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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.





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Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


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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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