fbpx

Neighborhood Council Violates the Brown Act?

VOICES--I am writing you to request cure and correct for actions taken by the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council (OPNC) in violation of the Brown Act.   I am including a copy of my October public comment which I presented partially to the Board, to which I only read up to “Members of the OPNC have been found to communicate city business through personal email accounts.”

54954.3c of CA Gov Code states: The legislative body of a local agency shall not prohibit public criticism of the policies, procedures, programs, or services of the agency, or of the acts or omissions of the legislative body.

CANCELLING A MEETING OF THE PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PREVENT COMPLAINTS IS A VIOLATION OF THE BROWN ACT. 

According to the bylaws of the OPNC, the policy of the council is: “To have fair, open, and transparent procedures of the conduct of all Council business”.   The OPNC is currently in violation of this policy.

On September 9, 2019, the OPNC violated the Brown Act by cancelling its regularly scheduled meeting four hours before it was supposed to start.  The meeting cancellation was an attempt to prevent homeowners from airing their grievances regarding Solaris Apts., which less than a month later, the Council voted to support.  Members of the OPNC denied the rights of Victoria Ave. homeowners on September 9, 2019 at 7pm to have their grievances addressed and heard, as guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. According to the OPNC President and its members, the meeting was cancelled due to a “lack of quorum”. Lacking quorum is not a valid excuse to preemptively cancel a federally and state protected, regularly scheduled public meeting of the people four hours before it was supposed to start. The meeting was cancelled because the OPNC didn’t want to hear the complaints of 30 – 40 angry property owners gathered, who had no idea that the OPNC planned to donate the land in front of their houses as a spacious garden-side parking lot for Domas LLC’s Solaris Apts and Amani Apts. LP at 4200 Pico Blvd.

Due to violations of the Brown Act, the OPNC is not qualified to be authorized filers or submit community impact statements.  According to the City of Los Angles document, How to Create and Submit a Community Impact Statement, “The City Clerk will accept statements only from Neighborhood Councils…in accordance with the Brown Act”. (Attachment A)

Why is the Olympic Park neighborhood council able to submit community impact statements when they communicate city business via non-city email and non-city phones? BROWN ACT 54950 states “It is the intent of the law that their actions [of the OPNC] be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.  

I request the OPNC, in accordance with 54960 of the Brown Act, to commence an action to cure or correct by mandamus, injunction, or declaratory relief for the purpose of stopping or preventing violations or threatened violations of the Brown Act by members of the OPNC, who on September 9, 2019 at 7pm illegally cancelled the meeting of the OPNC in order to avoid hearing and attending to the concerns voiced by homeowners of Victoria Ave. in relation to Domas LLC’s Solaris Apts.  Additionally, the OPNC utilizes private communication to conduct City Business in violation of Gov. Code 54950 and OPNC bylaws. (Attachment F.2)

I request that the OPNC cure or correct its following actions:

  1. The Cancellation of the regularly scheduled meeting of the OPNC on September 9  in violation of Gov Code 54954.3c.  The cure requested would be recognition by the OPNC of the impromptu meeting held by residents gathered in the Catch One nightclub parking lot, in lieu of the regularly scheduled meeting of the OPNC. The OPNC would accept the adoption of paperwork passed out to residents, to be placed on the public record.
  2. Withdraw the appointment of the five OPNC members which took place on October 7, 2019 at approximately 7:45pm.  The OPNC is not qualified to adopt community impact statements due to  cancelling a regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 9, 2019  and utilizing private communication to conduct city business in violation of the Brown Act including Gov. Code 54954.3c and 54950 (As well as Policy F of OPNC Bylaws).  The City Clerk only accepts statements from Neighborhood Councils, “in accordance with the Brown Act”. 
  3. Withdraw of October 7, 2019 letter of Support for Domas LLC’s Solaris Apts. The Board is not qualified to provide community impact statements, and thus the support letter for Solaris is invalid.  

The OPNC is not in accordance with the Brown Act and thus not qualified to submit community impact statements, or allow members of the OPNC to be authorized filers on behalf of the Council.

The city would accept the following documents that were passed out to residents (10 copies) for public record:

1) 2015 Proposed Negative Declaration for C3 Subdivision (I only brought one copy). (Attachment H)

2) 2016 Letter of Support from Laura Rudison, obtained from the VTT-73424 Physical File for the C3 luxury subdivision. (Attachment I)

2) Mitch Edelson’s response to my inquiry related to the C3 luxury subdivision dated 12/5/18. (Attachment J)

3) 13-page email chain between myself and Mitch Edelson, President of the City of Los Angeles’ Olympic Park Neighborhood Council (front page dated 12/31/2018). (Attachment K)

4) Six-page email chain between myself and Jordann Turner, City Planner for C3 luxury Subdivision, of City of Los Angeles.   (front page dated 1/12/2019).  (Attachment L)

On outgoing correspondences, the OPNC lists a private email and phone number. (Attachment G) Using private phones and email addresses to communicate city business is against Council bylaws, and is highly questionable, particularly with the issues involving the C3 luxury subdivision and the OPNC’s 2016 letter of support, minus City record of any related discussion, action, or vote. 

Please let me know if the OPNC can cure or correct the issues addressed above.

(Virginia Jauregui is an OPNC stakeholder.)

-cw

Tags: