PACIFIC PALISADES COMMUNITY COUNCIL
September 8, 2022
Via Zoom Videoconference
Meeting was recorded for Secretarial purposes only
- Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission
PPCC President, Maryam Zar, called the meeting to order at 6:02PM, and Area 4 Primary Representative, Karen Ridgley, read the Community Council Mission Statement.
- Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum
The President called roll and certified quorum
- Introduction of attendees
Voting Members in Attendance: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Randy Young, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, John Padden, Andrew Wolfberg, Rick McGeagh, Alan Goldsmith, Nina Kidd, Cliff Roberts, Barbara Kohn, Ryan Craig, Janet Anderson, Shirley Haggstrom, Kevin Niles.
Non-voting Board Members in Attendance: Nancy Niles, Lee Anne Sanderson, Kimberly Bloom, Bob Benton, Marilyn Wexler, Richard Blumenberg.
Attendees: Chris Spitz, Sarah Shmerling, Courtney Macker, Robert Trinkkeller, Murray Levy, Veronica de la Cruz Robles, Sabrina Messiha, Brian Espin.
- Approval of Minutes – Approval of Minutes – August 11, 2022.
Minutes were reviewed and roll call was added and corrected. Motion to approve minutes was approved without objection. Recording of calls for secretarial purposes was announced.
- Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings
September 22, 2022: 2nd distribution of the proposed Bylaws amendment and vote. Report from Rep Ted Lieu’s office. Traci Park & Erin Darling to attend.
- Planned attendance from 6-6:45 p.m.
- Questions will be asked of them and sent in advance
- Marilyn Wexler asked about SMCCA’s being told not to host candidate forums. Maryam Zar stated that SMCCA is allowed to host a candidate forum for Traci Park.
October 13: Introduction of new Board. Rotation of Organizational members. West LAPD, Captain Tom intro and presentation.
October 27: Tranzito Vector presentation – Q/A (possibly with city STAP team)
Topics are only a partial list and may be amended.
- Treasurer’s Report.
Randy Young stated that the last document which the bank required to effectuate the transition from the last administration to the current was approved just a few minutes ago (at around 6pm, Sept 8), and he will be submitting that to US Bank this week in order to complete that handover of the PPCC account. He will have a report for us in October.
- General Public Comment. This time is reserved for non-Board members to speak on any item of interest to the public that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the PPCC. Speakers will be limited to one minute. Chair retains discretion to extend.
- Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. 2022 PPCC Area and At-large Election results have been posted to the website and will be announced in the Election Committee report. See reports here: https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/ppcc-election-reports-notices-2016-2020/
8.1.2. The Committee of the Three Chairs has been appointed – Chaired by David Card as Chair Emeritus (tradition), Barbara Kohn and Steve Boyers, committee members. The Alternate Selection Process is now underway. There will be more announcements made and information posted, but the deadline for applicants will be Friday, September 30th, and the three Chairs Committee will review and interview candidates as needed, contact the primary elected reps and solicit their feedback, and make their determinations before the first October meeting (Oct 13), at which time they will present their Alternate nominees to the board for our consent.
8.1.3. Attended the CPAB meeting last night, where Area 4 rep, Karen Ridgley and her 2nd Alt, Lee Anne Sanderson, were also present. Some stats shared by Capt. Tom:
Current Response times (with staff shortages):
Code 3: WLA 7.8 mins, Bureau 6.6 mins, City 6.4 mins
Code 2: WLA 27.6 mins, Bureau 25.5 mins, City 24.9 mins
Non-Coded: WLA 61.5 mins, Bureau 64.7 mins, City 59.4 mins
2022 Funded: 9752, Actual 9297 (short)
2021 Funded: 9752, Actual 9495 (short)
2020 Funded: 10103, Actual 9796
2019 Funded: 10033, Actual 10036 (last normal year)
2022 YTD City: 277, WLA 1
2021 City: 402, WLA 0
8.1.4. LUC will meet and have an update next meeting regarding a plan to propose an amendment to the Pacific Palisades Specific Plan as a stopgap measure to prevent the kind of allowable but out-of-scale building that is now possible in the “loopholes” found in the Zoning Code which affect lots located in the Coastal Zone, zoned R1 and located outside of the Hillside Area.
8.1.5. We are trying to digitize and upload a series of historic documents to the website, including Articles of Incorporation and original bylaws in order to create as complete a record as we can for the PPCC, and its history from 1973 to now.
8.1.6. New youth Advisor (2nd of 2), representing private school issues/matters, Josh Weber, was appointed with the consent of the board and welcomed.
8.1.7. The Palisades Lutheran Church has shared their 5K Run map with us for public input and specifically to ensure that Area 4 is not adversely impacted. I will share that map and information with the Area Reps and the Palisades community.
8.2. From Officersh
8.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives
8.3.1 Karen Ridgley, Area 4 (CPAB & Car Wash)
CPAB – Looking for clarity on length of dispatch time on the LAPD non-urgent call line. Captain Tom told us the response time can be up to an hour. That doesn’t help when the offense is one which needs a citation while the act is ongoing. This becomes impossible when response time is one hour or more.
Reported an illegal Car Wash being operated in a residential area between Muskingum and Las Lomas, using 2×4 foot posters and banners, with no permits, implementing loud tools and music; has not been shut down, police “non-urgent” calls took 60 minutes, eventually called 911 and nobody arrived, told that wait time was 1.5 hours on non-urgent line. What can be done?
There are also ongoing noise disturbances by youth gathering later in the evening in park near homes around the bluffs parks ground.
Haldis Toppel asked about where the water and chemicals go after the car wash, referring to health issues. Karen Ridgley responded that this was a problem and there are ongoing issues with allergies due to the smell of the chemicals.
Veronica de la Cruz Robles said that she and SLO Espin had been watching the issue and thinking of ways to enforce. They had recently consulted with additional law enforcement partners about the investigation on this that continues to be ongoing and have reached out to other law enforcement partners to bring relief to this issue and to devise a plan of action.
8.3.2 Richard McGeagh – Area 7 Report
Brush clearance occurred in the area. Very thankful to city agencies who stepped up.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives
8.4.1 Nina Kidd, Friends of the Library (41.18 discussion & possible motion)
Friends of the Library had a meeting that took place last week. Issues of masks and harassment of homeless people were addressed. The FOL will be donating $10,000 to PPTFH, for the hiring of a new clinical caseworker for service resistant homeless. Nina noted that landscapers around the library had complained about debris and hazardous waste in the area; they will be informing the FOL of these issues in the future.
Barbara Kohn thanked the Friends of the Library for supporting PPTFH in hiring the clinical caseworker.
Nancy Niles asked about 41.18 and its application to the library in light of Corpus Christi school within 500 feet.
The President passed this question to Veronica de la Cruz (West LA Neighborhood Prosecutor). Cruz stated that this motion was limited to sidewalks, public roadways, and schools (added as section E in the new motion). Officers have discretion as to what they would like to do. This new motion does not have a sign requirement, so signs do not need to be put up before enforcement. Advisements need to be made because an opportunity to comply is necessary. Enforceable as of September 18th. (see more below, under Government Offices/Representatives Reports)
8.4.2. Ryan Craig, Resilient Palisades (leaf blower campaign)
Clean Air and Water Campaign has been working to ban gas leaf blowers. Educating Palisadians and gardeners about the harmful environmental effects of gas blowers. Now, they are becoming more proactive about this matter, and harnessing a grass roots awareness and fundraising campaign to raise money to purchase electric blowers for gardeners. These will be given to Palisadian gardeners, along with a package to distribute to clients. There is a suggested $50-60 donation and RP is asking all Palisadians to contribute. Donations are flowing in and reaction has been great. Community organizing for environmental good – one gardener at a time until the Palisades is gas free.
Karen Ridgley asked about the backpack and comfortability. Craig confirmed that they are just as easy to carry.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives
8.5.1. Veronica de la Cruz Robles, Office of L.A. City Attorney, West LA Neighborhood Prosecutor spoke about the newly amended LAMC 41.18, Section E, which LA City Council passed last week. The previous version of 41.18 limited the enforcement within “Special Enforcement Zones”, which had to be designated and CM Bonin had not put forth any special enforcement zones for the Palisades. This law goes into effect on September 18 and adds schools and daycare centers as protected zones within 500 feet (preventing sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing personal property on public property). Under the new law, these are now misdemeanor violations. Officers have discretion to warn/advise and then have the option to infract, release, or book. There is no sign requirement (previously there was a requirement for signs to be posted before enforcement could be effectuated). LAPD does not need to wait for the city to install signs before enforcement begins but will be giving notice to offenders for an opportunity to comply, and then will be able to charge with willful refusal to comply (required by the code).
Enforcement does not apply to state property or LAUSD private property.
Q: if there is no personal property or encampment being stored, is this law enforceable, or is it aimed at limiting encampments?
A: City will be focusing on enforcing this law against people keeping larger encampments and personal property on public property. 41.18 is an access section, so it’s about obstruction and access to public property. Waiting for LAPD Special Order, which is “direction” for officers on how to proceed with enforcement of this code. They will begin to enforce after those orders are received. The Prosecutor’s office is also working on guidance to inform LAPD about what prosecutors will need for charges.
Q: What is the enforcement process of personal property storage on library property?
A: Rules in the municipal code that apply to various public spaces have a hierarchy and rules for each of those supersede the chronology of enforcement. Library rules for library enforcement come first, similarly at Park, city park regulations those charges will come first. 41.18 would then be “a backup.” But on the public right of way, 41.18 comes into play immediately.
Q: Does the 500-foot rule apply to the location of the encampment or is it measured from the property line of the public property in question?
A: CAO is putting out an interactive map to help with this.
8.5.2. Brian Espin. LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades
Crime in the Palisades is down by 17%. Cautions: Don’t leave keys on tires or under the wheel well – those are obvious places and would-be wrongdoers know to look in those spots. Get a magnetized lock box with a code and stick it to the bottom of your car when you walk away and leave keys. Do not leave keys hidden anywhere around the car – those are obvious places to look. We are doing well and crime statistics for Palisades look great in relation to the rest of West LA.
Issues about a man at Marquez Elementary were investigated. The man was under the influence of narcotics and was told to stay away from all schools and all children. He drove to the school and walked along the fence and began engaging in conversation with the students in the yard. Teachers/staff called LAPD. LAPD was enroute when LAUSD School Police said they were responding. LAPD turned around but was called again (school police response time too long), so LAPD came back. The offender was arrested. Prosecutor’s office booked the suspect. Veronica confirms that he has been charged and the judge has ordered him to stay away from all schools and children.
A marijuana dispensary is opening on San Vicente and 26th street, just down the road from Paul Revere Middle School. They have proper permits and business licenses. Sr. Lead Officer for Brentwood, Matt Kirk, has talked to them and confirmed they have security in place. The retail dispensary is out of the protected school zone (800 feet), but LAPD will keep an eye on the location.
8.5.3. Zach Gaidzik, West LA/Metro Field Deputy, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (not present)
8.5.4. Isabella Dennis, P. Palisades Field Deputy, City Councilmember, Mike Bonin (not present). PPCC President announced that Isabella will be leaving the office of CM Bonin on Sept 16th.)
8.6. From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives
8.6.1 K.C. Soll, Emergency Preparedness Advisor, water insecurity after a disaster and foreword preparedness.
Recommended an App called Pulse Point which announces when someone needs CPR, as well as other information that comes down the pipe as far as explosions, electrical situations, water main leaks, gas leaks, etc. We do not know what would happen in the Palisades if a significant event would affect water to homes, traffic on Sunset or other important emergency factors.
She suggests going online and figuring out if you can have a 55-gallon drum at home to store water to keep for 5 years for emergency safety storage. Recommends https://www.sosproducts.comwhich has a great deal of information about disaster preparedness as well as classes. She suggests everyone think about how they’d react to an emergency – get your neighbors to do the same so the area is protected.
Submitted report: The infrastructure underneath Sunset Blvd., from Mandeville Canyon to PCH, is deteriorating and could collapse during a significant earthquake causing water insecurity and sewer line issues (related to our water lines).
I believe there is an urgent need to store a 3-week water supply for each household member, including pets. For a family of two adults, a 55 GAL barrel may suffice. There are also smaller storage containers available.
Also, learn how to turn off your house-proximate water input valve. Nearby sewer lines could contaminate your water.
Very important: Please NOTIFY constituents, clients, and friends in your areas that local CERT training is again available at 701 Palisades Drive, Pacific Palisades (Calvary Christian School), with a reservation through LAFD CERT https://www.cert-la.com/
CERT training: October 12 – November 16; Wednesday evenings from 6:30 PM-9 PM Any missed classes are available locally. See: https://www.cert-la.com
K.C. Soll: email@example.com | 310.245.6161
- Reports from Committees
9.1. Election Committee
Report by Committee Chair, Jenny Li
Thanked the Election Committee: Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Ryan Craig, David Card and Ben Kohn, Tech Advisor.
Announced winners from elections for term beginning Oct 1, 2022:
Area 1: Murray Levy
Area 2: Steve Cron
Area 3: Haldis Toppel
Area 4: Karen Ridgley
Area 5: Kimberly Bloom
Area 6: Cindy Simon
Area 7: Julie Silliman
Area 8: Reza Akef
At-large: Chris Spitz
Counted every vote and inspected every ballot in accordance with PPPC Bylaws.
