Tag Archives: Joe Mariani

The Actual Mechanism By Which Suzanne Holley And The Central City Association Strangled The Incipient Street Vending Ordinance In Its Cradle By Sneaking In Unilateral Councilmember Opt-Out On Behalf Of BIDs, The Role In This Debacle Played By Criminal Conspirators Jessica Borek and Matt Rodriguez, And How The Council Messaged It To BIDs

The Wicked Witch of the Southeast corner of Wilshire and Hope giving instructions to her flying monkeys.
Recall that I’ve been tracking the hysterical, irrational opposition of LA’s business improvement districts to the ongoing process of legalizing (some aspects of) street vending in the City since the Spring of 2015. A truly astonishing level of bitching and moaning in 2015 stalled out the whole process for most of 2016 because, I believe, everyone was too freaking sick of the whining and the carefully orchestrated lying on any number of occasions and the City just needed a rest.
A man arrested, transported, and handcuffed to a bench by the Andrews International BID Patrol in Hollywood for selling umbrellas on the street. At least it appears that this horror show is over, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there are even more loopholes and it’s not over at all.
Until the November election of Donald Trump and his subsequent threats to deport essentially anyone, U.S. citizen or not, who’d ever smiled while thinking of eating a taco spurred the Council into action on at least the small part (small but in no way insignificant) of the plan to decriminalize illegal street vending so that, no matter how much trouble the zillionaires might cause the heladeros, at least they wouldn’t be subject to arrest and subsequent deportation. That bit seemed urgent enough to pass Council outright, and even the anti-vending forces of the zillionaire elite seemed to realize that they were just going to be exposed as the nasty little mean creeps that they are if they fought back on this particular issue. However, the Council put off acting on an actual legalization framework until later.

But recall, as I reported in January, the instructions for the report-back were altered from the original, and quite sensible,1 request for

A process to create special vending districts to be initiated by Council, the Board of Public Works, or petition (with signatures from 20 percent of property owners or businesses in the proposed district), based on legitimate public health, safety and welfare concerns that are unique to specific neighborhoods with special circumstances.

to a request for language

Providing the City Council the ability to opt out of certain streets by Council action.

At that time I didn’t understand yet how this had all taken place, but now I’ve accumulated enough documentary evidence that it’s possible to sketch out a picture. The short version is that in December 2016, Suzanne Holley, at that time acting Executive Director2 of the Schatzian horror show known as the Central City Association of Los Angeles, wrote a letter to the City Council telling them to make the change. This was distributed to the BIDs via the BID Consortium. They all told their pet Councilmembers to change it. It got changed, and all the BIDs rejoiced, some of them quite publicly. The consequences of this are going to be horrific, and whatever street vending framework gets put in place will be DOA. Details and evidence after the break.
Continue reading The Actual Mechanism By Which Suzanne Holley And The Central City Association Strangled The Incipient Street Vending Ordinance In Its Cradle By Sneaking In Unilateral Councilmember Opt-Out On Behalf Of BIDs, The Role In This Debacle Played By Criminal Conspirators Jessica Borek and Matt Rodriguez, And How The Council Messaged It To BIDs

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Sneaky Shit-Sneakers Sneakily Sneak Sneaky Shit Into Current Version Of Street Vending Legalization Process, Setting The Stage For Continued Persecution of Vendors in Business Improvement Districts

Yum, danger dogs!
So today the City Council moved forward with CF 13-1493, which, of course, is the famed street vending thing. For a good, objective,1 discussion of today’s developments, take a look at this article in today’s Times by the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes.2 This is just a brief post to note the fact that the various anti-human opponents of legalized street vending won a major, seemingly unnoticed by anyone but me, victory via amendment in the current version of the motion.

Today’s motion doesn’t actually legalize street vending. What it does is direct the City Attorney, the Chief Legislative Analyst, and the City Administrative Officer to put together a proposed ordinance. This was to be based on this detailed set of recommendations from the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee report. This report was amended in Council today before being adopted, and at least two of the amended recommendations are quite sneaky, and, I predict, will undermine the future ordinance in quite underhanded ways that will please business improvement districts and other business interests who have been working tirelessly to keep street vending illegal for years now. See the details and some3 predictions after the break.
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How to Call Someone an Asshole in Kerrymorrisonese

Kerry Morrison on Vine Street.
Ms. Kerry Morrison on Vine Street.
One of the pleasures, one of the pains, of intensively researching the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is that I have to read hundreds upon hundreds of pages of HPOA Exec. Direc. Ms. Kerry Morrison’s smug, privileged prose. It’s painful not just due to her smugness, but to her tacit insistence that she’s an expert on homelessness and everything else, her hypocritical alternation between whining about government and soliciting special favors from the government, her advocacy of arresting homeless people over and over and over again for breaking even the most inconsequential of laws while she herself masterminds ongoing criminal conspiracies, and so on.

The pleasure comes from the same source that mastery of any complex esoteric field of knowledge brings pleasure. From intense close reading and rereading of the complete works of Ms. Kerry Morrison, I’ve not only realized that she speaks a separate, unique language (which we affectionately refer to as Kerrymorrisonese),1 in which the syntax and the vocabulary are identical to Standard American English, but the semantics is wildly divergent, but I’ve begun to master this idiolect and I’m here to share my knowledge with you. Tonight’s post is meant to be the first installment of a translation rubric. A phrasebook, if you will. I hope it will be useful to you, intrepid student of the fascinating subject that is Ms. Kerry Morrison!
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That Time in 2012 When Kerry Morrison’s OCD Street Character Rage Incited Rabid, Frothing-at-Mouth Angry White Property Owning “Bull[ies]” to Attack Jane Ellison Usher and Tamar Galatzan with “Repeated Kicks to the Head”

Kerry Morrison in 2012 explaining to Jane Ellison Usher why it's so important to get rid of street characters in Hollywood.
Kerry Morrison in 2012 explaining to Jane Ellison Usher why it’s so important to get rid of street characters in Hollywood.
Last month we broke the story of Kerry Morrison’s insistence that street characters on Hollywood Blvd. must be outlawed to curb terrorism while carving out a performative exception for the Ku Klux Klan’s Hancock Park operations. One of the incidents described there was a terse summary from HPOA Board minutes about how some meeting was tense because the City Attorney’s office had “…dropped the ball…” and they walked out of the meeting (due to shame or something).
Jane Ellison Usher in May 2009, three years before the HPOA's receiving repeated kicks to the head from Kerry Morrison and bullying friends
Jane Ellison Usher in May 2009, three years before receiving “repeated kicks to the head” from Kerry Morrison and “bully[ing]” friends.

Well, we recognize a whitewashing when presented with one, so we directed our faithful correspondent to investigate further, and, with the assistance of ever-helpful Mike Dundas of the City Attorney’s office, he came up with this little gem right here, which is an email from Special Assistant City Attorney Jane Ellison Usher1 to Kerry Morrison, Joe Mariani, and Leron Gubler, taking them to task for allowing their psychotic crazed white property owner constituents to berate Ms. Usher and her colleague Tamar Galatzan2 over a perceived, albeit delusionally so, inaction with respect to the TERRORISM street character problem at Hollywood and Highland. Ms. Usher’s description is far, far more plausible than that of the anonymous minutes-taker quoted above and far, far less flattering to the crazed HPOA-ites than is their own description. In particular:
Continue reading That Time in 2012 When Kerry Morrison’s OCD Street Character Rage Incited Rabid, Frothing-at-Mouth Angry White Property Owning “Bull[ies]” to Attack Jane Ellison Usher and Tamar Galatzan with “Repeated Kicks to the Head”

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Zarcone Transferred from Hollywood to 77th Street Division, Late-Night BID Patrol Hours Torpedoed. Steve Seyler: “It Sort of Took us Off Our Mission…”

Steve Seyler at the March 8, 2016 CHC Board meeting, announcing that there will be no late-night BID Patrol.
Steve Seyler at the March 8, 2016 CHC Board meeting, announcing that there will be no late-night BID Patrol.

Recall that, at its Board meeting on February 18, 2016, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance spent over 40 minutes discussing LAPD’s request to have the BID Patrol work until 4 a.m. on weekends. Andrews International VP Bill Farrar recounted a meeting with CD13 representative Mitch O’Farrell, claiming that the CM was eager to cover the costs. This led me to write to O’Farrell opposing this plan. Now, at the Central Hollywood Coalition Board meeting that took place on Tuesday, March 8, Steve Seyler and Kerry Morrison announced that, not only are the plans to extend the BID Patrol’s hours cancelled, but Peter Zarcone, formerly CO of LAPD’s Hollywood Division, has been transferred to 77th Street.
Continue reading Zarcone Transferred from Hollywood to 77th Street Division, Late-Night BID Patrol Hours Torpedoed. Steve Seyler: “It Sort of Took us Off Our Mission…”

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LAPD Asks HPOA to Arrange for Late-Night BID Patrol Hours, HPOA Agrees to Pilot Program; Mitch O’Farrell Said to be Eager to Pay Costs. Also, Plans to Deputize BID Patrol May be in Works

Peter Zarcone at the February 18, 2016 meeting of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Board of Directors meeting.
Peter Zarcone at the February 18, 2016 meeting of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Board of Directors meeting.

