More Than Two Months After Its Business Improvement District Came Into Being, The Venice Beach Property Owners’ Association Has Not Yet Signed An Administration Contract With The City Of Los Angeles, But A Comparison With Other Recent BID Establishments Suggests That This May Not Mean Much

Carl Lambert, officer of the Venice Beach Property Owners Association, as he might have appeared on the cover of the late lamented Berkeley Barb which, given the parallel tragedies which have befallen both Berkeley and Venice, is kind of appropriate in a way sorta kinda..
Well, since the first of the year, I have been obsessively checking the contract search tab of the City Clerk’s Council File Management System for any sign of an agreement between the City and the Venice Beach Property Owners Association, as that criminal conspiracy between Carl Lambert and his unindicted co-conspirators Mark Sokol and Steve Heumann is known to the world, for the administration of the Venice Beach BID. The CFMS1 is an essential tool, but its built-in search engine is freaking horrible, and it seems even horribler2 when searching contracts. So the fact that no contract popped up day after day after day didn’t exactly fill me with confidence in the theory that no such contract existed.

But today, after two freaking months with no sign of it, I finally emailed the ever-helpful3 Shannon Hoppes to ask if there was a contract or not. She answered quickly and told me that there was not yet any such thing. Well, hope springs and so on. Into my head sprang joyous visions of Carl Lambert and his infernal BID-buddies Mark Sokol and Steve Heumann being so overwhelmed with the furor and pushback called into being by their infernal BID that they took their BID-ball and went home. They are being sued, their shadowy BID consultant, the Divine Ms. Tara Devine, has as shaky a grasp on the law and also on the truth and also on basic human decency as her freaking clients, and maybe the pressure was all just too much for them, mused I.

But it also occurred to me that maybe it didn’t mean anything, and it was just runna-the-mill incompetence and sloth. So I decided to check out other recent BID establishments and compare. What I found proves that, while there has been a longer than average delay between the establishment of the VBBID and the signing of the contract, it’s not an outlier, nor is it the longest such lag time among property-based BIDs established in the last few years. Thus while this at-least-two-month delay between the BID establishment may yet turn out to be a sign of good things to come with respect to this BID, for now it’s not possible to draw any conclusions at all about it. Turn the page for the technical details.

So here’s a table containing all property-based BIDs established by the City since 2015 along with the dates their contracts were signed. I didn’t put in the length of time between the establishment and the signing since significantly many of them were actually signed before the first day of the BID and using negative numbers in there would completely invalidate any meaning which a simple average might otherwise contain. There’s probably some sophisticated data analytical techniques which could be used here, but I have no idea what they are and the sample size is surely too small anyway. So the table is all you get. In particular, note that most of these are either signed before the BID is established or within a couple weeks of the establishment. But some are signed as late as 6 months afterwards. I don’t know what the difference is or how to explain this, but it does at least mean that it’s too early to start celebrating the premature demise of the VBBID.

Establishment BID Contract number Date signed
1/1/2015 Downtown Industrial District C-124929 12/2/2014
1/1/2015 Hollywood Media District C-125070 12/16/2014
1/1/2015 North Hollywood BID C-124899 11/20/2014
1/1/2015 Village at Sherman Oaks BID C-125746 6/9/2015
1/1/2015 Studio City BID C-125141 1/2/2015
1/1/2016 Central Avenue Historic District C-127428 5/5/2016
1/1/2016 Encino Commons BID C-127595 6/8/2016
1/1/2016 Gateway to LA BID C126729 11/7/2015
1/1/2016 Old Granada Village BID C-126947 1/8/2016
1/1/2016 Pacific Palisades BID C-126902 12/21/2015
1/1/2016 South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID C-127215 3/10/2016
1/1/2016 South Park II BID C-126976 1/19/2016
1/1/2017 Westwood Village BID C-127689 6/23/2016
1/1/2017 Venice Beach BID n/a ????

Image of Carl Lambert is modified from a screenshot from this video, posted by the Spirit of Venice, who’s given me permission to use it. The messed-with version is probably messed-with enough that I could copyright it, but I am instead releasing it into the world under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. Enjoy it while it lasts, little friends!

  1. Council File Management System.
  2. If such a thing is possible.
  3. Usually when I say stuff like this about employees of the City of Los Angeles I’m either being sarcastic or, if being sincere, will end being forced by ugly reality into the position of wishing I’d been being sarcastic so I wouldn’t feel like such a damned dupe, but in the case of Shannon Hoppes, who is Holly Wolcott’s executive officer, I actually mean it. Within the contraints of her position, which I assume are many and complex, she seems to intend to be as helpful as she can be. I thank her regularly and sincerely for her help. Thanks again, Shannon!

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