Fri, Jan

Newsom Remains While the Rest of Us Go on Facing Challenges

RANTZ & RAVEZ-California voters have voted to retain Gavin Newsom as their Governor. With over 60% voting NO on the Recall, his victory clearly shows the future direction of California in the coming years.

The state is solidly controlled by the Democrats, so we will continue down the same path of governance that exists today. California has become a one-party state with strong Democratic control. There is no balance of power in this lopsided system of governance. Good or bad, this is the reality of what our state government has become.       

What does this mean? It means we will continue to see more government giveaway programs along with higher taxes needed to pay for them. We will see more congestion in our communities with additional housing stacked on top of existing housing. The recent signing of Senate Bills 9 and 10 by Governor Newsom will bring more density and a lower quality of life for many California residents. It is interesting that both SB 9 and SB 10 were signed less than 48 hours after the Recall ballots were counted and Newsom had clearly won. To avoid any controversy during the election, the Governor was strategic in how he handled the matter and his ultimate approval of the housing legislation.     

SB 9 will establish a streamlined process to create split lots and convert homes to duplexes, potentially creating up to four units on property that had only one unit before. It’s important to note that local governments will have to approve the applications if the project meets size and requirements and local design standards; falls outside historic and environmental sensitive districts; and does not require the demolition of housing that is rent-restricted or has been occupied by tenants in the past three years. 

Senate Bill 10 will allow cities to rezone some parcels in urban areas, including those near public transit, for up to 10 units. What this all means is that your quiet single family residential neighborhoods could soon be transformed into multi-residential neighborhoods with many people living in the same space. So, street parking will change along with the entire neighborhood, including schools and the overall quality of life. 

I currently live in a single-family neighborhood in Los Angeles. In the past few months, many neighbors have converted their garages into residences and are renting them out. One neighbor who already converted the garage into a residence has now taken away his front yard and built a two-story unit in front of his house. What was once a single-family residence will now become a residence for four families. This appears to be the way of the future for Los Angeles and other cities throughout California. 

Is it time to move to Nevada, Texas, Idaho, Montana, or any of the other states that have the quality-of-life California has lost? Something to consider. And consider think this: We all know that property tax is limited by Prop 13. When a home sells, the property tax is adjusted and, in many cases, increases like a rocket ship blasting off to Mars. What will happen to the property tax on a single-family residence when additional residential units are built on the lot? When you convert your garage to a residence your property taxes are sure to increase. The more you add, the higher the property tax increase. Think about that before you decide to add onto your home.  

Where was the Mayor who wants to leave America? Where was the City Attorney who wants to be the next Mayor? And where are the members of the LA City Council, some facing Recalls, who show their support and appreciation for the citizen members of the 53-year-old LAPD Reserve Officer Unit? 

As a member of the LAPD Reserve Police Corps, I recently attended the annual Reserve Banquet at the Skirball Cultural Center. This event recognizes Reserve LAPD Officers from all divisions and all walks of life. The unit is made up of citizens who want to give back to their communities and help strengthen public safety for everyone in the city. This includes businessmen and women--doctors and bankers and teachers and all sorts of people who enjoy their careers in the private sector--who want to experience various elements of police work. Everything from Patrol to Motorcycle to SWAT and Detectives to list just a few of the hundreds of assignments available to Reserve Officers.   

The Reserve unit dates back to 1947 when citizens joined the Department to bolster public safety during the war. The Reserve Corps has continued to function and works side by side with fulltime officers. They devote the required monthly hours without any form of compensation. The hours they work help to supplement public safety throughout the city. They are to be commended for the sacrifices they make for the people of LA.  

The only elected official who took the time to attend the event and show support for the officers was Councilmember John Lee from the San Fernando Valley’s 12th District. Only one out of 15 LA City Councilmembers found it important to attend the event. Additionally, Councilmember Lee also purchased a full-page ad from the program journal.  

Councilmember Joe Buscaino from Council District 15 in San Pedro and LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger both purchased full page adds along with Mayor Eric Garcetti.  

I guess the elected officials who voted to defund the LAPD might feel uncomfortable attending the event. Please remember who supports the police and who supports defunding the police in Los Angeles when election time rolls around next time. You can be sure I will remind you which elected officials support public safety and who doesn’t.


(Dennis P. Zine is a former and retired LAPD Supervisor, former and retired 12-year Los Angeles City Councilman and current General Manager at Bell Canyon in Ventura County.) AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli. Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.