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Tue, Jul

Bond Rating Booty

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - The cut of $45 Billion from the State Budget is cause for alarm as there are looming cutbacks that will hit us here in LA County.  

Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell talks too much. When she defended against some sharp criticism issued from a public speaker about the latest installment of the Priority Mountain video featuring a new cartoon character of color named Felicity, she said, the video was not for savvy budget advocates, it was intended to educate regular people about the complicated budget process.  

Complicated, indeed.   

She also wants to slide things from the Department of Probation over to the new Youth Development Department and we need a legislator to help with that. 

Supervisor Hilda Solis thanked the Department heads and Lindsey Horvath, for the good work in New York, massaging the bond rating...  it's very good.  

"Our bond rating went up because of the way we do our budget, we operate in the means we have, with a rainy day fund."

Big Challenges ahead.

 

Fesia Davenport the CEO, said deliberations were the time to consider final changes to what we discussed in April.   

A $45.6 billion dollar budget adding $251 million more and adding 412 positions for a total over 116,000 budgeted positions. No word on the filled number of positions. 

And we are hoping to ship some of these god damned inmates back to the State, in a Care First way... while we strive to meet Ukrainian refugee program needs. 

30 positions to inspect mobile food, increase security at Juvenile halls, and obviously... cyber security! 

On May 15, 2024 Eric Preven raised concerns about the budget and asked for clarity on the calculation of claims related to MacLaren. 

And then the Board listed their target priorities.   

Smart Speaker:  Where is Supervisor Hahn?  We hope she's okay, this is the second meeting in a row she's missed. 

Supervisor Horvath submitted a ten-pager with 23 High Priority Need notations in Red Sharpie. Tenacious. She left 29 other needs unprioritized  (with no special Sharpie color) including Vision Zero.  Her TGI load is very high.  

Kathryn  Barger had an eight-pager with an emphasis on funding technical advancements and staff resources to streamline and facilitate auditing and contracting through the county.   

Holly J. Mitchell had a five-pager and seemed to be ordering up a lot of new positions. 

Janice Hahn had a six-pager including funding for the Museum of Natural History's mobile museum staffing program.  Don't forget the The Museum of Narrative Art has to be free program.  

Animal Control wants $126.000 for a field officer out at the Agoura Hills Office. That ought to do the trick.  

And the new Executive Officer, under Jeff Levinson's capable administration, wants another $100,000 for the Board meeting telecasts and Pegasus. Hmmm. How about dumping AT&T!  "He's disrupting the meeting." And $175,000 in climate upcharges unspecified.  

The County Arts Council wanted a $1.2 million dollar increase to the Organizational grant, free concerts in public sites program, advance equity and obviously, the indigenous peoples are crucial to the cultural landscape.  Commissioner Sandy Hahn (no relation) famously noted "as an arts commissioner today, I am so blown away by the resources that are available to so many communities—that I had no idea were available before…I’m trying to bring a window to these resources by visiting schools and inviting both students and teachers to participate in exhibits within the surrounding district." 

It was interesting to see Patrice Cullors and Liane Weintraub signing among the bigwig and ...Randi Tahara.   "Hello, Tahara!" 

Councilmembers: AWOL

On Tuesday, a concerned citizen suspected that some Los Angeles County council members were not present during public comment. To verify his suspicion, he went to a courtyard down the hall and found two members, Heather Hutt (CD10) and Kevin de León (CD14), attending a Juneteenth reception. This meant that neither should have been counted as present on the board.  

This incident is reminiscent of 2017 when Mark Ridley-Thomas, then a county supervisor, was absent from a fair public hearing on the Chiquita Landfill. He was not just out of the room; he was across town at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Narrative Museum of Art with Eric Garcetti. In February, the EPA called the landfill an “imminent and substantial endangerment to nearby communities.” 

These actions paint a troubling picture of Los Angeles' governance narrative, highlighting the awkwardness of Former Chief Assistant City Attorney David Michaelson, an influential figure in disgraced Mike Feuer's office, shimmying over to Mayor Bass's team.  Disturbingly, he's her chief counsel. 

Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti, when he was the council president admonished several council members for their frequent absences, stressing that they should step out only for immediate needs, emergencies, or to keep the chambers quiet. “That doesn’t mean stepping out for an hour,” he emphasized.  

Even the craven Ambassador would be reluctant to exit a hearing where people are begging for relief from toxic fumes.  

Hugh Esten, director of communications for council President Paul Krekorian, defended the council members by stating that they can still keep up with the meeting from many nearby areas due to mini-speakers broadcasting the meeting audio. "A meeting in progress, including public comment, can be very clearly heard on the audio system in these spaces," he said.   

Despite these justifications, the repeated disappearances of council members during crucial public discussions raise serious questions about their commitment to their roles and the public they serve.  

Fair Public Hearing on the Expansion of the Chiquita Landfill — Brown Act Violation -- June 27, 2017  

Busted. Hopefully, the Narrative Museum will be FREE.

 

Smart Speaker:  Thank you. It is Eric Preven from the third district. I am against the expansion of this landfill. Mr. Ridley-Thomas you were not here because you stepped out during the fair public hearing, which is a violation of what the fair public hearing is... But what you missed...  

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Let me just say something to you... 

Smart Speaker: Sir you do not interrupt the public..  

Shutting down the mic.  

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Thank you very much. Next speaker. Either you will speak to the issue at hand or you will not be afforded the opportunity to speak. It is disruptive. It is inappropriate. You cannot do it. 

Smart Speaker:  This is a fair public hearing.

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Excuse me. Next speaker. 

Smart Speaker:  Wait you’re not interrupting me, are you? 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  No, I'm not. Your time has expired. Next speaker. 

Smart Speaker:  On what grounds? 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Next speaker. Who was next? 

Smart Speaker:  Counsel, is going to allow you to violate me? 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Yes, because you are not addressing the issue at hand. You seek to take the opportunity to admonish the chair. That's not the item before us. Do it at public comment. Thank you. 

Smart Speaker:  It's a fair public hearing. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Thank you. 

Smart Speaker:  That is a Brown Act violation. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Excuse me. Sergeant? Next speaker, please. 

Audience: Boooooo.  

The supervisor rises during the next speaker’s testimony and charges over to the public area.  

Smart Speaker (to MRT): You have a serious problem. We are being recorded for the record. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  I don't care. If you are bashing these staff people I will have you removed. 

Smart Speaker: (pointing to Barlavi) This is a lawyer. There's no bashing of anyone. This is a fair public hearing. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  If you bash one of these employees, like you have. 

Smart Speaker: I've never bashed an employee.

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor: You will be asked to leave. 

Smart Speaker:  What are you talking about? There's no bashing of employees. Sir, you're a public employee and I'm not bashing you, either. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor: They have reported it regularly and documented it so don't do it. You are hereby, forewarned. 

Smart Speaker: You can't leave a fair public hearing. You are required to keep your attention on the recognized speaker or the monitor in front of you. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor: If you bash any one of these employees again… 

Smart Speaker:  I'm not bashing any employee, I want to talk to a lawyer for your misconduct. Your conduct is inappropriate. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Sergeant!  

Speaker Barlavi: Sir, Sir. 

Smart Speaker: You are out of control. That is not appropriate. 

Speaker Barlavi: That’s a huge Brown Act violation. 

Smart Speaker: Of course it is, you can't interrupt the speaker and then shut his time down because I'm critical of the nature of the hearing. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: He advised you to address the item at hand.

Smart Speaker:  It's called a fair public hearing.

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  You're the lawyer. (pointing to lawyer) You're the Sergeant. (pointing to sergeant) You can sit down! (pointing to Smart Speaker)  Sergeant! You’ve been asked to be seated. You've been asked to be seated. 

Smart Speaker: I am not going to be bullied, sir. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  You have been respectfully asked to be seated. 

Smart Speaker: On what grounds did, at 20 seconds into my speech, you interrupt me… and say…you can’t talk.. Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor:  Because you were not addressing the ISSUE at hand. 

Speaker Barlavi: Would you allow him to speak if he does? 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor: I'm sorry. I’m sorry. 

Speaker Barlavi: That's his right to do that. Legally he's allowed to criticize public officials. 

Smart Speaker: This is a fair public hearing.

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor: He’ll have another right. (to Barlavi) Your name. Your name. 

Speaker Barlavi: I spoke earlier when you weren't here. David Barlavi. It is completely relevant because he's talking to your “not hearing other people's testimony” about the item. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor: No no no no no no no no. 

Speaker Barlavi: It's completely relevant. 

Smart Speaker: Of course. 

Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor: It is on the issue. He can do it in public comment. 

Smart Speaker: Sir, the issue is this is a hearing on a landfill. The hearing is defective. 

Woman: I want to hear what District 3 has to say. 

Speaker Barlavi: Ya, it’s a Brown Act violation to not let the public speak. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: The chair asked and admonished twice for him to stick to the topic at hand. He did not address the specific… 

Smart Speaker: This is a fair public hearing on the landfill. 

Speaker Barlavi: He said, you can’t criticize me, you are out of here. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: No, he did not say ‘criticize me’ 

Smart Speaker: It’s a record. Ms. Alberty. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: Exactly, there is a record.

Smart Speaker: And we are going to hear it. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: If you have preliminary concerns. 

Smart Speaker: I have serious concerns my rights have been violated. I am permitted to challenge the nature of the fair public hearing. Fair public hearings in California require that the agents focus on the recognized speaker… Counsel Latayvius Alberty: Mr. Preven, he asked you to address the issue. 

Speaker Barlavi: It's a huge Brown Act violation 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: Mr. Preven he asked you to address the issue. 

Smart Speaker: I have serious concerns. My rights have been violated. 

Speaker Barlavi: What is the process at this point? 

Woman: We haven’t heard from one person from District 3 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: We have heard from 70 people, who have been offered and been afforded to give their public testimony on this. Mr. Preven… 

Speaker Barlavi: That has nothing to do with a particular person's testimony. 

Smart Speaker:  I had twenty seconds and I said something in ten seconds and then he interrupted me and started talking over me. I had forty seconds. And I had lots to say. I was listening, unlike the chair. And I wanted to convey to him… you were not. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: He was given multiple opportunities.

Speaker Barlavi: What’s the grievance procedure? 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: Unbeknownst to you, Mr. Preven has been walking back and forth asking where is the Supervisor. So this is a routine. This has routinely happened. When he went up there he was there, too, like all of you, to address the issue on Chiquita Canyon and whether or not to close it. Now he did start… 

Speaker Barlavi: I was curious too, why he (the supervisor) wasn’t there. 

Smart Speaker: I said I’m against the expansion. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: Ya you did, and you were off topic. 

Smart Speaker: And I wanted you to hear from all the speakers, but you weren’t here, Sir. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: He’s here! He’s here! You did 

Smart Speaker: And he said, you can’t talk. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: The record is the record. The record is the record. 

Speaker Barlavi: What’s your first name? What’s your first name? 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: Latayvius Alberty. 

Speaker Barlavi: Latayvius, you know, when I spoke he wasn't there either. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: You need a quorum sir, there is absolutely no requirement. And you as an attorney know you just need a quorum. 

Smart Speaker: What’s a fair public hearing? 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: There is no requirement that every supervisor be here at all minutes. 

Speaker Barlavi: Ya, but you don’t kick someone out of his time for criticizing him. 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: He’s here… 

Speaker Barlavi: (pointing to Preven) No him. You kicked him out of his time for criticizing.

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: You know the Brown Act as well as I do, a quorum is required. A quorum was here at all points during this hearing. 

Smart Speaker: When was a quorum challenged? 

Counsel Latayvius Alberty: The quorum was here.  

Smart Speaker: We’re talking about a fair public hearing. Was it a fair public hearing? That’s a different standard. And it wasn’t a fair public hearing because one of the supervisors, by his own admission, left the building. 

Speaker Barlavi: I’m with you big guy. 

Woman: Thank you so much. 

 

----Original Message----- 

From: Eric Preven <[email protected]

To: rtahara <[email protected]

Cc: Nicole Davis Tinkham <[email protected]

Sent: Tue, Jun 27, 2017 1:11 pm 

Subject: CRD3 -- CPRA 6250 et seq.  

Please disclose the Meeting log or calendar for Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas, for June 27, 2017. No revisions or spoilation will be tolerated.  

Thank you.  

Regards, Eric Preven

 

A Narrative Indeed:

Eric Garcetti said at a Groundbreaking for Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, "It's not just for the few, it's for everyone."  

Garcetti tagged the big moment with a Hope for 2028 when the Olympics will finally arrive, "I am here, we create and I belong."

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. )