MINUTES FROM NOVEMBER 10th 2022
1. Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. The meeting was called to order at 6:01pm. The Community Council mission was read by Karen Ridgley, Area 4 Primary Rep. See PPCC Bylaws: http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/council-bylaws/.
2. Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
Voting Board members present: Jenny Li, Beth Holden Garland, Randy Young, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Julie Silliman, Chris Spitz, Shirley Haggstrom, Eric Dugdale, Courtney Macker, Richard Blumenberg, Nina Kidd, Bill Skinner, Greg Heidt.
Non-voting Board members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Daphne Gronich, Cathy Russell, David Taubman, Ryan Craig, Barbara Kohn, Genevieve Bostic.
3. Introduction of attendees — see Item 8.5.1, below.
4. Approval of Minutes – The October 13, 2022 and October 27, 2022 minutes were approved.
5. Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings,
The Agenda was considered as presented.
Upcoming meetings noted:
December 8: PPCC Awards Gala and Holiday Party
January 12: a presentation by Donna Arrechea on the city’s 311 App and call center and STAP matters, perhaps IKE Motion
January 26: a presentation by Alex Helou, Assistant Director at LA Sanitation and Deborah Hong of LADWP
February 9: a presentation by Brian Hale, LADOT Chief of Parking Enforcement and Tim Fremaux, Sr. Transportation Engineer, LADOT – to discuss sidewalk and intersection/sidewalk policies and management.
Topics are only a partial list and may be amended.
6. Treasurer’s Report.
The Treasurer reported a $37.36 sundry expense. The PPCC bank balance is $54,485.16.
7. General Public Comment – none.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. The President announced that the 2022 Honorees have been chosen by the ASC and will be announced later in this meeting, and congratulates them all.
8.1.2. The President announced she is appointing a Transportation Committee to act as an advocate for repairs, improvements and the study of mobility issues that impact our community and the surrounding areas.
8.1.3. The President announced she is appointing members to a joint committee with BCC to address cannabis dispensary notice to Community Councils (per motion passed by both Councils in October.)
8.1.4. The President announced she is appointing a Public Safety Task Force to work in collaboration with LAPD and LAFD on public communication and safety strategies.
8.1.5. The President announced that the anticipated LUC item for today’s meeting is being deferred.
8.1.6. The President announced that the Holiday party is on track and asked members to SAVE THE DATE: Dec 8th, from 6-8pm.
8.1.7. The President gave an update regarding the GW Park at Potrero Canyon opening which is expected to take place on December 3rd at 10am, per CM Bonin’s team.
8.1.8. The President announced the appointed of a new Business Matters Advisor: Alan Goldsmith.
8.2. From Officers – none.
8.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives – none
8.4. From Organizational Representatives – none.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives.
8.5.1. LAPD Presentation by Commander Jonathan Tom and Captain Craig Heredia.
Captain Craig Heredia introduced himself (over 27 years as a police officer) and made a presentation along with Brian Espin and Sgt. Scott Alpert. See presentation (https://mcusercontent.com/e67def3ada76c274bac379123/files/018ac3ec-7390-ad96-5179-839c757304cd/West_LA_Area_Powerpoint_November_2022.pdf).
Commander Jonathan Tom explained that his recent promotion to Commander happened quickly, so he bid us farewell as Captain and introduced Captain Heredia as the new Area Commanding Officer for West LA. He is proud of Captain Heredia and knows he will do well in this role. Commander Tom thanked the PP community and remarked at how much we are a close-knit community with a strong identity that effectively advocates for its environs. He said that, while he is moving into the Commander role, he will always be a friend to the Palisades and is happy to address issues that come to his attention in his new role. “It was the honor of my career to serve on the Westside.” He has faith that Captain Heredia will be engaged with the community and will be an accessible Commander, as he was. Commander Tom also introduced Sgt Alpert as SLO Brian Espin’s direct supervisor and the Supervisor of the community engagement team.
Commander Tom now serves as Assistant Commanding Officer of Operations – West Bureau, which includes: Hollywood, Wilshire, Olympic, West LA, Pacific and Pacific LAX. Deputy Chief Chow is the Commanding Officer of the Bureau. Commander Jonathan Pinto is the other Commander in the Bureau. Commander Tom is also in charge of the ATF Gun Violence Task Force at the Bureau.
PPCC President thanked Commander Tom for his years of service and formally welcomed Captain Heredia. The President asked if we should come to Commander Tom or to Captain Heredia if we were to, for example, want to advocate for a patrol car to stay in the Palisades (i.e. not be called away, as it was last month when it took 18 minutes to get back). Commander Tom said we should advocate to Capt. Heredia, and that request would make its way through internal channels to Commander Tom and his supervisors. Commander Tom said he will always be an ally who is familiar with the Palisades, and will do his best to advocate for our resources to remain intact.
8.5.2. Brian Espin. LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades took part in LAPD presentation and announced that the beach detail was reallocated back to the Palisades with an extra car secured for our community. