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MINUTES FROM JUNE 30th 2020

Special Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, David Peterson, Steve Boyers, Rick Mills, Alan Goldsmith, Brenda Theveny, Cathi Ruddy, Barbara Marinacci, John Padden, Jan Ostendorf, Amy Baker, Fay Vahdani

Voting Alternates:  Andrew Wolfberg

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Melanie Bouer, Cathy Russell, Kevin Niles

1.   Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:31pm and Steve Boyers 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 February 27, 2020 were approved. The Chair described the upcoming Zoom meetings, authorized by the Executive Committee (depending on Bylaws amendments and the Executive Committee’s determination as to exigent circumstances) – July 9, 2020 and July 23, 2020 (Special Meeting).

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda Items 9.1 and 9.2 will be taken out of order, following Item 6.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $40,472.79.  The last significant transaction was the payment of $964.00 on March 5 for the renewal of our general liability insurance policy.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Actions & positions taken by the Executive Committee from March – June, 2020 (period of time when Board was unable to meet due to the pandemic); see http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/organizations/ (Documents/ Motions & Positions – Subjects: Planning & Density, Marinette Rd. Project/Tree Removals, Homeless Shelter & Public Safety, Community Council Elections/Coronavirus, Budget/Public Safety).  The Chair explained that the Board will be asked to ratify these actions/positions at the July 9 Zoom Board meeting (if Bylaws amendments pass).

8.1.2.    Executive Committee authorization of officers’ nomination/election process & time frame (contingent on Board’s passing of Bylaws amendments).  The Chair explained that the Board will be asked to ratify the process & time frame authorized by the Executive Committee at the July 9 Zoom Board meeting. The process and time frame were set out in the agenda.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Housing density bills update. The Secretary briefly updated the Board on the status of recent housing bills, as detailed in her written update distributed with the agenda: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Update-on-Housing-BillsR.pdf.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Andrew Wolfberg (Area 8 1st Alternate) asked if anyone has been hired to replace Lisa Cahill as the CD11 Palisades Deputy and where should people go with their questions after Lisa’s departure.  The Chair stated that Lisa’s last day was June 30 and that her replacement hasn’t been named yet, but she had shared information about the staffers we should speak with to address any issues.  The Secretary noted that Lisa had mentioned Matt Tecle (assistant District Director) and a constituent advocate named Durrah; the Secretary will post their contact information on the PPCC website under Government Contacts.

8.3.2.    Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative) announced that she would be attending a Zoom conference with LAPD and LAFD representatives regarding unhealthy and dangerous activities that are taking place at the state park at the top of Lachman Lane.  She would like to see the road closed at that location. Excessive speeding often occurs on Lachman Lane and there have been a number of accidents in the afternoon and at night.  She is also asking for extra traffic control in the area.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at: http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/government-contacts/.

8.5.1.   LAPD Officer Brian Espin, West Division Community Relations (reporting for SLO Michael Moore).

Officer Espin introduced himself and explained that SLO Moore will be on vacation for the next 4-5 weeks.  Officer Espin’s email address is 374300@lapd.online.  He described crime stats for the last several weeks and noted that the biggest problem is robbery from vehicles.  Most of these crimes are conducted by opportunists who check car doors to see if they are locked and look in car windows to see if anything valuable is inside. He encouraged everyone to abide by the motto “Lock it, hide it, keep it.”  There were six burglaries in the last month.  Sometimes people use patio furniture to climb up to the 2nd floor of homes and enter through open windows or patio doors. He advised that everyone should make sure their windows are locked.  There are juveniles working in every neighborhood and looking to steal phones. He described a battery incident in the Via de las Olas bluffs neighborhood in which a person brandished a knife.  LAPD does not yet have an ID on the assailant.  A resident asked about an incident involving a gunshot that also took place on the Via de las Olas bluffs.  Officer Espin did not have information about that incident.  He noted that to deter crime in our neighborhoods, everyone should look out for their neighbors.  He also reiterated that it is illegal to use fireworks. Residents should report crimes by calling 911 or 1-877-ASK-LAPD (273-5273).

8.5.2.    Janet Turner, District Supervisor, U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu.

Ms. Turner briefly described legislation that the Congressman supports, including his recently-introduced bill to levy penalties on individuals who defy congressional subpoenas.  She noted that the office is open for help with federal issues.  The office phones are working and calls are directed to staff members’ individual phones.  She also stated that Congressman Lieu is arranging to hold a couple of town halls involving small business and criminal justice.

8.5.3.    Zachary Gaidzik, West-Metro LA Field Deputy, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (see Item 11.1 below).

