The $80,000 woman and famed co-conspirator of shady contributors and City Attorney lawsuit targets, liar and sneaky deceiver and putter of words into Mike Bonin’s mouth and subject of investigations, shadowy BID consultant Tara Devine, was the guest of honor at Wednesday’s meeting of the third creepiest BID downtown. Her appearance was recorded for this blog by an intrepid correspondent.1 The background is that the South Park BID and its little mutant offspring the South Park II BID are going to merge next year. The process is essentially as complex as starting a brand-new BID, and Tara Devine is the consultant leading the faithful through the
slough of despond City bureaucracy. The South Parkies are going to miss some mandated deadline, which will cause the first year’s assessments to be billed and collected by the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office rather than by the County Assessor.
And this so-called “manual billing” has various consequences for the BID’s income that differ in various ways from what happens when the assessment is collected by the County of Los Angeles. You can listen here as Tara Devine explains one of these differences, which is a top-secret, not-to-be-advertised, not-advisable-to-broadcast, hitherto-unknown-to-anti-BID-theory hardship mercy rule. That is, for whatever reason, if the Clerk’s collecting the money instead of the County, and the property owner has a problem paying, it can be worked out:
Also, it is not advisable to broadcast this, because people who perhaps don’t [unintelligible] hardship, but in most BIDs with manual billing, if there are property owners who plead…who can make a credible case for hardship, as in…”I’m a wholesaler, and I do a huge amount of purchasing in this month to get ready for the holidays. I can’t afford to pay this assessment right now. I can afford to pay it in three months.” Things like that. You know, if there are situations like that on a case-by-case basis we can take them to the City Clerk’s office and try to get some leniency, have that person’s payments split into two payments or get them some additional time to pay that without a penalty. We don’t like to advertise that too much because everybody likes to [unintelligible] their pocket. So we try to reserve that for people who seem to really have a genuine hardship.
For a semirelated contrast, take a look at this email chain, including emails between Tara Devine, some CD11 staffers, and a reporter from some semi-famous Venice fake news outlet.2 See how Melanie Camp asks Tara Devine:3
I’ve come across one lady, an 88 year old artist, who says she won’t be able to afford the assessment on her live/work studio. What happens in cases like this?
And according to Tara Devine, in response to the question of the 88 year old artist lady, there is no hardship exemption. Of course, a mercy rule is not an exemption, and in South Park, Tara Devine was not, is not, under anything like the laser-beam-pressure-cooker she was, is, shall be subjected to in Venice, but still, isn’t it interesting to hear her announce in public that she’s keeping secrets with the BID staff and Board against the property owners? Of course, it’s well known that honesty and integrity are less than 15% of what it takes to be a BID consultant. That is, a BID consultant can earn a solid B+ with zero honesty and integrity. Heck, probably they can earn an A- as long as they’re likeable. So maybe Tara Devine’s weird moral lacuna shouldn’t be any kind of surprise…
Image of Tara Devine is ©2016-7 MichaelKohlhaas.Org.
- I heartily recommend that you experience the whole thing right here if you have an interest in the behind-the-scenes technical details of the BID renewal process, if you’re looking to be bored into a state of suicidal somnolescence, or some combination of the two. It’s also available on Archive.Org, along with PDFs of a couple of the handouts from the meeting.
- I have previously written about this in some detail although not about this particular aspect of it.
- Melanie Camp thought she was asking freaking Mike Bonin, but freaking Mike Bonin can’t even be bothered to answer questions from reporters. And really, why should he as long as he’s got shadowy BID consultants to answer for him?