Last month we reported on a fascinating situation wherein Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Board member Evan Kaizer didn’t understand the parking laws of the City he purports to be a citizen of, got himself a ticket on Hollywood Boulevard, and instead of just sucking it up and trying, in the future, to follow the freaking parking laws like everyone else he got Kerry Morrison to email freaking Seleta Reynolds, top turtle over at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation1 hinting around that NO FAIR!!
Well, the ticket didn’t get fixed,2 but Kerry Morrison, being the politically adept Machiavellianess that she is, began the process of straw-into-gold spinning for which she’s (justly?) famous when she asked Bruce Gillman, LADOT Communications Boss, about why didn’t food trucks, which, for some reason that we’re sure is clear to her and her theraputic team, she hates with a hatred that surpasseth understanding, get bunches of tickets for parking in the same place all day cause that’s also NO FAIR!!3 That all went down in March, but in his inimitably dogged manner, our faithful correspondent has continued to investigate, and he’s turned up a couple more emails on the subject. In particular, on June 20, 2016, a mere five days ago, Bruce Gillman wrote to Kerry Morrison, saying:
FYI: Regarding the issue of citing food trucks more often, or `escalating fines’ for repeat offender, the LAMC and CA CVC would have to be amended, as they limit citations for vehicles to one ticket per offense, per day. Looping in our Chief and Deputy Chief of Parking Enforcement: Greg Savelli and Brian Hale respectively.
In the reality-based community, if people heard that they’d have to amend the state vehicle code and the Los Angeles municipal code for such a relatively trivial purpose, they’d realize that it would be incredibly disproportionate to the problem, like instituting the death penalty for shoving on sidewalks just to keep Spiderman away from Hollywood and Highland,4 and then move on to something else. But that’s not what’s happening here. Bruce Gillman copies in more officials who, we suppose, are meant to help Kerry Morrison rewrite everything to achieve her end. We wouldn’t be surprised if, next month, we’re reporting that they’ve moved on to amending the state constitution just so she can get food trucks off the Boulevard.
And she hates food trucks on Hollywood Boulevard even though everyone else but a few whiny restaurant owners loves and celebrates them. Even though Los Angeles is world-famous for its food truck culture, and has actually built an industry out of food-truckery which exports its products and know-how across the United States and maybe the world, enhancing our local economy significantly in the process, she still hates them. They offend her sense of order.5
Anyway, Kerry Morrison hates food trucks. But she’s not trying to get food trucks regulated. Instead now she’s moved on to trying to get the Los Angeles Municipal Code and the freaking California Vehicle Code amended to allow cops to give food trucks multiple tickets per day. Those laws have been on the books forever, though. Laws that old are certainly the product of an ongoing process of negotiations between multiple competing interests over time. They have innumerable layers of compromise and discussion embedded into them in ways which make them very hard to modify without disturbing long-lasting equilibriums. One doesn’t change laws lightly; unexpected consequences lurk everywhere. Ignoring the gravity of the law6 in favor of short-term fixes for trivial problems like being offended by food trucks, is almost certainly a bad idea. The idea of changing this general principle of equity, that one can only get one parking ticket per day per offense, which must solve problems of which we’re not even aware any more, just to be able to punish food truck operators, is incredibly disproportionate. The idea that it should be changed, that it can be changed, for such trivial reasons, just whimsically, without any thought for the consequences, is incredibly arrogant.
And yet it’s not uncharacteristic. For instance, we’ve noted Kerry Morrison’s repeated attempts to use intellectual property law to thwart street characters. Intellectual property law was written into the United States Constitution by the founders “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” not to allow a bunch of zillionaires to have Spiderman arrested.
Even more on point is the the 1948 attempt of Kerry Morrison’s former employer the California Association of Realtors7 to freaking amend the United States Constitution just to prevent negroes8 from moving to the Hollywood Hills or wherever. These people, and Kerry Morrison is firmly in their tradition here, take no thought at all for the implications and consequences of their strategies. They find a target for their anger, negroes, street characters, food truck operators, and then try to rewrite law that’s been settled for decades, centuries, in some cases almost millenia,9 for no reason other than to give them another tool to attack their targets. It’s so short-sighted, so ineffably ignorant, so harmful to the law, one of our most valuable public legacies, and yet it’s…forget it, Jake, it’s Hollywood.
Image of Bruce Gillman is a public record and we got it straight outta LADOT.
- We were going to link to ladot.lacity.org for those readers who don’t know what they do over there, but we found it to be impossible because they have a freaking autoplay video on their landing page which features a cop screaming out of your speakers unexpectedly just like everyone on the whole freaking web learned in freaking 1994 about 30 seconds after Mosaic was invented NEVER TO DO EVER! Can does not freaking imply should, LADOT web designers.
- When Mike went in to the LADOT office to read some related emails, he met Bruce Gillman, who struck him as extraordinarily decent. However, Mr. Gillman assured him repeatedly that Evan Kaizer had paid his ticket, something no one had ever doubted. The immortal words of Albert Einstein about protesting too much come to mind, but we have too much literary restraint to quote them. Mr. Gillman also knew a suspicious amount of personal information about Mike, leading everyone to believe that he and Kerry Morrison had been talking out of school. ‘Twouldn’t be the first time.
- Her contempt for food trucks is matched only by her inexplicably white-hot hatred for street characters, who she has repeatedly insisted increase the risk of freaking TERRORISM!!
- Although we would in no way be surprised to discover that this idea has been batted around the old HPOA office. It’s the kind of thing they might fervently wish for but somehow know, or get told by their PR firm, anyway, that it wouldn’t reflect well on them were they to propose it publicly.
- Business improvement districts will claim to defend the interests of businesses in their districts. This is not generally true, though. First because they’re often property-based, which means they put the interests of the property owners over the interests of the businesses who are the customers of those owners. More importantly in this case, though, because it was business owners who convinced LADOT to step up enforcement against meter-feeding on Hollywood Boulevard because it interferes with the free flow of their customers. Kerry Morrison has no interest in enhancing enforcement of parking laws just because businesses want it; that interferes with a superordinate interest of hers, which is mollifying her spoiled-rotten board members. So even though she claims to be backing business owners in her fight against food trucks, this can’t actually be the reason. In fact, it might be that she hates them because they allow businesses to operate without leasing property from property owners, which has got to be disconcerting for people in the property business.
- We are not being sarcastic when we talk about the gravity of the law. Even the gravity of parking laws.
- Formerly known as the California Real Estate Association. Technically we ought to write REALTORS®, but we’re just not.
- As they used to say in 1948
- We’re not exaggerating here. The first English law, Edward II‘s Statute de Praerogativa Regis, allowing some of people’s rights to be abrogated if they were found to be “lunatics” dates from 1324, and our current laws on mental illness and civil rights have evolved through seven centuries of debate, negotiation, compromise, and so on, from this starting point. Kerry Morrison has repeatedly proposed to make sweeping changes in this tradition without displaying any consciousness of the history or meaning of what she’s messing with merely for the purpose of making it easier to get 5150 holds on homeless people who are upsetting her by lying on sidewalks. We hope to write extensively on this in the future.