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 'A PROMISE IS A PROMISE'

Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


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Here’s How to Pay for City Hall Park Repairs: Out of City Staff Budgets

MAILANDER MUSINGS - The money to repair City Hall's park at South Lawn should come out of the existing budgets of the Mayor and City Council staff, who gave scofflaw Occupiers free and unprecedented use of civic facilities, even while issuing capricious bills to organizations who use public facilities responsibly. That's Public Works Commission president Andrea Alarcon above left, explaining why she suddenly issued bills to the Sunset Junction Street Fair promoters for $240,000.  And that's her father, Councilman Richard Alarcon, above right, coddling the Occupiers at City Hall's south lawn with his "Responsible Banking" ordinance, even as the Occupiers paid nothing for their 60-day stay.

Now the Downtown News reports that the damage the Occupiers did to City Hall's lawns and park space will cost the City between $300-$400,000.  The extra police hours will cost the City at least that much again, and perhaps up to three times that much.

What rankles here is that the City welcomed the Occupiers with such open arms--while making other groups with long histories of showing far more respect towards civic property-- pay for use of civic services.

The Mayor originally welcomed the Occupiers and even bought them ponchos when it rained.  

Councilmember and Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, then Council president, told the Occupiers to "stay as long as you need to."  

But when there are private vendors who solicit the use of civic property, these same civic figures increasingly ask the vendors themselves to pay for policing.  Garcetti did so with the promoters of Sunset Junction Street Fair, ultimately killing the 31-year-old festival because he couldn't shake the promoters down this year for an extra $240,000.  

Councilmember Jan Perry and the Mayor also shook down the food vendors of Downtown Art Walk for $8,000 an evening when extra policing became an issue there.  

Andrea Alarcon has become the City's point person for such capricious and often unexpected billing, even as her father mollycoddled the protesters along with Garcetti, Bill Rosendahl and many others.

But City Council and the Mayor didn't bill the Occupiers.  Instead, our top elected officials welcomed them with open arms.  They bought them ponchos when it rained.  They told them to "stay as long as you need to."

We have so many staffers in City Hall who are completely unresponsive to routine information requests of ordinary citizens.  Communications directors and chiefs of staff--one per each Councilmember, and a larger staff for the Mayor--are asked to serve at the public's mercy, but instead they serve the capricious whims of their elected officials--and they are increasingly billing events organizations for providing them civic services.  

The City did not do this, however, with the Occupiers, ingrates who left a mess behind and hoped that the taxpayer would pick up after them.

The City itself made this mess, indeed invited it with open arms.  As it increasingly asks responsible organization to pay for civic services, it should now pay to clean up the mess it created out of its own staff budgets.  Dismissing unresponsive staffers who pick and choose whom to serve and whom to ignore would be the best place to start.

(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of The Plasma of Terror. Mailander blogs at street-hassle.blogspot.com where this article first appeared.)
–cw

Tags: Occupy LA, Occupiers, scofflaws, Richard Alarcon, Andrea Alarcon, Eric Garcetti, Bill Rosendahl, City Council, Mayor Villaraigosa, Sunset Junction, Jan Perry, Downtown Art Walk, Joseph Mailander







CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 99
Pub: Dec 13, 2011

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