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance met. The main topic of conversation was a request from LAPD Captain Peter Zarcone, commanding officer of Hollywood Station, to the BID to arrange for the BID Patrol to work until 4 a.m.1 The idea seems to be that this would relieve the LAPD somewhat. The HPOA has been in conversation with Mitch O’Farrell, who is said to be eager to pay for some or all of this project out of his discretionary funds. There was also a brief mention of plans to deputize the BID Patrol so that they would be able to issue citations. I will be writing much more about this, but I wanted to get it up here soonest, since it ended up taking far longer than I expected to transcribe the discussion, which went on for over forty minutes. You can see the first part beginning here, and it’s continued in the second part here. Transcription after the break.
Continue reading LAPD Asks HPOA to Arrange for Late-Night BID Patrol Hours, HPOA Agrees to Pilot Program; Mitch O’Farrell Said to be Eager to Pay Costs. Also, Plans to Deputize BID Patrol May be in Works

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Kerry Morrison Evidently Solicited Some Favor in October 2014 from LAPD on Behalf of Outlaw Developer CIM Group, Peter Zarcone and Deputy Chief Terry Hara Concerned to Avoid “[Creating] a Perception of [LAPD] Being in the Pocket of a Private Developer”

Politically astute LAPD deputy chief Terry Hara in 2006.
Politically astute LAPD deputy chief Terry Hara in 2006.
In October 2014, a judge revoked real estate developer CIM Group’s permits for their controversial Sunset/Gordon apartment building because they had willfully ignored a number of legal requirements. Within days of that decision, HPOA Executive director Kerry Morrison was emailing Hollywood LAPD Honcho Peter Zarcone with some kind of ask about the situation. Zarcone conferred with now-retired Deputy Chief Terry Hara and told Kerry that, while he wasn’t (yet) saying “no” to whatever Kerry was asking, he and Hara needed more information because they were concerned that saying “yes” would “create a perception of [LAPD] being in the pocket of a private developer.” He was right to have worried. The Sunset/Gordon project would go on to be the locus of a great deal of outlawry, and CIM Group is essentially an ongoing criminal conspiracy. I certainly hope the LAPD had the sense to stay out of it.

I only have this little snippet of the email chain, so I don’t yet know the favor Kerry was asking nor the outcome of the ask. I have requests out for the rest, though, and I’ll provide new information as it comes in. I will say that I’d prefer that the LAPD would be concerned more with the reality of not being in the pocket of a private developer than the perception of it, but maybe that’s idealistic. And I’d say that the fact that Kerry Morrison even felt free to ask him for anything on behalf of CIM shows that probably the LAPD essentially is already “…in the pocket of a private developer.” Why did she think that asking him would yield results if similar requests in the past hadn’t already worked? My collection of BID/LAPD emails is presently too fragmentary to allow the drawing of many solid conclusions, but the amount of it that has to do with real estate is surprising.

Darrell Davis (right) with Bea Girmala and LaMont Jerrett in the parking lot of the Hollywood Police Station on Wilcox
Darrell Davis (right) with Bea Girmala and LaMont Jerrett in the parking lot of the Hollywood Police Station on Wilcox

For instance, here’s another email, this one from HPOA Assistant Boss Joseph Mariani to Hollywood cop Darrell Davis asking for info on Hollywood crime stats that a broker needs immediately to convince a client to buy in Hollywood. Again, I don’t yet know the full story, but I’m working on getting it. However, the level of familiarity that Joe displays suggests convincingly that LAPD assistance with Hollywood real estate transactions is the norm. Says Joe to Darrell: “Ideally he said he would need this today. Let me know if that’s possible. If not I’ll try and buy some time.”

So if Peter Zarcone is worried about creating a perception of LAPD being in the pocket of a private developer, maybe the best thing would be to have his subordinates stop acting like they’re in the pocket of the entire freaking real estate industry. Maybe the best thing to do when he receives what’s almost surely an improper request from Kerry Morrison is to tell her that it’s not the job of the police to facilitate the real estate industry’s criminality, or even its non-criminal daily business. Maybe that would be more effective. Read full transcripts after the break if you don’t like PDFs:
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Evidently Solicited Some Favor in October 2014 from LAPD on Behalf of Outlaw Developer CIM Group, Peter Zarcone and Deputy Chief Terry Hara Concerned to Avoid “[Creating] a Perception of [LAPD] Being in the Pocket of a Private Developer”

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Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee being the opposite of dysfunctional, disrespectful, and circus-like.
Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee looking mighty fed up with something while at the same time, of course, being nondysfunctional, nondisrespectful, and in no way resembling a circus.
We’ve written before about the HPOA’s crazed-and-at-the-mouth-foaming opposition to Councilmembers Huizar’s and Price’s proposed ordinance legalizing street vending in the city of Los Angeles. We’ve written about the HPOA’s scheme to send its agents to public meetings in the ill-concealed guise of concerned citizens opposing the ordinance. Today we report on Kerry Morrison’s recent discussion of her experience orchestrating that whole fiasco. We’ll analyze it line by line, and you can watch the whole thing here and/or read a transcription after the break.

