DONE WATCH--The crew has been working on the HCNC subdivision story which this is a part of, but given we are going into an election, we thought we’d share this gem to get you warmed up for the epic saga.
As the HCNC fumbles to find its footing, it seems DONE rep Mary Kim is determined to try and sustain chaos and division on the board. Members of the new HCNC Executive Committee held a meeting where, at the direction of Mary Kim, they quietly passed candidates thru to a vote under patently false pretenses. The Executive Committee at no time notified the Board or addressed the alteration of the property owner definition when vetting candidates for vacant seats. Why does this matter? It’s a violation of the City Charter, not to mention their bylaws. And in fairness to the Board, DONE, via Kim, is at the forefront of the misinformation machine, yet again.
Documents obtained by DONE Watch revealed that in December of 2018, HCNC Board member Ron Fong sent an email asking Mary Kim if the ED or Employee of a non-profit could be considered a property owner. Her response? “We don’t have a problem with it, but you should check with the City Clerk”. YOU don’t have a problem with it?
We checked with the City Clerk. DONE Watch contacted senior staff who provided the following response to this bizarre new definition.
Date: Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 4:33 PM
Subject: A Message to the HCNC Board
To: Mary Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Nathan Singh <email@example.com>
Cc: Sofia Anguiano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi Mary and Nathan,
An issue was brought to our attention regarding property owner seats in the HCNC and I wanted to state what our position is on the matter so we can communicate this to the board.
The HCNC has two specific seats, the Arts District Property Owner Representative and the Little Tokyo Property Owner Representative that both are open only to property owners in their respective districts.
The question that was raised was whether or not the City Clerk will consider a person designated by a property's owner (in this case, a non-profit) as a "property owner" to allow the person to run for one of these property-specific seats. The short answer is no. Let me elaborate.
The two seats each state that in order to run for either of these seats, a person must be a "[s]takeholder who is a property owner within the Arts/Little Tokyo District geographical area and who are 15 years or older." Unlike a board seat that utilizes the Community Interest definition, which is very broad and subject to varying interpretation, this language is conclusive and without ambiguity.
Further, each District has a seat, an At-Large Business Owner, Employee, Non-Profit Representative seat, that specifically allows for stakeholders who are from non-profit, "and officially designated by the organization he/she wishes to represent..." to run for. This indicates that the HCNC, when drafting and/or amending its bylaws, intentionally created a mechanism to allow non-profits to designate a representative to run and serve on their behalf. Had the board intended to extend this option to property owners, this would have been reflected in the bylaw requirements. Since it is not, we will strictly follow the text of the bylaws when evaluating a candidate's filing application and eligibility. If the requirements state a person must be a property owner, then that is how we will apply it.
While our office is open to discussion on a wide variety of election-related issues, we are not comfortable with reinterpreting established bylaw provisions such as those mentioned above when viable alternatives exist.
Nathan, if you could please relay this message to the board on my behalf, it would be much appreciated.
Also, please note that our 2019 NC Elections Documentation Guide has been updated to reflect examples of what types of documents Property Owners can provide to establish their stakeholder status. I have attached this for your reference. Please pass this along as well.
Let me know if you have any questions.
City of Los Angeles - Office of the City Clerk
Connect with the Clerk:
Despite this rather clear and concisely emphatic no, at the February 8th meeting of the HCNC, Mary Kim doubled down to DONE Watch founder that not only was it okay, but that it was at the discretion of the board on how to define property owner! She flippantly added, “file a grievance if you don’t like it”.
Apparently she missed the memo addressed to her… pretty interesting approach to empowering communities don’t you think?
GET ANSWERS IN WRITING FROM THE CITY ATTORNEY! DO NOT ACCEPT THE ENDLESS STUPID FROM DONE. These dolts are wrong 9 out of 10 times which puts YOU at risk.
(This paid content is from DONE Watch, a coalition of Los Angeles neighborhood council activists, founded by Laura Velkei in 2017)