MINUTES FOR AUGUST 9th 2018
Voting Members in Attendance: George Wolfberg, Peter Culhane, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Card, Sue Kohl, Cathy Russell, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Alan Goldsmith, Gil Dembo, Danielle Samulon, Dick Wulliger, Janet Anderson, Maryam Zar (attended latter part of meeting)
Voting Alternates: Doug McCormick, Richard Blumenberg, Andrew Wolfberg, Quentin Fleming
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Steve Boyers, Brenda Theveny, Leah Cox
1. Certification of Quorum. Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Gil Dembo read the Council’s Mission.
3. Introduction of the Board and Audience. The board and audience were introduced.
4. Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes – The minutes of 7/26/18 were approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings – September 13, 2018: topics: 1) Election results report. 2) presentation/update on aircraft noise in the Palisades. 3) presentation regarding new California REAL ID Driver License/ID cards. September 27, 2018: topics to be announced.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The Chair announced that the agenda was as distributed.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that PPCC’s bank balance is $36,053.84 and that there were no significant transactions since the last report. The Treasurer also timely filed the California form SI-100 reflecting the new officer names.
7. General Public Comment – None.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair George Wolfberg.
8.1.1. Appointment of Three Chairs Committee (Bylaws, Art. VIII.3.C and D). This is the committee that reviews alternate area and at-large representative applications and recommends alternates to the board for election. The alternate application process will begin in early September, after the election of area and at-large representatives ends, and the committee members will be announced, as required by the bylaws, at the first board meeting in September.
8.1.2. Congress of Neighborhoods update. This is a valuable annual event at LA City Hall in which Neighborhood Councils, elected officials and representatives of City agencies all participate. PPCC has participated for many years. It is a day well spent. This year, as you know, the event will take place on September 22. The Congress website is being constructed and we will send out an announcement when it is fully functional and registration begins. Contact the Chair if you have any questions or want to carpool.
8.1.3. Short Term Rentals/Home Sharing Ordinance update. The City Council has proposed various amendments to this ordinance, which will be heard in the City Planning Commission on September 13. Some of the amendments include an annual cap on short term rentals of 120 days, with the possibility for an indefinite extension based on notice to abutting properties only. PPCC and WRAC oppose any extension of the cap. Moreover, PPCC has advocated for a cap of no more than 30-90 days. Further, any new process for an extension of rental days should require notice to all property owners within a minimum of 250 ft. We are monitoring the process and may submit an additional position letter.
8.1.4. PPCC Support for Motion to Strengthen the Protected Tree Ordinance. PPCC has written a position letter, based on the motion passed at the last board meeting, which can be read on the Community Council website at Documents/Motions & Postions
8.1.5. LUC meeting schedule. Next meeting will be August 23 at 6pm. The topics will include the former Jack in the Box site project (17346 W. Sunset Blvd.). Project documents at Community Council website (scroll down to Jack in the Box Site – Mixed Use Project). Fall meeting dates will be: September 27, 5-6pm; October 25, 5-6:30pm. All LUC meetings are public and held in the Palisades branch library.
8.1.6. New Street Tree Removal Notification. The information on tree removals in the public right of way is available now on the Street Services web site. The Chair looked and there are no such removals on public property presently in Pacific Palisades. There is a plan to push this information to various stakeholders through City Council offices. We expect this information to be posted to our Nextdoor page. There are procedures for objection or public comment depending on the number of trees to be removed. We will provide more information as we obtain it from CD11.
8.1.7. Porta Via Café. The owner of Porta Via, Peter Garland, will be coming to our next board meeting on September 13 for an introduction and to present a “Taste of Porta Via.”
8.1.8. WRAC Land Use Committee Motions. Maryam Zar, Chris Spitz and the Chair attended the WRAC Land Use Committee meeting Sunday. The committee unanimously adopted two motions relating to the upcoming Planning Department re-write of community plans for Westside neighborhoods. (The Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Plan would be part of phase two, beginning in maybe three years.) The motions are being prepared and deal with the recent trend of reducing meaningful community input to these types of plans and we will be bringing them to the board for approval at our next board meeting. Contact the Chair if you would like more details in the interim.
8.1.9. Cancellation of Big Blue Bus Service to Palisades Village. The manager of planning and performance reached out to the Chair today regarding bus service from the Expo Line to Palisades Village (and beyond). The bus company has worked with Palisades High School and, as you probably know, Paul Revere, to successfully increase student ridership. There will be a hearing next month to approve the elimination beginning next Spring of bus service between 7pm and 10pm to Pacific Palisades because of low ridership. This cannot be good with all the new employees coming on board with the new Village Project. The Chair is happy to announce that Michael Gazzano has forwarded this information to Caruso’s Operations team for follow up. This is something to keep on our radar.
8.2. From Officers – None.
8.3. From At-large and Area Representatives.
8.3.1. Steve Boyers (Area 7 Alternate). A notice was received from the Planning Dept. about a property located at 12 Latimer Road in Rustic Canyon. There was a concern about whether the owner was seeking a permit for a gated private street. The requested permit is for remodeling of an existing structure, not to establish a private street.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives – None.
8.5. From Government Offices/Representatives.
8.5.1. SLO Michael Moore. Officer Moore’s recent crime report included three weeks’ worth of crime. His most important message to the public is: “Do not park on Los Liones between 1pm and 6:30pm.” There is a vehicle break-in problem on Los Liones Dr., particularly near the location of the Mormon Church, but break-ins can happen anywhere along that stretch. This is a common occurrence in the Palisades during the daytime because so many people go hiking and leave their cars parked, sometimes unlocked. The types of break-ins vary, with everything from smashed windows to entering an unlocked car door. According to Officer Moore, 90% of the time break-ins occur because there is something visible in the vehicle.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors.
8.6.1. Allison Polhill (Education). The Chair received a message from Allison Polhill, who was unable to attend tonight, advising that she will have a comprehensive report at the next PPCC board meeting. She also reported that LAUSD School Board Vice-President Nick Melvoin will be visiting local schools on August 17 on the following schedule: 8am, Palisades Elementary; 10am, Palisades Charter High School; 5:30pm, Kenter Canyon Elementary.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPCLC; David Kaplan and Sue Kohl, Co-Chairs). Sue Kohl had an opportunity to go through the entire project recently. She believes it is aesthetically very beautiful and the community will be pleased. Caruso is still working on leasing, tenants are making improvements to their spaces, and they are all attempting to get as much work done as possible for the September 22 opening. Caruso is now working on curbs, gutters, sidewalks and street trees, and are close to wrapping up utility work with DWP. There have been some problems involving subcontractors starting work too early on Saturday mornings. When this happened two weeks ago, Michael Gazzano instructed supervisors for the subcontractors involved that they cannot start early on Saturday mornings; unfortunately this happened again and they are still working to get all the subcontractors to begin work at the proper time. Board members raised questions about a few matters: 1) concrete was poured at the project on a Saturday night; it was observed that this may have been necessitated by circumstances and was likely not a regular occurrence; 2) the right lane of Sunset westbound in the Village is closed during working hours, causing traffic to back up even when no one is working against the K rails; Sue Kohl will ask if there’s a way to close the lane only when needed so that traffic can flow freely more often; 3) workers are parking where they shouldn’t be; Sue Kohl will also talk to Caruso about this; 4) the left turn lane onto Swarthmore going eastbound on Sunset will need traffic control; Sue will again ask about this; 5) numerous old sand bags have been left in the area on PCH at the Potrero Canyon entrance, where the Caruso dirt hauling previously took place; this is probably a Caltrans issue and the Chair will make a note of it.
9.2. Election Committee (David Card, Chair). David Card reported on the status of the election and voting and gave the ground rules for the candidates’ introductory statements and Q&A (see Item 11 below). Heather Cohen, the Committee’s IT specialist, was also acknowledged. See attached Committee Report.
10. Old Business – None.
11. New Business.
11.1. Candidates’ Introductory Statements, 2018 Area and At-large Representative Election (2 minutes each). Moderator for Items 11.1 and 11.2: Election Committee Chair David Card. Candidates in attendance: Area Two: Steve Cron, Adam Handler; Area Three: Haldis Toppel; Area Four: Rick Mills; Area Five: Sue Kohl; Area Six: David Kaplan; Area Seven: Steve Boyers; At-large: Alan Goldsmith, John Padden. All candidates in attendance gave introductory statements. The Moderator read the statement of Area One candidate Joanna Spak, who was unable to attend. Area Eight candidate Reza Akef, not in attendance, did not provide a statement.
11.2. Q&A with Candidates in Contested Races – Area 2 and At-large (and if time allows in contested races). See attached Committee Report. Meeting attendees were asked to fill out question cards. Q&A then ensued. The Moderator first asked questions that had been submitted for the candidates in contested races, who answered the questions. Additional Q&A then took place with candidates in both contested and uncontested races answering questions directed to all candidates. The candidates were then given 1 minute each to give concluding remarks.
12. Adjournment. The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:45pm.
ATTACHMENT: Items 9.2, 11.1 and 11.2 – Election Committee Report
Election Committee Report to PPCC
August 9, 2018
- ONLINE VOTING: All voting will be online, starting at 9p.m. tonight (after our 7p.m. PPCC meeting). The ballots will be accessible by clicking on the “VOTE HERE” button on the PPCC website home page: www.pacpalicc.org. Voting will end in 3 weeks at 9 p.m. on August 30.
- VOTING ASSISTANCE: Voting assistance will be available for those who don’t have access to a computer or need help. On August 18, from 10a.m. to 1p.m., at the Palisades Branch Library, members of the committee and other volunteers will bring their portable computers to the community meeting room to help anyone who needs help voting. All Election Committee members should be there to help out those voters.
- CANDIDATE FORUM: Tonight at our 7p.m. PPCC meeting all candidates for Area Representative and At-large Representative will have the opportunity to introduce themselves in person and make a 2-minute statement. We will also have a minimum 3-question Q&A with the candidates for Area 2 and At-large Representatives, since they are contested seats. The time limit for answers is 1½ minutes. If time allows, the other candidates will have an opportunity to answer questions. We intend to make time. During the election period, the public will be able to directly ask each of the candidates questions by email. Candidate email addresses are provided on the PPCC website home page link to the Candidate Statements.
- VOTING 7 ELECTION INFORMATION (Notice of Ballot Availability): The “VOTE HERE” (the link to the ballot, 9p.m. tonight), the “Voting & Election Information (Notice of Ballot Availability”) and the “Candidate Statements” are on the PPCC website home page at www.pacpalicc.org.
- TELL EVERYONE: All Council Officers, Area Representatives, the At-large Representative, and Organizational Representatives should get the word out to their constituents and organizations that the Election is on. Let’s get out the vote.
- PUBLICITY: The Palisadian-Post published our election information and Candidate Statements in a full-page public service announcement last week. Haldis Toppel has offered to publish on her blog and email list any additional information that the candidates wish to share. “Circling the News” (Sue Pascoe’s blog) has run pieces about the election. We have posted posting and election information on our PPCC pages on Facebook and Nextdoor. We have also sent voting and election information emails from PPCC to everyone on our mailing list, and we’ll send reminders. The Committee created a banner for the Pali High fence at Temescal & Sunset, which went up Tuesday, August 7, and will stay up until after the voting has closed. Chris Spitz has spoken to the Senior Alliance and will speak again at their meeting on Monday.
- ELIGIBILITY: Voting eligibility is set forth in Attachment A to the PPCC Bylaws. It is also set forth in the Notice. Residents at least 18 years old by August 30 are eligibility to vote for the candidate running for At-large Representative and the Area Representative in the Area in which the voter resides. Areas are defined and mapped at the PPCC website, and that info is also available on the online ballot for voters in the process of voting. Voters who are at least 18 by August 30 who reside in, own property in, or operate a business located in the Palisades are eligible to vote for the At-large Representative.
- CANDIDATE CONDUCT: All candidates shall abide by PPCC Standing Rule 9 in Bylaws Appendix C: Code of Conduct. Candidates will be held to those standards of conduct. All candidates are expected to read and comply with the PPCC Bylaws, which are linked at the PPCC website.
Best of luck to all the candidates.
David Card, Chair
George Wolfberg, ex officio, as PPCC Chair
Chris Spitz, advisor, 2016 Chair of the committee.