Newly Obtained Email Proves That Mike Bonin Considered Moving Venice Beach BID Hearing To November 29 From Disputed Date of November 8

Mike Bonin, shown here with the Jesus-halo sidelighting he evidently prefers.
Mike Bonin, shown here with the Jesus-halo sidelighting he evidently prefers.
After a chaotic hearing on the Venice Beach BID in August,1 after Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles powerhouse attorney Shayla Myers pointed out that the process was legally flawed, and after City Attorney Mike Feuer accepted her argument and told the City Council that they’d better have a do-over, after all that, the rehearing on the abhorrent BID was scheduled to be approved considered in Council on November 8, 2016. This, of course, is also the day that Americans will be deciding the future of the world, which takes up a lot of time. Venice being Venice, there has been a lot of speculation about whether Bonin did this on purpose to make it difficult for detractors to testify. Venice also being Venice, there has been an organized effort to get Bonin to postpone the hearing.

Such protests usually fall on what seem like deaf ears, but in this case, an email that I obtained last night from the City Clerk’s office proves that, in September 2016, Mike Bonin was considering moving the hearing from the disputed date of November 8 to the presumably more acceptable dates of November 29 and 30. Read on for details.

On Friday, September 23, at 9:04 a.m., Bonin aid Laura McLennan2 wrote to City Clerk Holly Wolcott and Clerk staffers Shannon Hoppes and Miranda Paster, the following missive:

Hi there team City Clerk,

So, is the letter final?
Will you be sending them out today?

My question is about the dates for council public hearing and ballot tabulation —
what if we push it back to after Thanksgiving?
The days of Nov. 29 and 30th instead of the 8th and 9th?

How does that impact the overall schedule for the BID, should it pass?


This shows at least that the pressure being put on Bonin to delay the hearing was having some effect. However, the idea was shot down by Holly Wolcott, who wrote a mere 49 minutes later:

I do not recommend changing the date to later. This will delay billing and ultimately impact funds available for the BID to start.

Setting aside the fact that the (indisputable) fact that approving the BID later will cause the BID to start later, who actually cares what Holly Wolcott thinks about this? Are not elected legislative officials, like Bonin, in charge of the process? Well, they are, and as much as we criticize Laura McLennan around here,3 at least she seems to understand that:

we’re just letting our boss know the lay of the land, and hopefully we will not delay.
but if he wants to, what is the drop dead time for us to tell you?
Since Miranda told me that the letter/ballot was being sent out today?

And you can read the rest of it yourself. It turns out that the ballot was already at the mail room, and evidently no one at the Clerk’s office was willing to call. So remember, a week from Tuesday, when you’re trying to decide whether to vote for president or speak out at Council4 keep in mind that the reason the BID’s not being heard on the 29th of November is because Holly Wolcott wasn’t willing to call the mail room and ask them to hold the ballots while Mike Bonin considered whether to agree to very reasonable requests to delay the hearing.

Note: This email was one of a few batches that I’ve obtained in the last few days. I’ll be announcing these and some other stuff formally later today, but you can see them at the archive now:

Image of Mike Bonin was kiped from his website here, and is therefore a public record in California, despite the representations of CD11 staff to the contrary.

  1. During which Mike Bonin unfavorably compared BID detractors to supporters of crazed media phenomenon Donald Trump, thereby proving conclusively that his, Bonin’s, critics are absolutely wrong when they claim that Bonin never met a real-estate developer of whose whacked-out plans for the destruction of the world and the unique character of Los Angeles he did not instinctively approve without reservation. Probably the West Side can feel safe from mega-mixed-use monstrosities developed by Trump, so at least there’s that.
  2. McLennan is Bonin’s deputy chief of staff, showing that CD11 had kicked this issue up to a higher pay grade than that of Debbie Dyner Harris, who has been handling most of the Venice Beach BID stuff for the last couple years.
  3. And we’re not walking any of that back. She and Chad Molnar ought to resign immediately, along with everyone else who’s ever worked at CD11 from the boss on down. Except for the receptionist, Ashlee Hypolite, who seems like a decent person.
  4. Or, you know, go to work, but that’s a whole separate issue, isn’t it?

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