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Do Something v. Do Nothing

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Paul Koretz, chair:  Okay, with me and Mr. Harris Dawson present, we have a quorum. 

Two seems lite for a quorum. 

Staffer (under breath): This is pissing me off.

2nd Staffer: You know my audio ain't working. 

Staffer (under breath): Oh, Jesus. Fuck. 

The public wondered why Mike Bonin was too busy to do the job of attending a commitee meeting with 24 items on it.

 Marqueece Harris-Dawson delivered a "no-speaker."   A move in which a council member,  literally contributes nothing to the conversation for the entire duration of a meeting.  Sometimes it's referred to a 'rubber stamp.' 

At approximately 5 minutes and 40 seconds in to the Personnel, Audits & Animal Welfare (PAAW) committee meeting... the first of several members of the public volunteered to address the items and deliver a general public comment.   

He was issued a two minute timeslot on the items and one minute for general comment.  

"First of all, I appreciate poor Koretz has a Controler election and he's stepped in the dog-poo, so to speak, with the egregious conditions that have been allowed to metastasize in the city's Animal services group. The heart goes out to the fuzzy little creatures.   

We have to provide certain kinds of services that correlate with humane behavior, like Bob Blumenfield is trying to get all the bus shelters going, but the plan to have it tied to revenue, is disappointing.  We have a kooky scheme, cooked up with Krekorian a deep-state electronic billboard man,  that makes no god damned sense.   

Look, we need to unequivocally, without second guessing put up frickin shelters so the people who are standing out in the hot sun waiting for our shitty public transportation service don't cook.  OK? 

 And the dogs have to be walked. 

I know what is really important to this committee today, is on the agenda...  the processing of dozens of city positions, ticking up and sliding around within the MOUs. We've paid off all of the city workers who took the SIP buyout and what we need now is the leadership to hire people to walk the effing dogs; We don't need kooky volunteer schemes with asinine revenue models, we need to take care of certain core business, FIRST.  

We don't want the animals to suffer while Hersch and Koretz are adding the wrong kind of positions!  And yes, it does involve paying the workers to do the work.  That work includes walking the dogs, putting up the god damned shelters without revenue tied to flashy little signage in the fun to shop-until-you-drop areas.   

C'mon,  Koretz, you can do this! You rode your bike to San Francisco.  

Can we get bathrooms in the metro stations, without selling advertising?  

That's not verified by the way - about riding the bike to San Francisco - but we think it's true. I once discussed it with him.  

"It's true." piped up Koretz. 

Ok, he's confirming that he did it.  I don't think it's totally true.  I think he rode his bike DOWN, or downhill from San Francisco.  

And San Francisco has the nicest airport in the country, so pass that along to Mike Bonin, who was too busy to attend the committee meeting today. 

Good luck with the latest LAX fiasco. jk. Hopefully the airport is making a comeback. One way to increase mood levels, travel numbers and revenue, would be to remove Eric Garcetti's voice from the audio information in the terminals and bathrooms. Good luck.   

I yield my time.  

City/County Cage Fight:

The challenger, Robert Luna, the retired Long Beach police chief said the Sheriff was pointing his finger at everyone but himself. Sheriff Villanueva described Luna as a "puppet." 

Of the 200 handpicked attendees, 25 of those assembled appeared on camera seated behind the panel of esteemed journalists at the Skirball Center.  

The audience members were shown in astonishing detail but mostly not recognizable.  #BlumenfieldKnows 

There was one exception, Joey "Buckets" Buscaino, was on camera for a disturbing amount of time.  

Gabriela Teissier, who has 61.9k followers on Instagram and was not named in the LA Times coverage, is a journalist, news anchor and radio talk show host. She is the anchor for the early morning news formerly known as A Primera Hora on Univision's Los Angeles station KMEX-DT, and hosting Uforia Audio Network's morning radio show, Tu Voz En Los Angeles. 

For benchmarking, Julia Wick has 13.9K followers and Erika D. Smith has 11.5K followers respectively on Twitter.  All of them performed well.  

And Rick Caruso seemed well prepared.  At one point, he fired back at Erika D. Smith of the Los Angeles Times who had asked him about USC, quipping that the LA Times, her paper, had praised Caruso for handling the scandals.  The same paper that described a new fitness concept club, where membership is by application only, as an "Equinox meets Soho House, with a splash of WeWork."  

It's not the b-ball courts in Watts, where Rick and Tina Caruso have been supporting a food vendor who managed to send his kids to college at Northeastern, but no pain, no gain.  

