Mon, May

Absolutely Cherry-Picking


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - The LA City Ethics Commission met on Wednesday.  It was brutal.  

There was a speaker who wanted to speak on all of the items and a general public comment, but the President of the five-person board,Jeffrey Darr, insisted that the speaker fill out a card.  Paul Krekorian who has not appointed a commissioner for nearly a year, wants to increase the board to seven persons. 

Brown Act Speaker:  I'm going to mention again, that I have a state constitutional right to speak at this meeting. I've asked to speak on all items. 


From left to right, Jane Doe, John Doe and Attorney who should know better, Jeffrey Daar.

 Jeffrey Daar, President of LA City Ethics Commission: You can fill out a speaker card.  

Brown Act Speaker: I'm not going to fill out a speaker card, sir.  

Jeffrey Daar, President of LA City Ethics Commission:  You're out of order. 

Brown Act Speaker:  I do not wish to be registered. I do not wish to be followed. I do not wish to be harassed. So I wish to remain anonymous and speak at this Brown Act meeting.      

Jeffrey Daar, President of LA City Ethics Commission: Still you need to fill out a speaker card. 

Brown Act Speaker:  I do not have to fill out a speaker card.  I do not have to fill out a speaker card to speak at this meeting. No one does. 

Jeffrey Daar, President of LA City Ethics Commission: You have no right to be interrupting -- 

Brown Act Speaker: I'm not interrupting. I want to be recognized to speak on the floor. I've asked to speak. The gentleman says that the next speaker could speak. And I'm the next speaker.    

Jeffrey Daar, President of LA City Ethics Commission: Please fill out a speaker card.  

Brown Act Speaker: Well, I'm not going to do it. OK. Because I don't have to do it.  And I'm not going to do something that I do not have to do.  

It was an old-fashioned high noon standoff at the Ethics Commission. Eventually, a verdict came down..

Smart Speaker:  OK. Thank you. Well, first of all, I just want to say there needs to be a Brown Act clarification. Sir, you can't require people to identify themselves at Brown Act meetings for a variety of reasons. It's just the law. so Renee Stadel the City Attorney needs to take a quick cup of coffee and apologize to Mr. Spindler and cure and correct this.  Because, that's just the law of the land. The reason I could go into later, but we have already spent a lot of time on this.  So... It's probably true that Rick Jacobs who got fined $12,500 for lobbying for the Carpenter union bareback is not a carpenter, though I believe he's something of a wood enthusiast. I would suggest Jacobs be given the full fine of $25,000 based on the egregious conduct that unfolded in Mayor Garcetti's office with LAPD officer Matt Garza...et al....  

Eventually, the LAPD officers arrived and the commission finally let the man speak [link to the meeting]. He, made a "dot" on the speaker card, no word if he was forced to do that, or did it voluntarily. 


----- Forwarded Message -----

From: ERIC PREVEN <[email protected]>

To: "[email protected]"

Cc: "[email protected]"; Nicole Davis Tinkham

Sent: Monday, April 10, 2024 at 1:46 PM PDT

Subject: Re: DC virtual public comment


Please provide the dial-in and any access numbers for virtual comment for tomorrow’s meeting and the preliminary transcript from yesterday’s meeting. Stat.

Sent from my iPhone


----- Forwarded Message -----


Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2024 9:49 AM 

To: Executive Office  Cc: Norayr Zurabyan

Subject: Re: Public Records Act Request      


Great!  Will the board be taking public comment virtually today from the boondoggle in DC?   


Eric Preven

Sent from my iPhone


----- Forwarded Message -----

From: Executive Office 

Sent: Thu, Apr 11 at 1:11 PM 


Cc: Norayr Zurabyan, Diana Bluem, Carlos Gonzalez, Erica Gomez, Elizabeth Yeramian, Jocelyn Mencos Jeff Levinson, Nicole Davis Tinkham, Dawyn Harrison 


Good afternoon, Mr. Preven: The Washington meeting is in-person only, and all Supervisors are expected to be in attendance.  Thank you.  


----- Forwarded Message -----

From: ERIC PREVEN <[email protected]>

To: "[email protected]"

Cc: "[email protected]"; Nicole Davis Tinkham

Sent: Monday, April 15, 2024 at 10:22:15 AM PDT

Subject: Re: DC virtual public comment


Can you please ask the executive office to provide the audio or transcript from the DC public meeting?  I’d rather not unleash the LAT, but I did say please!


Eric Preven

Sent from my iPhone



Hopefully, the transcript from the BOS meeting in DC will be forthcoming. The Board + Douglas Emhoff.


Tuesday, April 16, 2024 - Kenn Hahn Hall of Administration, Downtown 

Executive Officer:  Moderator, may we have the first remote speaker? Our first participant is Eric Preven, you may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Yes, thank you. I take note this is a lighting district item and the director of the Los Angeles County Public Works is Mark Pestrella, a good guy, busy night and day getting the lighting districts going and making sure the flood district he oversees is working well.  

