One Outcome Of The Unholy Alliance Between North Westwood Neighborhood Council Subdivision Advocate Michael Skiles And Icky-Skicky Biddy-Boy Andrew Thomas Was That Skiles Changed The Bylaws To Give Zillionaires Even More Representation Just Cause Thomas Asked Him To — Which Might Be The Kind Of Thing That Andrew Thomas Wants To Cover Up Via His Myriad Surreal CPRA Violations — Although That Relies On Dubious Assumption That The Guy Feels Shame

Maybe you heard about the movement to subdivide the Westwood Neighborhood Council and form the North Westwood Neighborhood Council. This subdivision was led by UCLA students calling themselves Westwood Forward, with incipient philosopher Michael Skiles, whose academic specialty is, of all things, action theory, at the helm. The City held an election in May and the subdivision was approved.

However, unlike the heartrending pain created by the sinister schemings of zillionaires in Skid Row and environs last year, the local Westwood zillionaires were all eleventy jillion percent in favor of this particular subdivision. The reason seems to be a widely shared perception that students will be much more in favor of building more residential megaplexes and handing out more liquor licenses than the mostly über-füddy-düddy single family house dwellers on the regular Westwood NC have proved to be over the last few decades.1

Knowing all this, it occurred to me in March 2018 that the Westwood Village BID might be involved in this whole subdivision thing and, with that in mind, I fired off a CPRA request to them asking for the goodies. After many painful months of lawyers, recriminations, stupidity, frustration, and whatever,2 Andrew Thomas, the BID’s ickety-skickety executive director finally coughed up some small percentage of the records to which I’m entitled.

Check out the whole collection here on Archive.Org. In particular, though, for tonight’s sermon, take a look at this little gem (of which there is a transcription after the break), which reveals Andrew Thomas as the puppet master pulling the strings that make Michael Skiles dance. And the tune he’s dancing to is, you’ll not be surprised to learn, all about more seats for zillionaires on the new neighborhood council’s board of directors. And Michael Skiles not only dances to the tune, but he dances like he likes dancing! He’ll go far in academia, friends.

So here’s how it went down. On March 7, 2018, at 11:46 a.m. Michael Skiles wrote to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, and told them he was reducing the number of at-large seats to make room for another business seat:

Dear DONE leaders,

In the course of our outreach to community leaders over the past months, it has become clear to our formation committee that a change would improve our proposed bylaws:

Currently there are 3 at-large seats and 2 business seats; we would like to change this to 2 at-large seats and 3 business seats.

This change was encouraged by business leaders who pointed out that since there are 4/19 business seats on the current WWNC, maintaining that promotion [sic] on our NWWNC would necessitate 3/15 seats. Moreover, they agued [sic] that while others [sic] groups that had seen a reduction in their dedicated seats such as Homeowners should see that reduction because homeowners make up a much smaller fraction of North Westwood stakeholders, businesses actually make up a larger porporortion [sic] of North Westwood’s Stakeholders than Westwood’s stakeholders in general–hence the proportion of their representation should increase or at least not decrease.

So we now ask what would be the most convenient process for us to implement this change? Can I just send you updated bylaws? Should we request this change at our BNC meeting on Tuesday? At our BNC hearing after the election? Does this need to wait until our council is formed? We’d like to implement the change; but absolutely don’t want any delays to result from our doing so.

Best regards,
Michael Skiles
President, UCLA Graduate Students Association
Graduate Chair, UC Council of Student Body Presidents

The very next day, at 5:08 p.m. DONE dude Gibson Nyambura wrote back:

Michael,

Thank you for reaching out. If you would like to make that change. Please send an attached copy with the changes you would like to implement.

Best,

Then, just two and one half hours later, Michael Skiles wrote back with the requisite pinch of sycophancy and the revised bylaws attached. Unfortunately I do not yet have a copy of these bylaws, but I’m working on it:

From: GSA President Date: Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 7:34 PM
Subject: Re: Bylaw Change?
To: Gibson Nyambura <gibson.nyambura@lacity.org>
Cc: Mike Fong <mike.fong@lacity.org>, Grayce Liu <grayce.liu@lacity.org>

Dear Gibson,

Please find the attached new Bylaw proposal which has implemented the change from 2 business seats and 3 at-large, to 2 at-large and 3 business.

