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Metrics for Success

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Paul Koretz of CD5 rolled out some punishing stats about Vision Zero.  

All the death instruments seemed to agree, “traffic-related deaths are up all over the country" including other places like NYC, who committed 7 years earlier to Vision Zero.  Portland saw more deaths. Deaths are surging in DC, Philadelphia, the rare exception is Hoboken NJ.  The City of Hoboken has installed 30 curb extensions, 298 high visibility crosswalks, and more since 2019, as part of its Vision Zero goal to end all traffic-related injuries and deaths by 2030. 

"We are all looking forward to being less auto-dependent, but we are not there yet."

Concerned about the funding and resources issue... Koretz called for a motion asking the Controller's Office, to conduct an audit and provide recommendations.  

I guess if Koretz gets elected, he'll catch his own pass off the backboard and put it in for two. Red Auerbach called this play by   Larry Bird.  “the greatest play I’ve ever seen.” 

And on this May Day 2022, Kevin James got the coveted SEIU Local 721 endorsement.  "I am honored to be endorsed by labor unions and locals all around Los Angeles, including SEIU Local 721.  Thank you to the essential workers in Los Angeles – you are heroes who helped all of us through the darkest days of the pandemic.

 

LA County Bribery Incubator Program:

Real Estate Developer and co-managing partner of the Charles Company Arman Gabay, who also uses the last name of Gabaee, appears to be happily skipping any trial or jail time by stroking a check for  $1.1 million payable to the order of the US Feds.   

Prior to signing his plea agreement, Mr. Gabay was scheduled to go on trial in June.   

 In 2016, LA county official Thomas Shepos began cooperating with the FBI, and officials allegedly recorded conversations with Gabay. 

As part of his job, Shepos was able to request and receive proposals from private real estate developers such as Gabay, who wanted to lease their buildings to county departments. 

Prosecutors allege that along with monthly payments, Gabay offered to buy Shepos a $1.1 million home in Santa Rosa.  

There is something elegant about offering to buy a chap a home in wine country.   

And super fancy legal work avoiding jail time. Gabay never bought the house, so instead of buying the bribee the house, he bribes the Feds.  It's not a bribe, silly, it's a penalty!  

Reminiscent of ye olde Patrick T. Lynch, the former general manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, who was caught red-handed, but merely required by a young BOS henchman, Max Huntsman, to pay back the $400K to avoid a messy trial that might expose grand poobahs, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe, who teamed up for many weekend football and CSEC activities. 

Any proposed trial of a good guy, as with the non-trial-by-attenuation of crooked county assessor John Noguez, which would have been fatal to the Supervisors' franchise, sorry, the County, must be delayed... and quashed.  

Rule of thumb: Never expose the good guys, because the good guys are the bad guys, and if that gets out...  

The public will have to be kept away permanently.  

José Huizar's corruption trial has been pushed out another year to mid-2023, infuriating the #PUBLIC!  

Huizar's attorney denies the allegations claiming that the former councilman was merely “an evangelist for robust development." 

Great. 

Hey, you know who loves leasing property to the County? Jamison Properties!   

And there is nothing wrong with piling contributions on every local politician for miles to get things moving.  I'd love to see a report back on all the prospective volunteers who have already and are now ready to commit to providing $1 million to the city’s affordable housing fund and $250,000 to a “community benefits” fund. 

They're going to storm the barricades... 

 

LA City Budget Hearing NOTES Tuesday,  April 26, 2022 

Record-breaking short kickoff...  after an egregiously late start (expected by staff, so somehow appropriate to them) so, 1 hour and forty-five minutes into the appointed session. This resulted in only seven speakers, being in cue when speakers were taken, 

 

Budget Hearing NOTES Wednesday,  April  27 minutes in...

Fauble reminds us that it is a Special meeting, so there is "no general public comment, so they have to stick to the one budget item." 

Says, "Unfortunately, you will forfeit speaking time..." at least twice.  

On the docket: 

Housing  

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (including HACLA)  

Public Works - Bureau of Sanitation  

Transportation  

Information Technology Agency 

Up to thirty minutes were on offer, but starting at 30:38 the committee could only muster 13 minutes of public comment, end 43:05... Despite my best efforts including blinking on and off the *9 indicator in quasi-desperation, the City Clerk informs me that only ITA+Budget Chair/Council may determine who speaks and who is silenced. 

Questions as to how such selections are made ... are very good questions.  Alexis Marin of Nury Martinez's office would know? 

 

Budget Hearing NOTES Thursday, April 28, 2022,  

"So far we have 82 proposed budget impact memos..." Krekorian chirped out, with a small amount of visible pride.  

On the docket:  

Police 

Economic and Workforce Development 

Fire 

Recreation and Parks

Library 

Planning 

Building and Safety 

Cannabis Regulation 

60 seconds / 8 = 7.5 seconds per speaker, per department. 

Krekorian seemed a bit disappointed but got lucky... when Mr. Andrew Suh, the Clerk representative, found one more "rim of the Valley" caller,  including a shout-out to Liberty Canyon. 

After cutting the friendly speaker abruptly at the sixy second mark, Krekorian asked and asserted  "We've taken all of the comments of all of the people who've called in?!, So that will close public comment for the moment.

One of the dozen callers had said, "Kevin DeLeon," who he called KDL "has replaced Curren Price as the most useless member of the committee."   

There was no discussion on that. 

But 13 minutes of public comment is nothing to sneeze at, given the constantly moving target, and the new-fangled... lack of oral reports from departments.  

In the days of yore, pre-pandemic, it was common for committee members to take two or three hours of public testimony on Channel 35. 

Kudos to the Information Technology Agency team for making what is usually very easy, super challenging.  Rather than providing a normal time code, the counter on Youtube counts down or up from an arbitrary negative start time that provides a negative number. It's hard to cite where in the giant block you can find the sliver of public comment.  

Baffling, so Kudos to ITA! cc Wesson Out of Focus. Wesson termed out, Silly. 

 OMG he's back! And his daughter-in-law, Alexis Marin is apparently running Nury's speaker selection program.  

No wonder they keep losing "my card."

 

Budget Hearing (continuation of item 1):  

The Chair Krekorian, asked on Friday "Any corrections..."  on the fusillade of written material that you couldn't possibly have read, yet?  

Monica Rodriguez the council member from CD7 had a few detailed edits, showing that she'd started reading the escalating number of budget memos.. 

One item she said was a "special study... but should read differently... [insert complicated revisions] ... with a "metrics for success" button. 

I intend to nominate  "metrics for success" for this year's budget moniker of the year award.  

On memo 198, a report on street racing resources... Rodriguez asked about the safety measures on the high injury network... in the priority corridors.  

Krekorian, piggybacked,   "Can we include street takeovers?" 

"Yes." 

154 is listed as a "special study" but I'd like it to be a "budget study..." and add, "and LHASA to report back on how they plan to coordinate... how many survivors will be served... and how much will be going to the service providers?"   Incomprehensible.  

But a good set of questions.  

The Chair, asked "Mr. Price?" 

"I'm good." said Price.  

Krekorian welcomed the Chief who remained fully masked throughout his presentation.  Very strange. 

"As you know, Chief, we're not taking any opening comments, but thank you for your thoughtful letter." 

Footnote: By not hearing a report on the police budget, from the Chieif, is the hearing really a hearing?    

A member of the public who is not necessarily firing off public record act requests on a daily basis might theoretically like to hear the Police Chief's annual budget request and report.    

"Sir, you're disrupting the meeting." 

It's true, they can find the Chief's written report somewhere, but this is a HEARING you... *&$#ing a&[email protected]#+es*  

"We're going to dig in with Public Safety Chair Rodriguez...  " Krekorian said.  

Sigh. 

"How do we spend enforcement money in the most effective way... it's not just how many and where does the money get spent."  

"Moving on to fire special 318... a report on the restoration of one fire engine...to station 96."  And a rescue ambulance to 82"  

And regarding, any pending SAFER grants, we need to know,  so not cost-prohibitive, for restoration... " 

322, report on how new non-emergency vans can be used...  

Rodriguez noted that there was 2 million in this years' budget... but that they've only rolled out two... vans so far.  There is another 2M in funding next year, so are we... "Should we go for less... not need the full 2M...since we have 4 million programmed?   

"I'd like to reconcile how much do we need for current program offering."   

Krekorian, seemed pleased, Now, this would be a "Budget impact..." memo.     

Bob Blumenfield of CD3 was energized and Price did not seem asleep. 

Blumenfeld, who is not a hard-hitter when it comes to the Police, called out 279... "the funding options for the 70k for West LA municipal bldg... we need a comprehensive... what physical improvements can we do...?"   

Rodriguez chimed in, "We need an evaluation... similar to Pacoima City Hall... " 

240, is a special study ... that should become a "budget impact" memo. "About bridge homes,  deployment... and how much discretionary dollars from council offices has been programmed?"  

"We have set-asides, but we have funded some..." items "despite earmarks."

Better clarity about how those dollars are being used.

249 let's get a list about how to prioritize civilian hiring, particularly as related to "PSR.. budget impact." How does it fulfill those priorities... staffing and prioritization, to relieve officers from desk duties." 

Better clarity about how those dollars are being used.

 

City Council: 

Item 9 at City Council prior to the budget hearing was a shout-out and three-year extension to Konkuey KDI, a non-profit 501(c)(3), for the continued operation of the Adopt-A-Lot Pilot Program. 

The revised master license agreement will extend the initial contract term of September 19, 2019 through February 19, 2022, by an additional three years, for a revised contract termination date of February 19, 2025.  

KDI has implemented three lots in the AAL Pilot Program located at 15201 Tupper St., Los Angeles 91343 (Tupper), 1631 E. 110th St., Los Angeles 90059 (110th) and 5154 E. Wadena St., Los Angeles 90032 (Wadena).  

Each lot activation has received strong community support. 

Might be fun for a local news reporter to see how it's going.   "Sir..."

 

Way out west...:

In 1963, actor and philanthropist Francis Lederer initiated a sister city relationship between the community of Canoga Park and Taxco, Mexico. Although the official sister city of the city is Mexico City, where Cedillo famously laughed as Mitchell Englander sported a MAGA hat - yuck.  The relationship between Canoga Park and Taxco has endured for decades and has bridged the two communities through art exchanges, student exchanges, annual visits, and extensive philanthropic works

Small Fact check:  The Taxco Theatre will be the only publicly-owned incubator for the performing arts in Southern California.  

Hey, what about John Anson Ford Theatre (sometimes known as the "Zev Anson...") and Hollywood Bowl? 

Regardless, this theater will serve to support the development of new and innovative productions (and fundraiser) for many years to come.   

Fin.

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch)