Echo Park BID Formation Process Rolls On, With Economic Development Committee Just Yesterday, At Behest Of CD13 Rep Mitch O’Freaking Farrell, Recommending Allocation Of God Only Knows How Much Money To Civitas To Complete The Establishment Process

It’s been almost two years now since our esteemed City Council breathed new life into the inchoate Echo Park BID in May 2016 in response to a letter from the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce, who is apparently the BID proponent group for this mishegas. Well, that infusion of cash into its zombie veins apparently wasn’t enough to send it lurching off into what passes for the civic life of this fair but wounded City of ours.

Thus, evidently, CD13 rep Mitch O’Freaking Farrell found it necessary a few weeks ago to move in Council that the BID formation contract with Civitas Advisors, who’s acting as the BID consultant,1 be extended.2 Yesterday, the Economic Development Committee approved3 Mitchie’s motion and sent a report to the full Council for their sadly inevitable approval.

The original Echo Park BID formation materials are collected in CF 10-0154 and for all this contract extension voodoo they started a supplemental, which is at CF 10-0154-S1. Turn the page for a transcription of O’Farrell’s motion from February 27 as well as of an interesting selection from the Committee’s report which sheds some light on where things stand.

Transcription of the motion of February 27,2018:

On April 9, 2010, the Council authorized the City Clerk to use $40,000 from the Business Improvement District Trust Fund and $40,000 in matching funds from the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce or other entity for professional consulting services related to the formation of the Echo Park Business Improvement District (Echo Park BID). The City Clerk was also authorized to prepare, execute, and administer a contract between the City and the selected contractor (C.F. 10­-0154). The contract was awarded to Civitas after a competitive Request for Proposals process.

The contractor is in the process of completing the BID formation process. The original contract (C-118452) expired on May 1, 2013. On May 18, 2016 the Council extended the contract to August 1, 2017 and reduced the original contract cost to $60,000 by reducing the matching funds required from the proponent group to $20,000. To date, the consultant has been paid $32,500 in accordance with these contract terms.

The establishment of the proposed Echo Park BID will enable private property owners to provide supplemental services above and beyond those provided by the City. In addition, the proposed BID will enhance the economic and environmental vitality of the area. The Council should approve an extension of the contract between the City and Civitas to allow these critical efforts to be completed.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council instruct the City Clerk to provide the necessary assistance to continue the formation of the Echo Park Business Improvement District.

I FURTHER MOVE that the City Council, subject to the approval of the Mayor:

1. Authorize the City Clerk to prepare, execute, and administer a Second Supplemental Agreement to contract C-118452 between the City and Civitas for the completion of the Echo Park Business Improvement District formation services. The second supplemental agreement amends the original contract by reducing the total contract cost to $27,500 for the remaining deliverables and updates the corresponding timeline, subject to the approval of the City Attorney as to form and legality.

2. Authorize the City Clerk to make any technical corrections or clarifications to the above instructions in order to effectuate the intent of this Motion.

Councilmember, 13th District
FEB 27 2018

Transcription of a selection from the Economic Development Committee report:

On May 10, 2016, your Committee considered an April 11, 2016 City Clerk report relative to proposed supplemental agreement to Contract No. C-118452 with CIVITAS in connection with the formation of the Echo Park BID. According to the report, on April 9, 2010, Council authorized the expenditure of up to $40,000 from the BID Trust Fund No. 659, and $40,000 from the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce or other entity as matching funds for activities related to the establishment of the Echo Park Business Improvement District in Council Districts 1 and 13.

Council further authorized the City Clerk to prepare, execute, and administer a contract between the City and a consulting firm to be chosen through a request for proposal process to provide consulting services for the formation of the Echo Park BID. A consultant was chosen and awarded the business improvement district formation contract and subsequently delivered three of the seven tasks to form a business improvement district. The contract expired in May of 2013. The proponent group continued to do outreach for the business improvement district formation effort and has submitted a letter dated March 7, 2016 to Council requesting the City amend the original contract and allow the consultant to complete the formation. The proponent group has reassessed the proposed area and its needs and is ready to move forward to complete the formation.

Image of Mitch O’Freaking Farrell is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and was cobbled up outta this Mitchie and also this Echo Park.

  1. This seems to be a really big deal BID consultancy firm up in Sacramento. I know absolutely nothing about them at this point, not even other BIDs in LA that they’ve consulted for. If and when this Echo Park BID gets going of course I’ll be able to use the CPRA to find out a lot of stuff. Until then, though, well, I’ll have to find another way in, probably via other BIDs they’ve worked with around here. It’s not a super-high priority for me right this minute, but it might get pushed up the list depending on if they’ve worked in LA with interesting BIDs. Also, as an interesting aside, it seems that Civitas is not registered with the Ethics Commission as a lobbying entity even though, as long-time readers of this blog are well-aware, BID consultancy is pretty clearly lobbying activity. Civitas seems to be involved in BID establishment all over the state, so this opens up the interesting question of whether or not they’re registered in other jurisdictions that require lobbyists to register. Again, checking into this is not super-high on my present list of priorities, but I will get around to it at some point in the not-so-distant future.
  2. And that the amount to be paid be adjusted somehow that’s not so easy for me to understand, since it seems to involve reducing the amount that the property owners are supposed to pay and increasing the amount, or at least the proportion, that the City is going to pay.
  3. Big freaking surprise there, innit? I swear I did not used to be a cynical person, but paying attention to our City government has made me so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *