What would you do if you got a parking ticket for feeding the meter on Hollywood Boulevard? Pay it? Complain about it to your friends? Yell at the parking enforcement person? Not if you’re Evan Kaizer, President and CEO of the Sieroty Company! In that case you get your personal lobbyist and shill, Kerry Morrison, to email the freaking chief executive of LADOT, Seleta Reynolds, to complain on your behalf,1 hinting in her most inimitable manner that NO FAIR!!!!
Hi Seleta — it’s been awhile, [sic] but I thought I’d go straight to the top to find out who I can talk to for some information I can share with our community.
We recently moved into the middle of Hollywood Blvd — into a retail storefront. I hope you can stop by and see us sometime! We call this the “mid-BID”2 — and it’s the section of the Boulevard that still suffers from the doldrums.3
That said, we have a lot of meetings in our office, and in the past several of weeks, [sic] we’ve had a couple of people get tickets for parking at a meter beyond the two hour timeframe. In these two cases, the person ran out to put a few more quarters in the meter to buy some time, and when they went out, there was a ticket for violating the two hour time. (So, it was not an expired meter.)4
Well, the big news here is not that zillionaires don’t know that meter feeding is illegal. Even a lot of non-zillionaires don’t know.5 The big news is not even that zillionaires are too cheap to park around back on Schrader or Cherokee for $10 like everyone else who’s going to hang around the Boulevard for more than two hours or that they’re too cheap to get their zillionaires’ club, the HPOA, to freaking validate parking for them. The big news is not even that Kerry Morrison somehow thinks it’s OK to involve the freaking General Manager of the freaking Los Angeles Freaking Department of Transportation in a freaking PARKING TICKET problem; zillionaires naturally think their problems are so sensitive and important that they can only be handled by the boss.
The big news, friends, is that Seleta Reynolds actually did handle the complaint. She instructed her subordinate, Bruce Gillman, to write to Kerry and smooth the ruffled feathers and so on. The tickets didn’t get fixed, and we suppose that marks some progress for this formerly corrupt city of ours, but emails were exchanged for over a month on the subject. How many parking ticket complaints made by non-zillionaires get that kind of sustained attention, we wonder. From now on, we’re writing to Seleta with all our parking ticket woes, and we encourage you to do the same, fellow Angelenos. Here’s her contact information:
You can tell her we sent you. Meanwhile, read below the fold to find out what this has to do with zillionaire paranoiac delusions about food trucks and more hypocrisy about small businesses.
After Kerry Morrison had accepted her fate, admitted6 that she that she too habitually feeds meters in defiance of the law,7 accepted that her Board members had actually broken the law, accepted the fact that the tickets weren’t fixable, she jumped straight down the zillionaire-paranoia rabbit hole:
I have one more question — because I know we will be asked.8 We have situations with food trucks/carts (more of a problem) and tour busses (less of a problem) parking at one spot for extended periods of time.9 The question is asked10 — if they get one ticket (which is arguably the cost of “rent”11 for one day — or $70 or so) will they get subsequent tickets for staying at the same spot? Otherwise, a $70 daily “expense” to run a business from the curb, rather than paying rent/taxes12 and the like at the adjacent storefront is far more lucrative. I often get stopped by restaurant owners very frustrated by this situation, and I’m wondering how our DOT parking enforcement people are handling this?13
This is a particularly rich example of the way that Kerry Morrison’s personal concerns about civic law and order end up influencing the policies and actions of the HPOA. It’s true that restaurant owners hate food trucks, but, according to Bruce Gillman, and we have no reason to doubt this, the business owners along the Boulevard also hate meter feeders:
What has recently changed in the Hollywood Business District is the direction we have provided to traffic officers assigned to the Hollywood Area Office. These officers were directed to enhance their enforcement effort of this ordinance due to the number of complaints we have received from businesses in the area. Several business owners were becoming increasingly frustrated with the large number of area employees that “feed” the meters and park for extended periods of time, which hampers the ability of potential customers to locate convenient parking.
