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Tue, Jun

Funny + Not so Funny Traffic Stops

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Human resources and technology company, Workday is synonymous with convoluted failure.  But since the purpose of the City of Los Angeles' contract with the company is to implement a new Payroll and Human Resources System over a 10-year period.  RESPECT.  

For the third consecutive year, Workday has been named one of The World's Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere Institute.

Smart Speaker: Uh oh.  Does Workday track employees? 

Employee Time Tracking Management Software | Workday Accurate time sheets and easy check-in. Mobile time tracking in Workday comes with geofencing.  City workers can get a reminder to check in and out as they enter and exit the job site—and managers don't have to spend time monitoring mobile employees.

Smart Speaker:  I would say, yes, Workday would be happy to track employees. Quick question, on Tuesday you approved over $20,000,000 in legal settlements, many with employees. Will Workday help with that ... like the Thomas case that settled for $8,000,000 because an LAPD guy hurt his leg and... cityside criminality ensued. It took ten years to get any justice. Thanks to Shegerian & Associates,  a law firm that understands the nuances of employment law like no other, and Councilmember Krekorian's various miscalculations... 

City Attorney, XXXXXXX XXXXXX: Get him out of here. 

Smaart Speaker:   Workday has to train everyone how to use the new system and the city folks can, this is not a criticism, be a little stuck in their ways.  Okay, it is a criticism.  

AI has tremendous potential and could do great things. But if it’s anything like most technological advancements. Unless we’re cautious it could hurt the underprivileged. Enrich the powerful and widen the gap between them.  As John Oliver put it, "Like any shiny new toy, AI is ultimately a mirror. And it will reflect back exactly who we are."

That's why city family leaders like to make dynamic change without Ethisphere Institute or LA City Ethics Commission getting in the way. 

Maverick champions of the public such as Council President Paul Krekorian and sidekick, Bob Blumenfield, who can turn a $40,000 routine claim into a decade of litigation costing taxpayers $8 million dollars, have brought flexibility and a forward-thinking style to a series of dramatic meeting rule changes. They opted to shove these rules into place during a very busy time of the year with overloaded agendas from the CLA's Avak Keohtian and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the planning complicitor and third banana. 

The city behaves this way, not to assist the public, as they claim, but rather to push past the public without having to discuss sticky issues like... Workday and many many more. Including nasty litigations. 

Plus, these brave public servants are entitled to generous council recesses throughout the year. Time is precious. Hearing the public drone on -- 

Smart Speaker: You said Drone. Is it true that Boston Dynamics is developing a noise detector that will assist LAPD in identifying who is disrupting the meeting and tasing them... aerially?

Continuation Agenda: 

In the section of the city's agenda that can only be viewed if you know to click on the three blue dots, you can find two items on a continuation agenda. 

Item 32. Thirty-two, pronounced, Toity-two, the way Imogene Cocoa used to say it according to Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, who concluded after hearing her say the word that it was the THE funniest number in the world. Toity-two. 

Smart Speaker: What about El Ocho!  Funny? 

Item 33 not so funny. The city will be facing significant exposure to litigation in Closed Session pursuant to 54956.9(d) (2) and (e)(1) — three potential cases.  

Smart Speaker:  I wonder if one would relate to my little note to the DA sent the other day  (See Note at bottom To DA Gascon)

With Dodger enthusiast Paul Krekorian on the mound, there is no way to know which sneaky pitch he will throw.  The three blue dots trick worked like a charm on Tuesday and I wrote about it. 

Speaker:  What items are available then?    

Johnathan Groat, City Attorney:  Items 26 through 31   

Speaker:  I’m on the website, I don't see 26 through 31. I see it goes up to 25.   

Groat cut him off. 

As for the way they will handle item 33, there is no way to know if they go into the back room or why?  

On Tuesday they did go in the back which infuriated numerous public speakers as they were asked to wait for many hours to deliver a general public comment. 

Smart Speaker:  Why wouldn't the council take the general public comments earlier?  Why make Angelenos wait for hours to redress their grievances? (See Note at bottom To DA Gascon)

What you do not need to know!

As a courtesy... the first contract with Workday was signed in 2020 for $62,109,339.70. 