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors – None.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair; David Kaplan, Chris Spitz & Andrew Wolfberg).  Second Distribution of Proposed PPCC Bylaws Amendments, recommended by the Bylaws Committee (“Amendments”). Motion by the Bylaws Committee for Board adoption of Amendments; vote on Motion.  See the following documents distributed concurrently with this meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website:

1)  Committee Report:  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Bylaws-Cmte-Report-June-2020.2.pdf.

2)  Amendments “Redline”:  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Suggested-Bylaws-Amendments-June-2020-Redline.pdf.

3)  Amendments “Clean”:  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Suggested-Bylaws-Amendments-June-2020-Clean.pdf. 

The Committee Chair briefly described the proposed amendments and moved on behalf of the Committee for the Board to adopt the amendments. No second was needed as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member.  The PPCC Chair called for discussion but there were no questions and no discussion ensued.  The vote was then called.  Result:  unanimous in favor of the motion and adoption of the amendments.   

9.2.    Nominating Committee (Sue Kohl, Chair; Steve Cron & Cathi Ruddy).  Announcement of Committee’s nomination of PPCC officer candidates for the 2020-2021 term. Following the announcement:  Board member nominations of officer candidates will be open until 15 minutes before the close of the July 9 Board meeting.  Bylaws Art. VII.2.

The Committee Chair announced the nominees as follows:  David Card, Chair; David Kaplan, Vice-Chair; Richard Cohen, Treasurer; Chris Spitz, Secretary.  She explained that all the current officers have indicated that they are willing to continue to serve in these positions, and the Committee members are pleased to make these nominations. The PPCC Chair then announced that Board member nominations for officer positions are now open and will be received until 15 minutes before the scheduled close of the next Board meeting on July 9 (pending Board ratification of the election process and time line).

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business. 

11.1.   Zachary Gaidzik, West-Metro LA Field Deputy, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.  Updates on status of the County’s coronavirus response and the November election voting process. Q&A.  Discussion only.

Regarding the pandemic:  Mr. Gaidzik explained that there have been significant increases in positive cases since the re-opening of the economy.  After reading the statistics on the increasing cases and hospitalizations he advised that it would be prudent for everyone to slow down.  There has been an increase in testing capacity.  The County has tested over one million people and the positivity rate is 9 (an increase over the past few weeks).

He advised that at this point it is best to get tested from an individual doctor or health care provider rather than waiting to be tested at the free testing sites.  He came down with a Covid-19 infection early on and he knows the importance of testing.   If you are unable to obtain a test through a private doctor, you are still eligible for free testing if you have symptoms, or are over 65, or have underlying conditions, or if you are an essential worker or live in in a congregate setting.

Mr. Gaidzik also explained:  We are still in the midst of the pandemic.  The best protection is to wash hands, self-isolate if you are sick, wear a clean face covering, practice social distancing, and avoid touching your face.  If you might be interacting with anyone outside of your own household you should wear a face covering, which helps to suspend droplets and prevent infection of others.

Yesterday the County issued a new order to close all beaches for the July 4th weekend. We need to prevent crowded conditions that could result in further spread of the virus. Fireworks displays are also prohibited.

Regarding homelessness:  LAHSA has sheltered many people, including with the Project Room Key program, and they want to shelter many more.  Mr. Gaidzik summarized efforts to provide both temporary and permanent supportive housing, and noted that other alternatives or solutions are being considered.

The Supervisors have adopted a countywide cultural policy.  There have been various initiatives.  Supervisor Kuehl supports a motion to provide for a plan to purchase and distribute 3M facemasks to those in need.

The County Supervisors have begun the process of budget deliberation.  They are looking at substantial cuts, with an 8% decrease in all departments across the County.

Regarding voting: The Supervisors have now mandated that every person who is registered to vote will receive a vote-by-mail ballot. In terms of the voting center locations: the number of people who need to utilize these centers has decreased.  One of the big problems in the last election was that when voters first wanted to enter a center in order to vote, there was difficulty connecting to a server at the outset in order for staffers to verify voter information. The Supervisors are looking into the technology and the reasons why there was such a bottleneck. Supervisor Kuehl has also brought a motion mandating an investigation into how polling places are conducted in terms of safety. The key during the next election is that everyone will have a vote-by-mail ballot.  The County will encourage all eligible individuals to register to vote early, in order to receive a vote-by-mail ballot before the election.

Steve Boyers (Area 7 Representative) noted that during the last election poor directions were given as to how to help voters and very little assistance was provided.  Mr. Gaidzik replied that he has heard that same report form many others and they want to make sure that these problems don’t happen again. In the November election voters will be able to go straight to the front of line and drop mail-in ballots in the box at any voting center.  The voting center in the Palisades will most likely be at the Palisades Recreation Center but he can’t officially confirm this at this time.

Supervisor Kuehl’s staff are telecommuting and constituents should feel free to send email messages to the staff with questions or concerns. 

12.    Adjournment.   The Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:40pm.

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