Election Committee Report and raw tally have been posted online.
The new term for Area and At-large Representatives begins on October 1, 2022.
426 total ballots cast.
Congratulated all the newly elected candidates.
9.2. Bylaws Committee report
Delivered by Andrew Wolfberg, Committee Vice-Chair
Committee: David Card (Committee Chair), Andy Frew, Haldis Toppel, Randy Young
Andrew Wolfberg, Committee Vice-Chair thanked the Bylaws Committee, and presented and reviewed the first distribution of proposed Bylaws amendments put forth by the Bylaws Committee.
Pursuant to Article 12 of the Bylaws, no amendment or new bylaws can be voted upon until the entire text has been distributed with the agenda and considered at two consecutive meetings. We distributed the proposed amendments with this agenda and are conducting a presentation of that distribution today. There will be a second distribution with full discussion and vote at the next meeting, on September 22, 2022. Asked all board members to look at the distributed material, and reviewed the proposed amendments:
- Adding a Parliamentarian as a non-voting advisor on bylaws and procedural matters
- Splitting the office of Secretary into two positions: A Recording Secretary (member of the EC and voting board member) and a Corresponding Secretary, a non-voting position that assists with the outward facing communications of the Council.
- Requiring the Treasurer to render an accounting of the PPCC finances at least monthly.
- Deleting the requirement for adoption of a standing rule for check signing and reporting policies.
- Clarifying in the text of the Bylaws that all officers are elected for a one year term.
- Eliminating the exigency requirement for meeting remotely (using digital platforms) and allowing the board to determine whether to meet in person, remotely or in a hybrid manner.
- Adding a provision for the procedure of removing an organization from the Bylaws.
- Amending Appendix A by moving Resilient Palisades to the Environment category, where they belong, making that category a two-member category with a constant presence on the board; and moving the American Legion from Service Clubs to the Civic Organizations, where they will share the category with the Civic League and the two organizations will maintain a constant presence on the board.
Andrew Wolfberg noted that each impacted organization has been informed and while the American legion and Resilient Palisades have no objection to the proposed change, TCA has advised that they’ll be discussing the proposed amendment with their board at their upcoming meeting. Andrew looks forward to hearing from those organizations at the next meeting.
Shirley Haggstrom, Primary Representative from the TCA, said she has contacted the TCA President, James Alexakis, to place this item on the next TCA Board meeting agenda on Sept 19th. She stated that she cannot explain to the TCA board why the Community Council is suddenly looking to TCA to share this standing seat, which they have held alone since the inception of the Council, with a new environmental organization. She is appalled and will have a presentation at the next PPCC meeting about the work of TCA.
The President clarified that discussion will take place at the next meeting, after the first 45 minutes of that regularly scheduled meeting which will feature the two CD11 candidates making remarks and taking limited questions.
Comment: Chris Spitz reminded the board that five months ago the Bylaws Committee worked to find a way to put them in the appropriate category. The Bylaws Committee at the time did not wish to remove TCA as a standing member and recommended that Resilient Palisades be placed in the Civic category. She suggested that people look at the April 14, 2022 meeting minutes which explain why the category designation was made as it was.
PPCC VP, Jenny Li, says she attended the meetings leading up to the vote and that the discussion was quite controversial. She recalled that members, especially newer ones, had a lot of questions about why Resilient Palisades was being placed into the Civic category and not Environment. In the end, members wanted Resilient Palisades to be a member, and voted to fit them in as suggested.
- Old Business – None.
- New Business.
11.1. Presentation, discussion and possible vote of Malibu Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce to be accepted as an Organizational member of the PPCC, and inserted into the Bylaws.
Barbara Bruderlin updated that a filing for an official name change has been submitted to the office of the CA AG, and they have already signed the merger agreement, but the official CA name change is forthcoming. Website revamp is in the works, a new logo is being considered and board members have been added to the new Malibu Pacific Palisades Chamber roster. You can see some at malibu.org. MalibuPacificPalisades.org has also been purchased. “MPPC” will reroute to the website. Have set up plans for a monthly breakfast in the Palisades and are hosting a “Grand Reception” at The Draycott for Palisades members on Sept 20. Also working on Women’s Leadership Awards recognizing women leaders in both communities. Getting networking going. Bob Benton will remain on the board, and will show the new Palisades Malibu Chamber our traditions.