We have to wonder: what actually is the chance that Kerry Morrison “…often get[s] stopped by restaurant owners very frustrated by…” food trucks but has NEVER gotten stopped by business owners frustrated by meter feeders? If they had expressed their concerns about meter feeding to her, she would have known it was illegal, so either they haven’t, which seems unlikely if the food truck story is accurate, or else she didn’t listen to them because the problem of meter feeding didn’t fit in with her neurotic vendetta against food trucks or another one of her obsessions.
This is important because Kerry Morrison14 habitually and falsely claims that she and her BIDs represent business owners. For instance, last year at the street vending meetings she said about the HPOA that “[w]e also represent many, many small businesses as well.” But that’s not true. Her BIDs represent property owners first.15 Business owners are only a smoke screen because the zillionaire owners of the buildings on Hollywood Boulevard are not sympathetic to anyone.16 This conflicted, contradictory story about frustrated restaurant owners supplies even more evidence that their expressed concern for business owners is nothing more than an expedient misrepresentation. Stir that in with the unholy sense of privilege that leads someone to complain to freaking Seleta Reynolds about a parking ticket and we have a microcosm of the whole horrid world of business improvement districts.
Image of LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds is a public record and we got it from here.
- Or maybe Kerry Morrison does it on her own, to please you, or out of a sense of what’s just and fair. It’s hard to say from the evidence in the email.
- On March 17, at the HPOA Board of Directors Meeting, tough-guy director Galo Medina told Kerry explicitly to stop using the phrase “mid-BID.” At the time of this email, six days later, she evidently had not gotten the message. Recently she’s taken to passive-aggressive muttering along the lines of “we’ll have to think of a name for it.” Life’s tough, friends, tougher than you know.
- It’s impossible to be sure, but we believe she’s referring to sexy underwear stores. She was going on about this in the same conversation on March 17 where she was instructed not to use the phrase ‘mid-BID” any longer.
- This is the big hint: NO FAIR!!! MOMMY MAKE IT ALL BETTER!!!
- Although we will note that that linked-to article was from 2008, which was a long time ago, friends. And we will note that in an informal poll of 12 of our close personal friends and neighbors who were awake this morning, 8 of them knew this was illegal, even though 100% of them admitted to doing it.
- In what is beginning to seem like an endless series of confessions-without-consequences; see here, and yet again here
- “…all of us, myself included, have had the experience of feeding a meter to buy more time because you are still in a meeting, in a restaurant, etc.”
- Note the deflection here. What follows are not her paranoid delusions about NO-FAIR-ness; she’s just an impartial conduit of information. This is, at best, unlikely to be true. Food trucks in Hollywood are, like street characters, an especially crazy concern of Kerry’s.
- Underline in original.
- Kerry, you just said it was GOING to be asked. Keep it straight. Also, the use of the passive voice here shows that the pretense of neutral information conduit is beginning to slip away. This is Kerry Morrison’s question being asked here. These are Kerry Morrison’s obsessive concerns being expressed.
- Here’s a little exercise in zillionaire paranoid rhetorical tropes: What’s the function of these scare quotes and the subsequent ones around “expense”? We’d guess they’re more delegitimization of the very existence of food truck operators. They don’t pay rent, they don’t have expenses, all their money is ill-gotten gains and WHY AREN’T THEY BEING ARRESTED!?
- See? Here she’s talking about rent and taxes that are paid by businesses in storefronts and there are no scare quotes. Also, note how she glides over the fact that food truck operators also pay taxes, not to mention permit fees and so forth.
- Recall that at the beginning of this rant, Kerry Morrison represented her question to be hypothetical, neutral, because “I know we will be asked.” By the end, though, she’s dropped the pretense and admitted that this is actually a concern of her own.
- And other property-based BID representatives; this is a lie that all of them are happy to tell.
- And her neurotic obsessions second, where they don’t conflict with the interests of property owners.
- Probably not even to their moms at this point, although we don’t have proof of that.