PREVEN REPORT-“I am pleased to share that our Parking, Safety and Athletic (PSA) Improvement Plan will have its first public hearing with the City of LA on on Monday July 24, 2017,” writes Harvard-Westlake President Rick B. Commons in a recent email to “friends and families” of the school referring to Harvard-Westlake's proposed 750-space parking garage and accompanying roof-top athletic field and 163-foot pedestrian bridge over Coldwater Canyon Boulevard.
“Our records indicate that you have not previously registered your support for the PSA improvement project,” continues Commons in the email. “I encourage you to do so at this time by clicking here.”
Going on to explain that city planners will approve or reject the parking structure project based to a significant extent on the nature and quantity of testimony given at the July 24 public hearing, Commons emphasizes that:
"It is imperative that members of the Harvard-Westlake community attend this first public hearing and other future hearings to show our community support for the project."
After explaining that transportation will be arranged from the Upper School campus to the hearing and back, President Commons brings the email to a close. “I look forward to greeting you on July 24, 2017,” he writes, “and sincerely appreciate your support and participation in improving the Harvard- Westlake Community.”
A significant number of Harvard-Westlake parents oppose the school’s Parking, Safety and Athletic Improvement Plan.
What message is Rick Commons’ email sending to those parents? How is it supposed to make them feel?
(Eric Preven and Joshua Preven are public advocates for better transparency in local government and occasional contributors to CityWatch. A piece they wrote for CityWatch "It’s Time to End LA’s Secret Meetings: What Do City Council Members and LA’s County Supervisors Have to Hide?" was a finalist for the LA Press Club award for Online Political Commentary.)