The PURPOSE OF CONTRACT: Implement citywide Payroll and Human Resources System and provide licensing for 10 years.   In 2021 an adorable little change Notice, No. 2 reducing the subscription price by $1,292,064.00 to $34,570,998.00 for a total contract cost of $60,817,275.70. (That's sweet. Thanks guys.)

In 2022 there were two Amendments No. 1 increased the total contract not-to-exceed amount from $62,109,339.70 to $76,773,479.00 and the second from $76,773,479.00 to $94,200,510.00 with some modifications to the Statement of Work.

Fortunately, we have more eyeballs on the train wreck now than ever. FYI Paul Krekorian's number two Matt Hale moved over to LADWP.

Our old chums at KPMG LLP have agreed under Bindiya Khurana's leadership, with a very savvy approach by Rick Cole signing for Kenneth Mejia who has been tracking choppers with Sergio Perez of the Collar Flap incident, so not available to discuss these egregious failures in the city's payroll system. 

[I thought Rick Cole was a candidate raising money.]

As for KPMG, they don’t state what they make beyond their rates.  

 

 

Not too shabby!

 

They do post the aggregate liability of the contractor. So for Task order A, B, C, D, E, F, G the liabilities are as follows:  A 12,000,000 B  6,500,000 C 18,215,220 D 5,300,000 E 36,000,000 F 9,000.000 G 12,360,000

Smart Speaker:  That's about $100,000,000 in the aggregate.  I realize it's complicated, but is there no way to just buy an off-the-shelf setup and do as many other companies do without spending hundreds of millions with consultants... constantly bellyaching about integration? Why integrate?  Why not just reform and change and send the checks out timely? 

Paul Krekorian, Council President:   Get him out of here.  This is why we don't want the public in committee meetings... why we go out of our way to silence critics.  

Smart Speaker: It's not just Studio City who are upset with your conduct, Mr. Krekorian. 

The sign district drew nasty and significant opposition.  

Against:  Westside Neighborhood Council  Sunland­Tujunga Neighborhood Council Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Woodland Hills­Warner Center Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council  West Adams Neighborhood Council  West Los Angeles Neighborhood Council  Atwater Village Neighborhood Council  Hollywood United Neighborhood Council  Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council  East Hollywood Neighborhood Council  Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council   Winnetka Neighborhood Council                Mar Vista Community Council  Westside Neighborhood Council   Westwood Neighborhood Council              Valley Village Neighborhood Council  Venice Neighborhood Council  Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council

Also on the regular agenda, is a request for waiver of conflict of interest for Nossaman LLP, in its representation of a City Commissioner before the Ethics Commission. 

Smart Speaker: No thanks, this is the same firm that sought a waiver of conflict to represent Staffer B, John Lee.  And his sanitation moves are worth an investigation. Remember CD12 was built by Greig Smith, the man who built, Mitchell Englander... who built... Staffer B.  Waste Management are terrific. 

Paul Krekorian, Council President:   Rule 7!!!!

Smart speaker:  Yes, rule 7 indeed. General public comment is to be at or near the beginning of the meeting.  I yield my time. 

Studio City Slickers: 

Studio City residents enjoy shopping in the community with members of SAG AFTRA. Including Erik Estrada an old friend who appeared on Popular, Ryan Murphy's best show, that he distanced himself from following a weird closed-session. Sad. It was a gem.

In one sequence, a motorcycle cop pulls over Cherry-Cherry played by Delta Burke.  Ponch, asks for her license and it quickly escalates. Then, this classic dialogue: 

Erik Estrada : Spread em.  

Delta Burke: Not without a wedding ring and a credit check! 

 

 

Traffic Stop.

 

Note To District Attorney Gascon:

Dear Sean Hassett, (a deputy who was once described as a bumbling doofus.)

I trust that you and Mr. Gascon, our District Attorney are well.  

Mr. District Attorney, Sean Hassett runs your Public Integrity Division PID, or perhaps that has changed. They are not a communicative bunch over there. 

On Wednesday, December 13,  2023, I called in to speak on a giant 51-item agenda and was never called up to speak.

This was not a six-hour meeting like Tuesday.  The meeting was very short. 

