According to a Facebook post by Abbott Kinney,
BREAKING NEWS Re: the proposed Venice BID – Because the City shut off public comment, they gotta START THE WHOLE PROCESS OVER. Via City Clerk Holly Wolcott:
“The Ordinance of Establishment was adopted in Council last week. However, in light of concerns relative to the public hearing and to ensure all speakers are heard, we plan to repeal this ordinance and start the process over. This will mean a new Ordinance of Intention and a public hearing approximately 45 days from when the new ballots and packages are mailed. I do not have an actual date at this time.”1
This report is consistent with LAFLA’s objections to the process, and if true, is a major victory for anti-BID forces. Although I don’t know for sure I would bet it’s unprecedented in the history of BIDs in Los Angeles. The moral is decidedly NOT that the City made a sporadic mistake in this particular BID formation process. The moral is in fact that the City makes mistakes, breaks the law, cuts corners, all the freaking time, but generally no one is watching so their errors have no consequences. The moral is that if people watch closely they will find fatal errors in all of the City’s shenanigans.
The same is true for BIDs. They can barely open their mouths without saying something racist, they can barely run a meeting or email a Council member without breaking the law.2 They’re not used to scrutiny, and even their reactions to scrutiny just end up sinking them deeper into their morass. So the real moral is: SCRUTINIZE!
And, if you didn’t spot it, if this quote is accurate, then Holly Wolcott actually admitted that something illegal is going on over at City Hall. Turn the page for details.
See, the Brown Act requires that the City Council hold its meetings in public. Part of this is that it is absolutely illegal for them to decide on the outcome of a vote in advance. Of course, they do this all the freaking time, but they’ve worked out a pretty effective system for doing it covertly so they don’t all get locked up.3 Part of this system is that everyone is supposed to pretend that they don’t know in advance how a vote is going to come out. So if Holly Wolcott actually did say “…we plan to repeal this ordinance and start the process over” then I really have to wonder how she knows they’re going to repeal it. Perhaps some of them will actually read what they’re voting on and not vote for repeal? It’s unseemly, even if their predictions are accurate,4 for unelected City officials like Holly Wolcott to state publicly in advance what the City Council’s going to do. But unseemly or not, it’s excellent and most welcome news! LAFLA should be very proud.
Image of Holly Wolcott is a public record and I got it from here.
- I asked Holly Wolcott for a comment on this report but as of now she has not responded.
- I have no link for this last one…yet!
- Interestingly, violating the Brown Act is actually a crime under some circumstances although, as far as I can determine, no one has ever been prosecuted for it.
- And it’s not hard to make them accurate. The City Council votes unanimously “yes” on everything. It’d make a nice project for an experimental political scientist to submit two ordinances to Council which had the same content except that one would be phrased so that a yes vote would implement the law and the other so that a no vote would do it. It’s an exceedingly good bet that the first would pass and the second not.