PAYING TO PLAY-Harvard-Westlake's motto -- Possunt Quia Posse Videntur (“they can because they think they can”) is about to be tested. The elite private school is about to run into a buzz saw of opposition from a Los Angeles public that does not appreciate being trifled with.
Previously, we spoke about the now infamous "bridge over Coldwater Canyon" and how Councilmember Paul Krekorian was still on the hook for answering some important questions, like, why, given his unavoidable power over the outcome of the issue, did he accept nearly simultaneous contributions of $700 from eighteen sitting Harvard-Westlake trustees, none of whom disclosed their connection to the school?
And then, (in what will surely go down as a low point in the history of a city government already fraught with low points,) instead of returning those contributions, why did he use them to obtain public matching funds -- in effect, forcing the very same people whose quality of life has been intruded upon by the school's plan to match the Harvard-Westlake influence-peddling donations?
Now, nearly three months later, he has still refused to answer whether he will return those contributions and the attendant matching funds.
Lest friends and cronies of CM Krekorian are worrying about his resolve to continue doing their dirty business, Mr. Krekorian has stuck his neck out even further, providing tacit approval and even facilitation of a further giveaway connected to the parking lot project.
For the gory details of this giveaway, take a look at this letter from the Hillside federation.
The gist is that Harvard-Westlake is on the verge of gaining control of two more pieces of public land (including the air space above one of them) necessary for their parking structure/monument to self-entitlement.
And so, Mr. Krekorian, the public needs to know, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you no sense of decency?"
(Eric Preven is a CityWatch contributor and a Studio City based writer-producer and public advocate for better transparency in local government. He was a candidate in the 2015 election for Los Angeles City Council, 2nd District. Joshua Preven is a teacher who lives in Los Angeles. Views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)