The line of the night went to Frank Stoltze, KPCC's designated guy who has been on the beat for decades yet still seem slightly interested. He told Caruso that he was looking forward to a bacon-wrapped hotdog outside of the Grove! 

Caruso shrugged, and stood my his remarks that he supported street vendors, "we do it" he said.  

Bass scowled, "Pffft." 

One wiseass (me) suggested a good way to end the Abortion discussion would be for Caruso's team who do not have to give me credit on this one, Issue a PRESS RELEASE from the CarusoCan campaign: Re Women's Rights! 

As of Monday, FREE Abortions will be provided at The Grove, The Americana and Palisades Village.  

-30- 

cc Ethics Commission 

Rules

The new state rules will take effect Friday, lifting the mask-wearing requirement at correctional facilities, homeless and emergency shelters and in cooling centers. No word when City Hall will end the charade of their inhibitory mask requirement. cc Rob Bonta 

One public speaker sugar coated it on Tuesday, "The pandemic is over... there are no pretexts left for this spurious state of emergency... you are power-mad tyrants." 

After a brisk discussion of how only 25% of the shelters are going to have digital, and the "city can adjust luminosity" Paul Koretz asked to speak to the Assistant City Attorney, Ted Jordan. 

Mr. Jordan, who should check with John Wickham about a good barber, answered the questions with this final stinger: There's "always a chance an opponent could challenge our determination. Obviously."

Right.  

Kevin de León, wanted to ensure that the data that the bus shelters will collect, would not be collecting information that is too personal.  He specified, like not "your FICO score, your physical attributes, and consumer tastes."   

"Of course not," the city staffer cooed.  

DeLeon wanted to ensure that the regular monthly reports on the sticky equity issue would be happening.  

"Absolutely." 

When it came time for the mockery of a vote on the legal settlements section, because the public is denied any opportunity to comment before or during consideration, Mike Bonin opted to vote "no" on the rejection of two settlement offers, item 26 and 27.  

How can an agency vote on something that is never disclosed? It simply makes no sense.  

When the settlement is accepted, they disclose, so they should also disclose when it's not. Right? cc Rob Bonta 

Coming through the claims board soon are matters that raise serious questions about who is driving (Paul Krekorian). 

Coming soon.... the weirdest / meanest story of the year, in which an officer who worked in the media relations division of LAPD with Josh Rubenstein, alleged that he was forced to turn off the Spanish television newscast and eventually was banned from speaking Spanish at work.  rufkm 

This presented major problems as his job was gathering the Spanish-language news.  When he complained about discriminatory Spanish television censorship, his boss wanted the TVs off during non-news hours.  He alleged he encountered what seems like farfetched discriminatory animus,  and an English-only language restriction in the office.  Also, he alleged repeated acts of retaliation, including they took his car. (Sometimes referred to as a "Patty Giggans") 

Plaintiff continues to suffer humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, mental anguish, and emotional distress.  cc Rob Bonta 

On or about February 29, 2020, Plaintiff PAUL OH, while riding his bicycle on N. Zoo Drive, claimant's front bicycle tire was caught in a pothole, causing him to lose control and hit the curb.  As a result, the claimant was thrown off the bicycle, crashing into the signpost. This incident caused Plaintiff to sustain severe bodily injuries. As a proximate result of this incident. Plaintiff PAUL OH has sustained permanent physical and emotional injuries as more fully alleged herein.    

Horrible. 

And there was another bicycle accident that hit close to home. A Plaintiff was riding his bicycle southbound on Sepulveda Blvd. when all of a sudden the wheel of Plaintiff's bike fell into fee exposed pothole and/or crack in fee roadway. This caused Plaintiff to fall and sustain serious injuries.  Sound familiar...we will always remember and never forget: Los Angeles OKs $6.5 million to settle a lawsuit after cyclist hit a pothole

Staffer B John Lee adjourned in memory of David Lacey, the husband of former District Attorney Jackie Lacie. He recently passed from pancreatic cancer. Before joining the DA, he worked as an auditor and was stationed in the bureau of investigation of complex fraud and elderly fraud at DA. He's the guy who came to Jackie's door in his undies with a hand gun. RIP 

One wonders if the current District Attorney and his public integrity division will ever do anything about the Brown Act abuse, here.  

The County Board has agreed to start meeting publicly as of 09/27/22 ... so that's one good thing, but only with 100  constituents (first come, first served). 

The restriction is not scientific. 