Bob Benton says he is excited about getting going – new magazine in the works for Malibu/Palisades Viewing Guide. Working on a “beautiful” PaliBu logo. Working on a specific Palisades website visitors center link.
Q: Traditions that were meaningful to the Palisades. Do you know what they are, and do you plan to continue them?
A: Continuing Christmas walk, monthly breakfast and evening mixers as well as Hon. Mayor installment.
Q: Do you have Palisades businesses that have signed up to be members?
A: Yes, we’ve brought all the old members over and extended them a two-month complimentary membership (will extend if need be). Also planning a “walk-about” (have done a few already) to meet and engage Palisades businesses. Hoping the mixer will bring more Palisades businesses.
Q: Seems like we are just putting Malibu onto the PPCC board – the overwhelming majority of these businesses (listed on the website) are Malibu, not PP.
A: 150 Pacific Palisades businesses on our roster.
Q: There are other communities represented (Manhattan Beach, Calabasas, SM etc…) with 75 Palisades located businesses out of 737. How many are members paying dues, not just listings?
A: Bob Benton: At its best, the Palisades Chamber had 225-250 members. The merger happened because they lost 30-40% of members. They are trying to get those remaining 150 members to enroll into membership. Bob says he was the President of the Palisades Chamber for two years and will remain on the Exec. Committee on the merged chamber and represents the Palisades Baseball Association.
Barbara: Trying to build one inclusive organization. Their website gets 5000 hits a month and this helps all the listed businesses, but they’ll be reviewing their complimentary members.
Q: What about the Los Angeles City regulations that we consider here at PPCC, and what would the position of Malibu be on those? Wouldn’t there be a conflict?
President moves to another question along the same lines.
Q: Will you be appointing a Palisades business member as your representative to the PPCC, and how will your rep determine their vote on LA city issues that are discussed and contemplated at PPCC, which impact Angelenos and not Malibu residents/businesses.
A: Would possibly appoint Bob Blumenberg or Ryan (?) from Porta Via.
Response regarding LA City issues: Barbara says she’s the Treasurer of Westside Council of Chambers (15 chambers representing businesses all over So Cal) which works with Biz Fed. They discuss and vote together on advocacy issues and determine what is best for everyone. Doesn’t think there would be a “giant” conflict between Malibu and Palisades business interests.
Comment: Chris Spitz, noting she is not a voting member at present, said the newly formed chamber seems like it may not be ready for PPCC inclusion just yet. Also questioned the process (directed at PPCC President) as to whether or not this recommendation comes from the EC. President clarified, as she did at the start when she set up the item for discussion, that she has taken the information provided by Barbara Bruderlin (and the newly merged Chamber) to the EC, and the EC has affirmed that the matter should be referred to the Board for discussion. Perhaps not ready for a motion today.
The President said the new Chamber has submitted their form and she’d like to get a sense of the board, after a few more questions, as to whether or not the board has enough information tonight to take a vote.
Q: How much is a membership for a business?
A: Nonprofit price: $250. Establishing a young professionals and seniors group with a lower rate. Events also have a fee.
Q: How many of the businesses that are members are not part of the Caruso facility, but the rest of the Palisades (including the other three business districts)?
A: Around 100-120. Not that many businesses in the Caruso Village are members.
Q: Do these hundreds of businesses you cite attend your meetings?
A: No, not yet. We are just beginning outreach (e.g. mixer event on the 20th)
The President took a ‘sense of the board’ straw poll to see if we could make a decision on whether or not the MPCC can be part of the PPCC organizational rotations. Her determination was that there is not yet enough information imparted to the board in order for a vote to be taken.
Comment: Sue Kohl says she’s been part of the PP Chamber for a long time and joining with Malibu has “really saved us.” This is a good thing and it is “all we’ve got.” Notes that we will be seeing more and more businesses joining the board and going to the mixers. She recommends people embrace this new chamber.
The President explained again that this item was taken by her to the EC, and the EC unanimously recommended the discussion be brought to the board. She notes that discussion has just been had but she sees equivocation and recognizes no need to take a vote as members seem unprepared to make an informed decision, based on the information we have. The vote is tabled pending more information. President said she will share the form from the MPPC and ask board members to send any questions they have to the MPPC on to her so she can forward them and have them answered. She will take that information to the EC, and agendize this matter for a later meeting. PPCC VP, Jenny Li, reiterated that board members should send their outstanding questions to the President, for forwarding and response gathering.
Meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m. on September 8th
For additional information see www.pacpalicc.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org