Eugene Van Cise Of The Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office Rode Around The Gateway To LA BID On His Bike In July 2016 As Part Of What He Referred To As A “BID Inspection” And Then Complained To Executive Director Laurie Hughes About Litter On 96th Street, Which Raises An Interesting Question About The Clerk’s (Lack Of) BID Oversight

Be careful to faithfully execute your duties, City of LA BIDs! Eugene Van Cise is riding around in your BID inspecting your litter!!
One of the emails in massive dump recently supplied by the Gateway to LA BID Executive Director Laurie Hughes was to her from City BID Analyst Eugene Van Cise. You can read it here for yourself,1 and the full text is available after the break, as always.

The short and long of it is, though, that in July 2016, Eugene Van Cise rode his bike around the Gateway to LA BID as part of what he called “a BID inspection” and then told Laurie Hughes that there was litter on the south side of 96th Street.2 He didn’t actually tell her to get the litter cleaned up, which seems kind of passive-aggressive on the part of Eugene Van Cise, but I suppose that that his the subtext. Now, this is the first time in my many years of intensive BIDological studies that I’ve heard of “BID inspections.” I don’t know if they’re new or have just been under my radar till now. Of course I welcome any kind of oversight of BIDs by the Clerk’s office, and there have been sporadic examples before now, but they’re weirdly inconsistent. Turn the page for details and discussion!

If they say they’re going to spend money picking up litter then, by God, they ought to pick up litter. Just like if they say they’re going to send out newsletters and then they don’t they ought to have their money impounded. And if they say they’re going to deal with homelessness but for some reason Miranda Paster doesn’t approve they ought to do what Miranda Paster wants instead of what they thought they wanted. And if BIDs are required by law and by their contracts to comply with CPRA but they don’t, then they ought to be forced to do so … oh, wait! That’s not happening.

So the real question is, as it has been, why is it that the City Clerk will enforce, it seems, every random clause in the City’s contract with BIDs except the one that requires them to comply with the Public Records Act? Why aren’t they doing the metaphorical equivalent of riding their bikes around and telling BIDs they’re not complying with the freaking law when they don’t answer CPRA requests in a timely manner or even don’t answer them at all? This lack of will to force BIDs to perform this clause has, in my experience, emboldened many BIDs to the point that they don’t even think that they have to respond to requests and, often, when they do respond it’s often with incompetence or outright aggression and so on. Well, I don’t know the answer, but I do think that eventually we will find out. It probably won’t be so soon, though. Stay tuned!

Subject: Gateway to LA
From: Eugene Van Cise
Date: 07/20/2016 02:22 PM
To: “”


I rode my bike though Gateway to LA this morning as part of a BID inspection. Most of the BID looked great, but there were a couple of areas of concern. There was litter on the sidewalks along the south sides of 96th Street and 96th Place. There was also litter in the area between the sidewalk and street along the west side of Vicksburg Avenue between Century Boulevard and 98th Street.

Please contact me if you should have any questions.

Eugene Van Cise
Management Analyst II
Office of the City Clerk

According to the copyright geek squad that hangs around mom’s basement the Wikimedia Foundation in that City up North whose name escapes me at the moment and I can’t Google it cause I’m writing this sentence, the picture of a kid on a tricycle is freely licensed for some reason or another.

  1. If you prefer an eml file, that is available here. Laurie Hughes sent this to me as a msg file, and if you’d prefer that, drop me a line and I will send it along.
  2. The north side of 96th Street probably also had litter, but it’s not in the BID, whose northern boundary is the southern side of 96th Street.

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