90 minutes of Public Comment on Regular Agenda items and general public comment will be taken, per the new rules.   

Though there are 10 million county residents, occupancy is strategically limited to 100 members of the public. Previous first come, first served plans resulted in 'staff handpicking." 

"All in attendance, "please wear a mask." 

[What does this mean? Optional like everywhere else on the planet except an operating room?] 

Speaking times: 

  • 1 min for one item 
  • 2 mins for multiple items
  • 3 mins total for multiple items and general public comment 

Additional time for Public Hearing items on the last Regular Meeting of the month.  

  • 1 min for one item 
  • 2 mins for multiple items 

FAQ:  If a speaker wants to give a general public comment, can the speaker have up to three minutes? [eyes narrowing]

If there are ten different public hearing items, why only two minutes?  

Below is a one-line list of agenda items for Tuesday's upcoming county board agenda. It would take approximately three minutes to read the 667 word summary long as a typical LA Times Oped.  To read the entire agenda would take more than two hours. 

List of Items For Tuesday's agenda:

Set Matter 1           American Rescue Plan Funding Report         

Set Matter 2           Public Health Orders 

  1. Hearing on Annexation and Levying of Sewer Service Charges within Unincorporated Territories and Cities 
  2. Hearing to Codify the Treasurer Tax Collector and the Los Angeles County Development Authority Fees of Tax-Defaulted Properties 
  3. Hearing on Appeal of Project No. 2019-000181-(1),Residential Condominium Development in the Community of Hacienda Heights 
  4. Hearing on Appeal of Project No. 2016-002560-(3) New Single-Family Residence in the Santa Monica Mountains Planning Area 
  5. Hearing on Project No. 2019-001054-(1), for an Automatic Car Wash in the Unincorporated Community of Avocado Heights 
  6. Hearing on Project No. PRJ2020-000246-(1-5) for the Oil Well Ordinance 
  7. Appointments to Commissions/Committees/Special Districts 
  8. Condemning Azerbaijan’s Unprovoked Military Attack on Armenia 
  9. Exploring Models for a Secure Mental Health Treatment Facility 
  10. Supplemental Paid Leave for Monkeypox and COVID-19 
  11. Commemorating 20 Years of Expanding Equity in Arts Education 
  12. Proclaiming September 2022 as “Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month” 
  13. Proclaiming October 2022 as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” 
  14. Addressing the Mental Health Crisis in Los Angeles County: Developing Mental Health Care Facilities to Help Depopulate the Jail 
  15. COVID-19 Memorial: Remembering Angelenos 
  16. Opposing Senator Lindsey Graham’s Nationwide 15-Week Abortion Ban 
  17. Support Rent Relief Act of 2022 - House Resolution 8357 
  18. Proclaiming “Hispanic Heritage Month” in Los Angeles County 
  19. Supporting the Programming and Transition of Secure Track Youth to Campus Kilpatrick 
  20. Establish a Reward Offer in the Investigation of the Murder of Joshua Nieto 
  21. Reestablish the Reward Offer in the Investigation of the Murder of Estephan Hernandez Expand
  22. Reestablish the Reward Offer in the Investigation of the Murders of Erin Lavender and Dalelaja Hearn 
  23. 35th Annual Productivity and Quality Awards 
  24. Strengthening Permanent Protections for Unincorporated LA County in Response to Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Crisis 
  25. Enhancing Biodiversity and Saving Water with Native Plants at County Facilities 
  26. Creating a Sexual Assault Council in Los Angeles County to Support Survivors and Prevent Sexual Violence
  27. Sustainably Expanding Eviction Defense Services in Los Angeles County 
  28. Care First, Jails Last: Advancing the County’s Care First Jails Last Priorities 
  29. Memorandum of Understanding for California Assessors’ Information Technology Grant Program 
  30. Developing an Opt-In Model for the County’s Land Bank Pilot Program 
  31. Declaring September 2022 as “Senior Center Month” in Los Angeles County 
  32. Proclaiming National “Fire Prevention Month” 
  33. West High School Surf Class Fee Waiver 
  34. Findings to Continue Teleconference Meetings Under Assembly Bill 361 and Related Actions 
  35. Conveyance of County Owned Real Property to the City of La Cañada Flintridge
  36. Affordable Housing Project Exclusive Negotiation Agreement 
  37. Department of Public Social Services Lease Renewal 
  38. Department of Public Health Lease Renewal 
  39. Refugee Employment and Acculturation Services Contract 
  40. Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program Grant Funding Contracts
  41. Novel Coronavirus-2019 Sole Source Service Contracts and a Master Agreement Work Order 
  42. Restaurant Facility at Will Rogers State Beach Option to Concession Agreement 
  43. Report on Emergency Mobility Options in Santa Clarita Valley
  44. Tissue Collection Services Agreement 
  45. Los Angeles Network for Enhanced Services Data Exchange Participation Agreement 
  46. Resentencing Pilot Program for Fiscal Year 2022-23 Grant Funds 
  47. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection - California Climate Investments Fire Prevention Grant Awards 
  48. Rescind the Juvenile Institutions Services Hiring Freeze 
  49. Testing Materials for Probation Officer Classifications Sole Source Contract 
  50. Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp Services Agreement 
  51. Inmate Telephone System and Services Sole Source Agreement Amendment 
  52. County Code, Title 5 - Personnel and Title 6 - Salaries Amendments
  53. County Code, Title 5 - Personnel Amendment 
  54. County Code, Title 6 - Salaries Amendment 
  55. County Code, Title 6 - Salaries Amendment 
  56. Settlement of the Matter Entitled, Claim of Jennifer Hunt 
  57. Cerritos Community College District Election 
  58. City of Claremont Election 
  59. Compton Unified School District Election 
  60. City of Cudahy Election 
  61. Downey Unified School District Election 
  62. Eastside Union School District Election 
  63. City of El Segundo Election 
  64. City of Inglewood Election 
  65. City of Lynwood Election 
  66. City of Montebello Election 
  67. Palmdale School District Election 
  68. City of Pico Rivera Election 
  69. City of South El Monte Election 
  70. Appointment of the Interim Director of the Justice, Care and Opportunities Department 
  71. Issuance and Sale of General Obligation Bonds