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, Cela ne veut pas un cirque.
This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, cela ne veut pas un cirque.

Kerry’s been on before about this issue, people not treating her agents provocateurs to what she delusorily imagines to be the duly appropriate level of forelock-tugging, although she hits a new high note1 here. We mean, we weren’t at the hearings, but it’s hard to imagine that they were dysfunctional. It’s easier to imagine that perhaps Kerry’s mistaken the purpose. It’s hard to see how a public hearing can be disrespectful without being told towards what or whom it’s disrespectful. Does she mean the hearing was disrespectful towards her minions? What is it that they’ve done to earn anyone’s respect? Perhaps she means something else. And as for the hearings “almost…resembl[ing] a circus,” well, we imagine that’s nothing more than the reaction of someone who has done her illegal best to make sure that the public doesn’t feel welcome at the meetings she’s the boss of to finding out that she’s not the boss of every meeting in Los Angeles and, just possibly, maybe not so welcome at all of them her own self.
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

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Series of Emails between City of LA and HPOA Regarding Sweetheart Lease Deal Illustrates Incestuously Corrupt, Whiningly Entitled, and Marginally Literate Nature of Day-to-Day Business-as-Usual in the BID

Joe Mariani, all smiling and everything...  beautiful!
Joe Mariani, right up front, smilin’, man…ahh, beautiful!
Well, here is a bunch of emails, which we obtained from the Los Angeles City Attorney using the California Public Records Act, between BID employees Smilin’ Joe Mariani and Kerry Morrison and various people that work for the City of Los Angeles. We join the story when Joe writes to Gary Benjamin, who is eyeglass-fashionista Councilguy Mitch O’Farrell’s something-or-another for what-passes-for-planning-at-200-Spring-Street. It seems the boys met up in early September 2014 at an HPOA “Streetscape2 Committee” meeting, giving Joe a pretext to renew the big ask:
CD13 employee Gary Benjamin, who "enjoys...good urbanism."
CD13 employee Gary Benjamin, who “enjoys…good urbanism.”


Great seeing you today at the Streetscape Committee meeting. As I mentioned, if you can please follow up with GSD3 and ask when our lease will be ready for the Cherokee space we would appreciate it
[sic]. According to our vendor we are supposed to be off the Selma parking lot by the end of September, so the sooner we can move in the better.

So the BID needs some space and they’re going to lease it from the city. So far, so good. After all, they’re a public agency created by the city to do the city’s work. On September 9, 2014, Gary responds, saying he’ll check into it. On September 23, 2014, Gary announces that there’s a little problem. Says Gary:

Joe,

I have some bad news regarding the prospect of getting the lease in a timely manner. I checked in with the General Services Department (GSD) a couple weeks back and they said they were still not authorized to issue the lease, despite the approved Council motion.4 This seemed ridiculous to us, as the language of the motion came from Rene Sagles5 and he assured us the motion would be sufficient. GSD staffers were aware of the motion as it moved through the ITGS6 Committee, and yet they raised no red flags. In the last week, I’ve been in further communication with GSD, the City Attorney’s office and Rene Sagles. Apparently, DOT have not been following City standards regarding lease of space for some time now. Recently the City Attorney took note of this issue and has forced them to undergo a more rigorous public solicitation RFP process. Your lease process has dragged on for so long because of a lack of communication between DOT and GSD and a general uncertainty among the bureaus about how to proceed.

I now have Melody McCormick of GSD working with DOT and the City Attorney to draft a new “sole source” motion that will explain why the normal RFP process was not followed and why the HPOA should get this lease. They have told me they can have the motion ready by the end of the week. We will work to waive it from ITGS committee and get it approved at Council next week ideally. Then the City Attorney will need to draft the lease. It will still be another month, at the earliest, until the lease will be issued. I’m really sorry about all this confusion and for losing time pushing forward a motion that was insufficient.

So the HPOA’s trying to lease some property from the City. A Council motion to allow and expedite this was written by a senior analyst in the LA Department of Transportation and passed by the Council. This wasn’t sufficient because of a City Attorney crackdown on bad leasing practices in the DOT. So CD13 is going to get another Council motion ready, waive the normal committee process, and so on. Everyone’s bending over backwards for the HPOA here, and Gary even adopts an apologetic and conciliatory tone. What more does the HPOA want? Quite a lot, it turns out.
Continue reading Series of Emails between City of LA and HPOA Regarding Sweetheart Lease Deal Illustrates Incestuously Corrupt, Whiningly Entitled, and Marginally Literate Nature of Day-to-Day Business-as-Usual in the BID

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