And his flack Tony Arranaga’s inordinately superficial press release on the subject, touting the only-from-an-inordinately-superficial-perspective success of this project is well worth reading.1 And of particular interest in that slew/slough of whah-whah-whahwawawa, there is this little number right here:
The office of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has championed this project from the start: Councilmember O’Farrell originally introduced the motion which paved the way to build the project on the City-owned parking lot; his office led the community outreach before and during construction; and the office served as the liaison between City departments, partnering agencies, and local stakeholders.
This business about the community outreach and the liaison between City departments, partnering agencies, and local stakeholders is of the utmost interest. I’ve spent a little time looking into the processes by which Los Quince Jefes construct the appearance of community buy-in for their pet projects, most notably as orchestrated by Jose Huizar and by Gil Cedillo in the notorious case of the demolition of Parker Center.
And of course another interesting line of inquiry I’m presently working on is charter schools. I don’t know enough about them yet to narrow2 my inquiries, but I’m learning, mostly via my usual technique of reading3 their damn emails. I recently got gigantic set of goodies from Larchmont Charter School, in particular from their supreme commander Amy Dresser Held. These have so far yielded up a couple of really interesting stories.4
UPDATE: This motion has now been assigned Council File number CF 18-0955
So in March 2018 the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes wrote a blockbuster article exposing yet another cynically corrupt practice well-beloved of our cynically corrupt City Council members. As she put it:
Before a proposed [homeless housing] building can get funding from the housing department through Proposition HHH, the $1.2-billion bond passed by voters, it must have a “letter of acknowledgment” from the local council member. And if a council member simply withholds that letter, a project can be stopped in its tracks.
As you can imagine, various City Council members defended this grant of absolute veto power outside of any democratic process by claiming it was the only way they could have any input into what gets built in their districts. Like it’s obvious somehow that they even should have input into what gets built? Anyway, no one outside of 200 N Spring Street was buying this loco jive, and especially assemblymember David Chiu. Alpert Reyes’s article moved Chiu to introduce AB 829, which flat-out forbade any projects subject to such a requirement from receiving state funding. This passed easily in September and was quickly signed into law by Jerry Brown on September 27.
Obviously the City can’t afford to give up all that state money, so it became incumbent on them to rescind the requirement as soon as possible. Thus did Council president Herb Wesson introduce this morning in Council a motion recommending said rescission. But Herb Wesson, famously a whiny baby even in the gang of world class whiny babies among whom he works, couldn’t just leave it at that. He ended his motion with a whiny baby last word move which, as far as I can see, has no great effect other than to expose his whiny baby attitude even more to the world than it already has been exposed:
I FURTHER MOVE that the Housing Department be directed to report with recommendations on ways that a Council office and neighborhood council of the area can provide meaningful input on proposed City financing of a housing development in the Council district, and in a manner consistent with the new state law.
Bylaws of the Palisades BID — Given how damned much trouble it is to coax thing one out of the PPBID and given that they’re evidently willing to spend thousands of dollars fighting my requests rather than just complying with them, it’s always a pleasant surprise to get anything at all out of these people. Of course, these are really the bylaws of the property owners’ association which administers the Palisades BID. Unlike seemingly every other BID in Los Angeles, these people named their POA the same thing as their BID, which makes the confusion even more complete than it usually is. This is probably because something else was already called the Pacific Palisades Property Owners Association.
Watch and listen here as Kerry Morrison quotes Sheila Kuehl blaming the L.A. County Supervisors’ utter failure to solve our homelessness problem on the fact that the Brown Act requires them to hold open meetings and conduct their deliberations in public (full transcript after the break as always). The message essentially is that the Supervisors can’t get anything done if they have to do it when people are watching. This kind of attitude is, of course, the reason we have to have a Brown Act in the first place. Kerry Morrison’s statements are hearsay, and it’s just as likely that Kerry Morrison, in the throes of her fever dreams of a Hollywood Reich, delusionally attributed this sentiment to Kuehl. We’ll never know at this point.
Readers of this blog are probably pretty familiar with the Brown Act’s requirements. They essentially say that the Supervisors can’t discuss legislative action in secret. They have to do it in public meetings.1 The law doesn’t restrict the kinds of things they can talk about, it doesn’t restrict the kinds of deals they can make with one another or with third parties. It only requires them to conduct their deliberations and decision-making in public.
So Kerry Morrison’s version of Sheila Kuehl’s position is disconcerting. She claims that Kuehl claims that the Brown Act prevents the Supervisors from eliminating homelessness because “…they can’t converse with each other. You can’t horse-trade votes. … You know, so you can’t collaborate, you know, can we all agree on what we’re all gonna…you have to do it all in open session, and it’s very cumbersome…” The idea seems to be that the supervisors can’t have an honest discussion in public, so they can’t have any discussion at all.