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MINUTES FROM AUGUST 27th 2020

Special Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Reza Akef, Alan Goldsmith, John Padden, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, Fay Vahdani, Dick Wulliger, Rick McGeagh, Cathi Ruddy

Voting Alternates:  Cathy Russell, Danielle Samulon, Beth Holden Garland* (*arrived late)

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Jack Coleman, Rob Weber, Mary Mueller, Quentin Fleming, Melanie Bouer, Kevin Niles, Richard Blumenberg

1.    Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:31pm.  Mary Mueller read the Mission Statement.

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of August 13, 2020 were approved. The Chair described the upcoming meetings – September 10, 2020 (tentative): straw poll of Board members taken as to whether the 9/10 meeting should be cancelled in light of the several additional meetings held this summer in order to accommodate the officers’ and elected representatives’ election schedules; result of straw poll: unanimous in favor of cancelling meeting; the Chair announced that the 9/10 meeting is therefore cancelled; September 24, 2020: announcement of election results, Area & At-large Representatives election.  October 8, 2020: a representative of the LA County Recorder-Registrar’s office may give a presentation about the November election voting process.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.  If time allows, general public comment to be taken following Item 6 below; all other regular agenda items, including announcements and reports, are deferred to the next Board meeting in September.

6.     Election Information and Candidates Forum – 2020 Area & At-large Representatives Election.

6.1.    Election Information (Election Committee Chair David Kaplan).  See the Voting & Election Information Notice: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Notice-of-Ballot-Availability-2020.pdf; and Candidate Statements: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Candidate-Statements-2020R2.pdf 

The Committee Chair welcomed the audience and thanked the candidates for participating in the election.  He briefly remarked on the history of PPCC elections, noting that the community has been electing Area and At-large Representatives since the 1990s and that this is the 4th biennial Candidates Forum.  He explained that PPCC is an all-volunteer organization and this election represents one of the best parts of our American democratic process. He noted that we often see and hear our fellow Palisadians expressing appreciation for the beauty of this wonderful place where we all live. PPCC strives to make our town as good as it can be and this election is emblematic of that concern.

The Committee Chair then announced that voting in the 2020 election will begin at 9am on Friday, September 4, with the online ballot to be accessed by a button on the PPCC website.  Voting will end at 5pm on September 18.

He also noted that the Palisadian-Post published a spread with all the candidates’ pictures and statements in today’s paper.  Last, he announced that Jason Sklar (Area 6 candidate) had withdrawn from the race as of today and as a result will not participate in the forum tonight or be on the ballot.

6.2.    Candidates Forum.

6.2.1.    Candidates’ Introductory Statements (2 minutes each). Moderator: Election Committee Chair David Kaplan. Format:  Candidates in contested races will introduce themselves; candidates in uncontested races may then introduce themselves.

The Chair welcomed the candidates in attendance:  Contested:  Area 4, Michael Minky and Karen Ridgley; Area 6, Matthew Quiat and Karyn Weber; Area 7, Jennifer Li and Rick McGeagh.  Uncontested:  Area 1, Joanna Spak; Area 2, Steve Cron; Area 5, Sue Kohl; At-large, Alan Goldsmith.  (Note:  Area 3 candidate Haldis Toppel was not in attendance; there is no candidate for Area 8.)

First the contested candidates and next the uncontested candidates each gave introductory statements, providing interesting information about their backgrounds and about the issues  they have tackled in the past or will seek to address if elected.

6.2.2.    Q&A with Candidates (1 minute for each answer).  Moderator: Election Committee Chair David Kaplan.  Format:  Candidates in contested races will be asked questions from the Election Committee; additional questions following from the audience, first for candidates in contested races and next for candidates in uncontested races (if time allows).  *Note: candidates may also be asked questions via email; email addresses included in the Candidate Statements (see item 6.1 above).

The Committee Chair asked the following questions of the contested candidates from the Election Committee: 1) What two issues are most important to your Area or to the Palisades?  2)  How do you plan to communicate with your constituents?  The candidates answered the questions in detail.  Regarding question no. 1, a wide range of topics was discussed, with uniformity among all candidates on core issues of concern to Palisadians:  crime, security, homelessness, wildfire prevention, overdevelopment,  protection of the environment, preservation of our open spaces and the natural beauty of the Palisades, and the response to COVID-19 and its effect on the community. Regarding question no. 2, all candidates stated that they would attempt to reach out to their constituents using a variety of means, including email, social media and speaking with neighbors.

Additional questions were directed to the contested candidates from community members (submitted prior to the meeting) and the audience. The Area 6 candidates were asked what they would do about crime in the bluffs area.  The candidates both indicated they were aware of the issue and would work with residents, law enforcement and City officials to attempt to address the problem. All contested candidates were asked what can be done for youth in the community. Responses were varied, but all indicated that during the pandemic youth of all ages should be provided the opportunity for recreation outdoors in our parks, on our trails and at the beach; that our recreation centers should be utilized for youth activities; and that our open spaces should be preserved for recreation. More opportunity for leadership by older youth was also suggested.

7.    General Public Comment (if time allows) – None.

8.    Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 6:34pm.

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