1-D.          El Nuevo Amanecer Housing Development Project  

2-D.          Affordable Housing Project Exclusive Negotiation Agreement 

CS-1.CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATORS         

Public Comment 

Rob Bonta: The County Forest

The public integrity division, which is charged with protecting the right for the public to redress grievances through the Brown Act, has looked away from more than two years of wholesale violations (tap mic)  is this on?    

One of the central tenets of watchdog journalism or Robin Hoodism is to go upstairs when you are turned away at the door. If the Castle gate shuts in your face, after a reasonable amount of knocking, you simply need to scale the tower and slip through an upper window. 

Rob Bonta's passion for justice and fairness is why he became a lawyer — to help right historic wrongs and fight for people who have been harmed.  He cut his eye teeth as a city attorney in San Francisco, back when Paul Koretz would ride up there for the weekend.  His dog is named Legolas, probably after the elven character with the long blonde hair in Lord of the Rings.   

He was very good with a bow and arrow. The Legolas, not Bonta's dog. 

Actually, one of the most rewarding and enduring friendships in The Lord of the Rings is between Legolas and Gimli. This friendship is actually a big deal because it’s a symbolic friendship that speaks to healing the rift between elves and dwarves.   

Legolas, lived for thousands of years, so his understanding of how the world works and the nature of living things is much deeper and more vast than many others in the party, sort of like Sheila Kuehl. 

Rob Bonta is wading into the county muck as we speak. Hopefully, he'll remember that Californians, "...construe the Brown Act liberally to accomplish its purpose, and “suppress the mischief at which it is directed.”  (emphasis) 

Feel free to ask questions, Mr. Bonta. We know you are thorough. 

As Legolas famously said, and it could be said of the county forest, for sure, "This forest is old, very old. Full of memories... and anger." 

This week,  the Board of Supervisors botched public comment badly. Their call-in number, though the same for closed sessions all year, was mysteriously not working.   

I scaled the tower, but no other speakers other than Genevieve Claveurel got through. It was interesting and disturbing to see Vanessa Bryant and Christopher Chester who sued L.A. County, accusing it of improperly sharing graphic photos of their loves ones on the agenda. 

I wonder if Rob Bonta will scan the Skip Miller Conflict of Interest in there.  A lawyer can't attack the Sheriff on Monday (since the day he was elected) and defend him on Wednesday (presiding over his $35 million dollar legal defeat by Bryant)  can he or she?  

The County also went in the back to discuss labor relations. Coalition of County Unions, AFL-CIO; Local 721, SEIU; All affiliated member unions of AFSCME Council 36; Association of Deputy District Attorneys; Los Angeles County Association of Environmental Health Specialists; Los Angeles County Public Defenders. 