There is no legitimate reason for me to be omitted other than deselection by the chair or a delegated member of the City Attorney's office, the Clerk's office, the CLA's office, the LAPD's office, or a member of ITA staff. 

The City has adopted the worst practice of lowering speakers' hands without explaining fully that if a speaker is already in the queue, they do not need to re-raise their hand.  

A speaker who had raised their hand earlier to speak timely on the assumption that the meeting is conducted on a first come first serve basis is left confused and ultimately disenfranchised. 

Any speaker who confronts this situation, thinks to themselves at that moment, "I have already raised my hand, I should be first up." 

But when City Attorney Groat authoritatively announces that anyone who wants to speak on the items "please raise your hand" he fails to explain to speakers who have already raised their hand early not to.   

The speaker thinks, "I already raised my hand. And yesterday the city lowered my hand and the hand of many others without telling us and many of those speakers missed their opportunity to deliver comments on what was a 78-item agenda..." 

"What do I do?" the speaker wonders nervously. Confused, but eager to participate the speaker takes Mr. Groat at face value and follows his instructions.  and presses *9.  

When I do press *9  a voice comes on and says, "Your hand has been lowered." 

Doh I quickly raise my hand again.  "You are in cue." 

It's too late.  Paul Krekorian calls a few speakers and moves on.  Even though the city knows me and my number and that I am a published watchdog journalist, they never called me to speak on the items.  

After ten minutes or less of comments, he says,  "We are going to close public comment now."

Too many people waiting, Mr. Preven.  You need to pay close attention. 

The Council President runs the numbers game at city hall. The "house" can see the phone numbers, but the speakers hear only the conflicting instructions.   If Paul Krekorian doesn't want to hear from a speaker because they are a critic and he has items on the agenda linked to his co-conspirator, Edgar Khalatian of Mayer Brown (Harvard-Westlake) "We can't get to everybody"  or  "Sorry, Mr. Preven, you raised your hand late."

As for a General Public comment, it is rather clear that the city council has not been following its own rules. Rule seven of the Rules of City Council specifies that General Public Comments will be held at or near the beginning of council meetings.  But Paul Krekorian has introduced a practice which will most certainly be corrected of holding general public comment at the end of council meetings.  

The damage is done.

This wholesale attack on public comment with stealth hand-lowering technology that for two straight days has blocked "Eric Preven" from speaking at Regular and Special meetings containing approximately 125 items ranging from liens to law changes to contract extensions, to sign districts, to legal settlements.  

Not one item. 

The Worst Practice policy of NEVER taking telephonic testimony in committee meetings has also hurt the possibility of effective public scrutiny over a very corrupted city council.  You have been apprised of this repeatedly. 

Your office who has an indictment pending against one of the seated members of city council should be helping the public. 

I warned you repeatedly about Mark Ridlety-Thomas and the Mayer Brown fiasco re: Watt Companies, and you did nothing. I warned  Mr. Yochelson about the thousands of improper Special Meetings and he did nothing.  I had to sue myself. 

By using the council committee exemption to deny public comments in front of the full council - unless, it is opened special, like for Harvard-Westlake who were given inside information to show up and speak, the city creates an unlevel playing field.  The effect, opponents are not given the inside info -- not able to speak. So, the school and Krekorian, their champion, won the day.  Not the war.

Also, would you and the City Attorney please discuss whether or not a child of a council member attending Harvard Westlake should have provoked a recusal?

Since it is a fact that Paul Krekorian took many large donations over the years from the Trustees of Harvard-Westlake to assist with their aggressive plans in Studio City... if his kid attended, would he have to recuse?

Lastly,  the closed-session meetings at city hall are not being handled in compliance with the Brown Act. Whenever there is a substantial change to an item it must be opened for public comment.  Not in Paul Krekorian's Temple of Hypocrisy. 

Please offer some times to meet and confer about Brown Act issues at city hall. 

This is the final request as the inaction of your office can no longer be tolerated. 

If you fail to stick up for the people, we will be left with no choice but to track down an attorney and seek a judicial remedy.

Best regards, 

Eric Preven 

PS - if you are no longer with PID, you should forward this to the current head. Thank you. 

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions of aMr. Preven are not necessarily those of CityWatchLA.com.)