Best regards,
Michael Skiles
President, UCLA Graduate Students Association
Graduate Chair, UC Council of Student Body Presidents

And here’s where things get really interesting. A few minutes after midnight that night, at 12:08 a.m. on March 9, Skiles forwarded this whole discussion to the ickety-plooey Andrew Thomas, with a brief and familiar note, like how vampire slaves have to check in with their masters at appointed times:

On Mar 9, 2018, at 12:08 AM, GSA President <pres@gsa.asucla.ucla.edu> wrote:

Looks like we’ve made the change to 3 business seats.

And the very next day, Michael Skiles got the smoochy-woochies he was evidently angling for when Andrew Thomas, who does look bitchin-if-creepy-as-hell in those sunglasses, wrote back:

Terrific! Thanks so much for doing this.

Andrew

Andrew Thomas
Executive Director

Westwood Village Improvement Association
1100 Glendon, Suite PH2
Los Angeles, CA 90024
T: (310) 470-1812
F: (310) 474-2414
www.thewestwoodvillage.com

So where are the BIDs of Los Angeles? Well, they’re everywhere. They’re not only running the damn neighborhood councils like our friend Ms. Rena Freaking Leddy from the Fashion District BID, another client of Carol Humiston, by the way, they’re actually writing their damn bylaws now. Pretty soon neighborhood councils will just be another project of the BIDs, by the BIDs, and for the BIDs, and ain’t none of it gonna perish from this earth, more’s the damn pity!


Image of aspiring action theorist Michael Skiles is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and is mashed up from this lil potato and that other lil taco dorado.

  1. Not that this is bad. We here at MK.Org are all in favor of more liquor licenses. We’re neutral on the megaplexes, though. We’d all like to see much, much more very, very affordable housing built in ritz neighborhoods like Westwood, like all section 8 all the way. After they do that for a few decades, until the homeless are all housed in places like Westwood, Hancock Park, Bel Air, Pacific Palisades,and so on, we’ll feel more megaplex-positive, there’s no doubt.
  2. For a hint of this you can read Thomas’s first response and his second response to my requests. It’s obvious to people who’ve dealt with her that that second response, and probably the first as well, was written by the infamous Carol Humiston of famous-in-Burbank law firm Bradley & Gmelich. Carol Humiston represents BIDs against me all over the City. She thinks she’s good at it for reasons I don’t have time to go into here, but she’s badly wrong about that, which you’ll learn more about here on the blog eventually. In any case, I have it on good authority that she was a psychopathic pit bull in a former life, the kind who bites and won’t let go and won’t let go and won’t let go and, even after its head is cut off, still won’t let go and then its still-biting corpse has to be surgically removed. And since she passed the bar she’s only gotten even more aggressive. That kind of determination may seem admirable in some kind of abstract sense, but in a lawyer it can be problematic, especially if she doesn’t have very good instincts about whom to sink her teeth into.
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2 thoughts on “One Outcome Of The Unholy Alliance Between North Westwood Neighborhood Council Subdivision Advocate Michael Skiles And Icky-Skicky Biddy-Boy Andrew Thomas Was That Skiles Changed The Bylaws To Give Zillionaires Even More Representation Just Cause Thomas Asked Him To — Which Might Be The Kind Of Thing That Andrew Thomas Wants To Cover Up Via His Myriad Surreal CPRA Violations — Although That Relies On Dubious Assumption That The Guy Feels Shame”

  1. There were actually 4 business seats on the old Westwood Neighborhood Council, so even the increased tally of 2 seats in the new North Westwood Neighborhood Council is actually a decrease in business representation. Doesn’t really make sense with your narrative, which would suggest that the improvement association ought to have opposed the subdivision to maintain all 4 seats.

    1. I don’t know if you’re being serious or not since your argument makes no sense at all. In case you are, though, I’ll answer.

      Consider the fact that even four votes can’t carry a motion, but having a new NC that’s formed specifically for the purpose of approving more development and more liquor licenses and more liberal CUPs is worth far, far more than a minority of board votes, whether a bigger minority or a smaller minority. Obviously the subdivision was worth more to the zillionaires than even having any votes. I bet they’d have supported it with no business votes. Also, you’re fixated on the absolute number of votes when clearly it’s the relative number that’s important. Do you have the figures? If not, why not?

      Anyway, if you’re actually interested, maybe read the post again. It’s not at all about the BID supporting the subdivision because they got another vote. It is actually about the fact that the BID prevailed on Skiles to alter the bylaws, not about how they altered them.

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