As we try to protect against various climate impacts, he and his office have simply been ignoring me, a county resident, who wants to know why we the county would extend a lease to a private elite academy like Harvard Westlake which has plied our local politicians to abscond with our local… open space.  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: This item is a lighting district in Los Nietos, please focus your comments on that.  

Smart Speaker: I'm bringing light to a story that you ignore — 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Thank you your time has expired. Next speaker, please.  

Moderator: There are no additional remote speakers in the queue to address the board. 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair:   Moderator may we have the first remote speaker?  

Moderator: The first participant is Eric Preven.  

Smart Speaker: The chair being a renter is powerful, for the lived experience. Thank you.  But I am concerned that this measure is a bureaucratic nightmare, to be honest.  A huge emphasis on training various inspectors and appeals hearing officers who are beyond busy.  The fact that it’s 18 months before we can get a portal working is cause for grave concern.  This is another 15 positions. I mean have you ever been to City Hall?  Do you really think the REAP program over there is working well?  It’s not.  

And the City, who you want to emulate - huge mistake - is in the business of being scolded by another Federal Judge for fudging records. You're going in to discuss a Federal Judge on CS9. I commend the Board on eroding the public’s trust.  

What we have to do, I’m afraid,  is hire small not-for-profit lawyers who will go after violators in civil court, the way public commenters go after you in the hall of administration.   

All of this in-between BS may not be worth the effort. It's too much money and too many people that we don’t have available and we won’t realistically be able to hire. I think we all love the idea of protecting renters and mom-and-pop landlords too, but for those who don’t play fair, they need to feel a Judge is coming for them. 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair:  Moderator, may we have the first remote speaker, please?  

Moderator: Our first participant is Mr. Eric Preven. You may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you, and I take note that in part C, we're talking about those unincorporated areas of the county lying within the following boundaries beginning on the northeast corner of section 21, township 1, north range 17 west, it's very complicated and coded but the City of Hidden Hills, we know where that is, so that's good.  But this is an oil petroleum franchise for $10,000 for five years. I assume all the environmentalists know about this because Horvath wouldn't be able to take three steps without agreement. So, I don’t know. I mean, there are other places all across the county in this item.  I just hate to give the oil industry more -- we've been setting up all these so-called robust efforts to hold them accountable, but here we're sliding a franchise through before Horvath jumps out of her Climate Cake later today. This company calls itself the Crimson Oil Company tk., which is nice, and consistent with USC.  I don't know. The base per linear foot rate goes from point --  

Executive Officer: Thank you, your time has expired. Moderator, next speaker, please.  

Moderator: Our next participant is Eric Preven. You may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you. And I know that this is a robust discussion and once again the developers are so effective at giving you one impression and then, you know, “Good luck!”   As the unintended consequences in the neighborhoods around the areas where we’re so desperate to build places without parking.  Here’s a hint,  the motorists are forced to go around the corner and into “your neighborhood” to park.  There is no better example of this, than in Studio City at the corner of Coldwater Canyon and Ventura Boulevard.  This is the location of the greediest of all greedy developers Midwood from New York has arranged to put 1400 underground parking spaces next to the l.A. River. Get in here, Bodek!  Pestrella! 

Where the hell is everybody? I realize Studio City is in the City of Los Angeles but the council has been complicit and is busy doing other things like eliminating the traffic condition to widen Ventura Boulevard to avoid routinely running over people, hydrants…bicyclists.  Unite Here, 11 — 

Executive Officer:   Moderator may we have the first remote speaker?  

Moderator: Eric Preven, you may begin.  

Smart Speaker: The Climate is the major issue of our time today and I think it is good that the board is digging in.  And I was excited to hear that you talked about it in Washington, DC. I would love to get a copy of the transcript from that public meeting or an audio of that meeting. We were eager to participate even though we knew you were there to capitalize on relationships, including, presumably my new favorite category, Severe Non-Attainment Status. That’s instead of aspirational goals.  Let's not kid a kidder, this plan is not going to be unattainable. Aspirational, yes.  Everybody understands when a politician aims high it is with a purpose — not to come across as an idiot — though— 

The reason is to get everybody pulling in the right direction. Hostile remarks from the business community are certainly warranted but should be respectful and muted since upsetting a Supervisor can result in retaliation —    

Executive Officer: Thank you, your time has expired. 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Okay, next speaker, please.  

Moderator: Our next participant is T. Carter. You may begin. 

T. Carter Speaker:  Hi, I'm calling to speak on a closed agenda. Do I do that during public comment or do I do that now?  

Executive Officer: This is a comment on the closed session. There's no general public comment at this meeting today. This is a public hearing meeting and a closed-session meeting.  

T. Carter Speaker: So can I do public comment now?  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair:  You'll have one minute.  

T. Carter Speaker: Okay, well, one minute for the entire agenda? There were two agendas. Can I comment on the two agendas?  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: One minute on closed session items.  

T. Carter Speaker:  Okay, and after the closed session items, is there a general public comment?  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: No, there is no general public comment at this meeting.  

[Smart Speaker:  No further questions your honor.] 

T. Carter Speaker:  I'll use my one minute now because last week I had a comment regarding [indiscernible] and you had a closed session and no time frame when people could speak last week.  Now this week I only have one minute, so when can I have my two minutes again?  When will the next Board meeting be that I can have the full time for public comment? Because it keeps getting changed every week.  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Is that the end of your comments?  

T. Carter Speaker: What day and time?  I'm asking what day and time can I call back for--  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: I will respond when you finish your minute.  

T. Carter Speaker:  I'm finished. Because I'm not being allowed to speak about Holly Mitchell.  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Next week will be a regularly scheduled Board meeting which is when we have general public comment. That happens typically on the first and third Tuesdays and it's noticed on the agenda. Thank you. Next speaker, please.  

Executive Officer:  Moderator: Our next participant is Eric Preven. You may begin.  

Smart Speaker: Thank you. What happened to the guy working at ISD? Selwyn Hollins. He migrated over from LA City and just disappeared after a couple of years. He was very tight with Mark Ridley-Thomas and all y’all so where is the Covington & Burling report on the contracting fraud? And it appears that you're taking a closed session meeting on the performance of Fesia Davenport.  Go on.  Right before budget time.  Interesting. I hope it is, you know…legal -- she has a tough job.  I hope Skip Miller is not making her sign a letter of contrition. Jk. 

Let's not kid a kidder. It would be great if you could name the people you’re planning to hire, before doing a deal in a closed session.  That way, if there are concerns, they can be raised and vetted.  There are way too many closed sessions today.   And the public hearing day model betrays the open government model.  You are attempting to rig it so an Angeleno can only make an open public comment every fortnight… If that.  This is super outrageous because it means that half of the board meetings on the Horvath schedule are public hearing meetings.   

Maybe Jaclyn Cosgrove is paying attention -- we know she spotted the statue from the deeply moving meeting of Kenn Hahn and MLK.  

Look, I told you that this was a problem, Supervisor Horvath.  I suggested we go back to one regular weekly meeting where speakers can deliver general public comments.  You should embrace the people who are giving you their thoughts, not re-route them to wait around for another hour... or come back next week.   A lot of the motions before you today are from the community, as you recall, and people have a lot to say. So, there it is, we have to reform the county Board of Supervisors public meeting schedule. It’s not personal. Everybody loves everybody and it's a great time, as always, to be celebrating one another and taking selfies with the Second gentleman in DC. 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Thank you, your time has expired.  

Moderator: Madam chair, no other remote speakers to address the board. 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Thank you, we'll go to speakers in person. Go right ahead.  

Kaitlyn Speaker:  Hi, I'm Kaitlyn. I'm a graduate student at USC. We are here to discuss the naloxone distribution project and ways to save our community with it. The Department of Health Care Services created the program to combat opioid-related deaths in California — 

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: This time is for comment on our closed session items. Are you speaking to a closed-session item?  

Kaitlyn Speaker: No, it's going to be a public comment.  

Sup. Lindsey Horvath, chair: Unfortunately, that's next week. There's no general public comment on this agenda today. But I will have one of my staff members come and talk to you about your concerns since you're here so we can hear you and we'll make sure it gets shared with all of the offices.  


MOU know better:

Cherry Picking!


Smart Speaker:  Yeah, it's Eric Preven from Studio City I'd like to speak on all the items in the main and special meeting and a general public comment. 

Tanea Ysaguirre, Deputy City Attorney:  We're in the special meeting.   

Smart Speaker:  What about the main meeting, why was I overlooked? 

Tanea Ysaguirre, Deputy City Attorney. We're in the special meeting. You'll have one minute for item 31 in the special meeting. 

Smart Speaker:   Okay, so the MOUs... the big flood of MOUs. I just want to emphasize that that is like I don't know maybe 27 different complicated labor negotiations in one item. It all comes down to sort of 3% increases, 4% raises, 2% increases.  I stand with the workers who are underpaid.   A percentage that is much higher than you would think of those workers who make less than 50,000 dollars a year. Controller Mejia has some data on that on his website.  

It is important to pay workers well but the problem is when the departments are so understaffed, and when the 2000 positions are cut loose, they're going to use that as an excuse to continue delivering bad service.  

And I wonder if regarding the city's liability, Blumenfield, maybe we should be transferring the cost of liability to each department themselves - so not straight out of the general fund. That will clean up some of the egregious lawsuit behavior that you struggle with in budget and innovation-- 

City Clerk: Caller, Please go ahead. Caller, please go ahead.  

Stacey Segarra-Bohlinger, Speaker/Singer:  I agree with what Eric Preven was just saying... a lot of it.  



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