Two Interesting Protests Against BID Renewals In Hollywood — One By A Civil Engineer Attacking The Constitutional Adequacy Of Ed Henning’s Self-Plagiarized Boilerplate Engineering Report — The Other Somewhat Plausibly Accusing Kerry Morrison Of Complicity In The Payoff Of Transients To Harass Anti-BID Property Owners

You may have noticed that the Property and Business Improvement Law of 1994 makes allowance for property owners in a proposed BID to file “protests,” which must be accounted for by the City during the establishment or renewal process.1 For whatever reason, possibly the mandate that the City make a determination regarding protests received,2 these protests show up in the relevant Council File for all the world to read! And sometimes they are really interesting! Like the two recent doozies I have for your pleasant perusal today!

Setrak Kinian protest — this is against the renewing Hollywood Entertainment District BID, filed by a property owner in the old Sunset & Vine BID — the two BIDs are being unified in their current renewal — and has some essentially kooky but nevertheless fairly explanatory3 allegations against Ms. Kerry Morrison.

For instance, Kinian claims that her BID pays off homeless people to hang around the properties of BID opponents in order to encourage them to support the BID. He also makes the not-completely-implausible claim that one goal of the BID is to force smaller property owners to sell out to larger ones. The Council File for this renewal is CF 14-0855. As always, turn the page for some selected transcriptions and commentary.

Jim McQuiston protest — Against the renewing Hollywood Media District BID. McQuiston is a civil engineer and provides a really detailed4 denunciation of Ed Henning’s characteristically crapola engineer’s report. This is especially interesting to me given that one of my ongoing projects, which is to get the Board for Professional Engineers to take the preparation of engineering reports for BID formations seriously as the practice of civil engineering.5 The Council File for this renewal is CF 12-0963. Also Henning’s report is here. As always, turn the page for selected transcriptions and commentary.

I have no way of telling whether Kinian’s allegations of transient payoffs or forced buyouts are true or not, but that’s not what’s important about them. The point is that they efficiently express the kind of oppression that smaller property owners in Hollywood feel as they get steamrollered by the BID.

Because of the ballot-weighting scheme they have effectively no say in whether or not a BID is established, they can’t get on the board, and they just have to pay and pay and pay. The BID is a major reason why smaller businesses have been priced out of Hollywood, unable to afford their property when they were lucky enough to own it, and so on. Anyway, read for yourself:

Transcription of Setrak Kinian protest against the HED BID

Unfortunately, for technical reasons, I’m not able to transcribe the bulk of Jim McQuiston’s protest against the renewal of the Media District BID. But it is well worth reading, and is by far the most interesting of these two. I feel that the most important aspect of McQuiston’s protest is his attack on Ed Henning’s nonsensical report writing style. For instance, McQuiston says:

The “Engineer’s Report is totally defective and uncompliant with Sections 36600 et seq, California Streets & Highways Code as currently in force. The Report’s style and lack of content became passe in 2008.

The Report is simply a re-hash of platitudes, which Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association v Santa Clara County OSA declared unconstitutional because Prop 218 is part of the California Constitution (Articles XIIIC & XIIID).

Nothing in the Engineer’s Report complies with the Supreme Court’s unanimous Santa Clara ruling regarding what a lawful Report must prove per Prop 218’s special-benefit and proportionality strictures.

Proof regarding specific impact, necessity, and reasonab le allocation per parcel of proposed and specific work, required of the City by law and Santa Clara, is totally absent. Obviously arbitrary assumptions and assessments violate the plain language for streetscape work in the Streets & Highway s Code, which is the alleged subject of the Proposed District.

I reject the Report, as Professional Engineer #6091 who was qualified to make Reports long before the one who made the defective Report now in the Council File received his license to engineer buildings.

I have no way of knowing whether Jim McQuiston is right about the case he cites, but he sure ought to be right. Ed Henning is famous for his nonsensical engineering reports, for which he does not seem to even visit the locales involved. He plagiarizes himself, he imagines figures and attributes them to his thirty years of experience, and so on. It’s really shameful, which is why it will be so important to get the Board for Professional Engineers to really take a good look at the guy’s work. You might consider this post a kind of a prelude to that upcoming complaint. Stay, of course, tuned!


Image of Kerry Morrison is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and is a chop job performed on these 22,500 pixels right here.

  1. This is discussed at §36623(b), which describes the procedure for handling protests and at §36625(a)(4), which requires the City to account for the protests received.
  2. At §36625(a)(4).
  3. In the sense that urban legends may be demonstrably false and yet have vast explanatory power with respect to problematic aspects of the lives of those who propagate and believe them.
  4. And to me, anyway, quite convincing!
  5. As of April I have a firm commitment from Ric Moore, the Board’s executive director, to take complaints against these engineers seriously. With Ric Moore’s promise, it now seems worthwhile to spend the time to complain about some of these jokers. For instance, I am prepping a complaint against Ed Henning, which you’ll see soon, I really hope, although it’s turning out to be harder than I’d anticipated, just because of the level of detail necessary.
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