Please Join The Staff Of This Blog In A Moment Of Silence For Blair Besten, Who Was Forced Against Her Will To Follow A Law. Let’s Hope The Damage To Her Self Respect, Her Reputation, Her Emotional Stability, And Her Employability Is Not Permanent.

Maybe you’re familiar with §54954.1 of the Brown Act, which requires BIDs1 to notify anyone in advance of their meetings and send them agendas and other materials at the same time this material is distributed to the BID’s board.2 Another crucial bit is found at §54954.2(a)(1), which requires posting of agendas on BIDs’ websites.3

And it will be no surprise to anyone who reads this blog to discover that Blair Besten and her weirdo criminal conspiracy, the Historic Core BID, have consistently ignored these two requirements since time immemorial. Of course, no shock. Many members of the BID’s board of directors are criminals. Blair Besten herself breaks the law with relish and impunity.

So I asked Blair Besten in May to inform me of the BID’s meetings. She ignored me for the May meeting. I asked her yet again.4 She ignored me again. A little bird told me that they had a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, June 29, so I walked by the BID office yesterday, where they had partially complied with the law by posting an agenda in the window. Too much!

So yesterday, I fired off an email to Blair Besten laying out all the laws she was breaking.5 This is required before suing a BID for Brown Act violations. For good luck, I cc-ed it to BID Analyst Rita Moreno, who nominally oversees the HCBID. Usually I don’t bother because City Clerk Holly Wolcott has stated explicitly although wrongly on a number of occasions that she neither has nor desires the power to make BIDs comply with either the Brown Act or the Public Records Act.

However, Rita Moreno, alone among BID analysts, has actually taken minor but effective steps towards making BIDs comply with their obligations. In at least one other case, Rita Moreno’s ministrations have proven effective.6 And it’s possible that Rita Moreno interceded in this case as well. Something happened, for sure, and there’s about zero chance that it had anything to do with Blair Besten’s common sense or sense of obligation, cursed or blessed as she is with neither of those.

Just this afternoon, she sent me a copy of tomorrow’s agenda along with a typically nasty little email written in the typically nasty little tone she takes up when writing under one of her pseudonyms, and ending with a weirdly twisted victim-blaming almost threat about how if I don’t write to her in the guise of her alternate identity she’s going to lose my emails on purpose. It’s like when mom sends kid to room and kid mutters curses under its breath but knows it has to go anyway. Even worse, I’m sure, is the fact that between yesterday’s email and today’s, she managed to put an entry for the meeting on to the BID’s calendar. How that must have hurt poor Blair Besten. And that, friends, is why we are proposing a moment of silence to commemorate her pain. Join us.

Transcription of my email to Blair Besten

Dear Ms. Besten,

Your June 29th meeting will be the second that you have failed to notify me of since I asked you to do so. Such notifications are required by Government Code Section 54954.1, which states in pertinent part:

Any person may request that a copy of the agenda, or a copy of all the documents constituting the agenda packet, of any meeting of a legislative body be mailed to that person. … Upon receipt of the written request, the legislative body or its designee shall cause the requested materials to be mailed at the time the agenda is posted pursuant to Section 54954.2 and 54956 or upon distribution to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a legislative body, whichever occurs first. Any request for mailed copies of agendas or agenda packets shall be valid for the calendar year in which it is filed …

Also, you have consistently failed to post agendas on your web site. This is required by Government Code Section 54954.2(a)(1), which states in pertinent part:

At least 72 hours before a regular meeting, the legislative body of the local agency, or its designee, shall post an agenda containing a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting, including items to be discussed in closed session. … The agenda shall specify the time and location of the regular meeting and shall be posted in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public and on the local agency’s Internet Web site, if the local agency has one.

It is essential that you bring your local agency into compliance with the Brown Act with respect to notifications by mail and with respect to posting agendas on your web site.

Thanks for your cooperation,

Transcription of Blair Besten’s capitulatory email

You have been advised to correspond with the HCBID utilizing the publicrecords@historiccore.bid email address. Any correspondence to another email may get lost.

Attached is the agenda for tomorrow.

Public Records @ Historic Core
publicrecords@historiccore.bid
209-211 W 5th Street
Los Angles, CA 90014


Image of Blair Besten is derived from this public record and our enhanced version is ©2017 Michael Kohlhaas.Org.

  1. And other subject agencies, but who really cares?
  2. Any person may request that a copy of the agenda, or a copy of all the documents constituting the agenda packet, of any meeting of a legislative body be mailed to that person. … Upon receipt of the written request, the legislative body or its designee shall cause the requested materials to be mailed at the time the agenda is posted pursuant to Section 54954.2 and 54956 or upon distribution to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a legislative body, whichever occurs first.
  3. At least 72 hours before a regular meeting, the legislative body of the local agency, or its designee, shall post an agenda containing a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting, including items to be discussed in closed session. A brief general description of an item generally need not exceed 20 words. The agenda shall specify the time and location of the regular meeting and shall be posted in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public and on the local agency’s Internet Web site, if the local agency has one.
  4. Requests are good for the entire calendar year.
  5. Transcription after the break.
  6. Or at least momentarily effective. These gangsters are back to their lawless outlaw ways and they’re on my list to deal with in the future, although not especially soon.
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