. Ridley Thomas in trying to insert Sebastian into the Assembly District 54 seat, way back in the time, Mr. Bruckner presented the community with a very nice letter, and Karly Katona worked it and got Mr. Ridley-Thomas to comment on the letter and they rushed it to come out before the election. Sebastian sailed through and won. The letter was issued through the community service district, so paid for by the county -- but the beneficiaries were the Supervisor and his son.   So, these things really work well at giving the public a sense of what is happening or should be happening. Thank you for this and thank you for protecting the people against these petroleum products. 

Moderator: Eric Preven.  

Smart Speaker:  Thank you. Is this the junior lifeguard item? Or are we still on set item 2?  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: That item has been continued from the agenda. We are on the Department of Public Health item regarding health and safety code microenterprise home kitchen operations.  

Speaker Speaker: Okay, thank you. It gets confusing. I'd like to thank Ferrer for the micro enterprising work. It takes a lot of thought and spin and we appreciate the effort. I'll let it go to someone else.  

Sup. Lindsey P. Horvath, Chair:  Next speaker, please. 

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

Smart Speaker: thank you. What a sobering Budget report from Davenport. Everything that gets added or entered into the new budget is going to have to come out of something else. I don't know if you know, but your partners over at the city of L.A. are also facing an enormous $300 million deficit with the same kind of thing.  And, of course, the State's news of the $30 billion shortfall.  So, this is a disaster.  

I want Davenport to kindly reflect for the public what specifically is being calculated about the 3,000 so-called claims about McLaren Hall activities. The public wants to understand, and we can't be floating this looming idea that we're going to be on the hook for astronomical payouts and more lawyer activity.  The alleged horrible activity happened ages ago without clarity. That's called being fleeced, so let's get the clarity we need so we don't have to cut the county departments that we cherish and favor. 

Sup.  Lindsey P. Horvath, Chair: Thank you, your time has expired.  

Next, a speaker called on behalf of Move L.A., to say he was very concerned that there is no money, that the money for the Vision Zero program has been zeroed out. 

Another said, “Vision Zero action plan is an opportunity for you guys to look at a plan that hasn't been implemented well in New Jersey where they've seen an elimination of their pedestrian and bicycle deaths. So if there's an opportunity for you guys to spend a little bit of money and get a large return, Vision Zero is it. And we cannot be shown out by New Jersey." 

One speaker from Urban Peace... said, “The proposed 432 million dollars up by 36 million this year that probation spends annually, works out to approximately, $855,000 a year to incarcerate each probation youth.” 

When the speaker shared those numbers with the probation youth themselves, they had ideas of other ways to use that money; “housing their families and supporting their small family businesses.”   

Several speakers touted the new youth department but said only one of the 59 positions had been funded.  The budget meeting ended after about 45 minutes of public testimony. 

Sup. Lindsey P. Horvath, chair: Thank you. Is that our last speaker?  I want to thank our public speakers. That. concludes public comment for today.  Now at this time, especially in recognition of the request for there to be continued opportunity for public comment outside of this time today I move that the board receive and file, and take under advisement various supplemental budget requests and comments made during the public budget hearings commencing May 15, 2024 and make a finding that notice of public budget hearings given in accordance with section 29080 of the budget code says hearings commence on the 15th day of May 2024 pursuant to said notice and as required by section 29081 of the government code. I also move that the board close the public budget hearings for oral testimony finding that there are no persons who have not been given the opportunity to be heard but to allow maximum public input permit additional written testimony and requests to be filed through the close of business Friday, May 24, 2024.  

I further move that the board reconfirms that budget deliberations will begin on Monday, June 24, 2024, at 9:30 am. I so move to approve. Seconded by supervisor Solis. Executive officer, please call the roll.  

 

 (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.)