In corresponding 3rd District, Studio City Union news, UNITE HERE has come out against converting a lovely old hotel into 535 very expensive rental housing units on the corner of  Coldwater and Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, with 65 reserved as lower-income units.  

Sportsman's Lodge Hotel has a new champion, who are opposed to the Residences. 

The main and only purpose is to enrich The Related Co. and Richard Weintraub, who among other things... is an a&&hole developer.

Google; Villa contenta. 

The union has come to recognize the value of the old classy hotel for which,Ken Bernstein, wrote the ordinance to have it protected.

Bernstein is a Principal City Planner for the City of Los Angeles and a national advocate for historic preservation.   

The fine work of Steve Afriat working closely with various city elves, allowed the designation to lapse.  

 I'll dig it up, his write-up.  It's a masterpiece. 


CEASE AND DESIST & BONUS CURE AND CORRECT DEMAND: 

September 21, 2022

City of Los Angeles, 

City Council c/o Holly L. Wolcott 

City Clerk of Los Angeles 

200 N. Spring Street, Room 360 

Los Angeles, CA 90012  

 

Dear City Council Members: 

The City of Los Angeles’ habitually violates Govt. Code Sections relating to the Brown Act.  I am writing to demand that The City of Los Angeles City Council and its committees cease and desist from violating Govt. Code Sections 54954.2, 54955 and 54956, 54954.2(a)(2), as well as Section 54960.   

On Friday September 16, 2022 following the close of public comment, after the seven agendized items mostly land use in CD5, CD10, CD13 and one minor CEQA victory in Studio City (thanks to Judge Strobel), had been voted upon Council member Kevin DeLeon initiated an unagendized discussion.  

DeLeon started by bringing up the recent LAHSA Homeless count and developed the discussion to include a tiny home absconder from Glendale (not on the agenda) and then after a spirited discussion with other council members on those subjects, handed off to Paul Krekorian who initiated a conversation about the unagendized activities of Azerbaijani Turks perpetrated against Armenia. Mitchell O'Farrell also raised several subjects not on the agenda, including the fentanyl drug crisis and a specific incident at Bernstein elementary. Gilbert Cedillo, who called out members of the public who critiqued him (prohibited by the Act) rose several times to lecture on how the pandemic had made Angelenos very angry.   

These violations were duly noted in the press. [Disclosure: by me.]  

DISCUSSION:

Two key provisions of the Brown Act that ensure that the public's business is conducted openly are the requirements that legislative bodies post agendas prior to their meetings and that no action or discussion may occur on items or subjects not listed on the posted agenda.  

 If the meeting is a “regular meeting” of the legislative body the agenda must be posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting for “special meetings,” the “call” of the meeting and the agenda must be posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.   

A body may not take action or discuss any item that does not appear on the posted agenda.  There are some limited exceptions to the no discussion on non-agenda items rule.   

Those exceptions are:   

-Members of the legislative body or staff may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by persons during public comment periods.  

-Members or staff may ask questions for clarification and provide a reference to staff or other resources for factual information.  

-Members or staff may make a brief announcement, ask a question or make a brief report on his or her own activities.  

-Members may, request staff to report back to the legislative body at a subsequent meeting concerning any matter; and The legislative body may itself as a body take action to direct staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda.   

The body may not discuss non-agenda items to any significant degree under these exceptions. The comments must be brief.   

These exceptions do not allow long or wide-ranging question and answer sessions between the public and city council or between legislative body and staff.   

When the body is considering whether to direct staff to add an item to a subsequent agenda, these exceptions do not allow the body to discuss the merits of the matter or to engage in a debate about the underlying issue.   

CEASE AND DESIST & BONUS CURE AND CORRECT DEMAND: 

I demand that the City of Los Angeles including its committees both unconditionally promise to cease and desist and actually cease and desist from repeating the illegally taken action(s) described in this email.   

I also demand that the City “cure and correct” these violations by separately agendizing within two weeks of this notice: 

-LAHSAHomelesscount,   

-Tiny-homeAbsconders,  

-Azerbaijani-Armenia conflict,   

-Fentanyl drug crisis,  

-LAUSD Security,  

-Public Anger  

-“Why CMs don’t respond to public comments”     

If the agency replies within a designated time, cures and corrects the violations and disavows the practice, no lawsuit may be initiated.     

I also demand that the City of Los Angele cover attorney fees and costs.    

Thank you.    

Eric Preven              

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch)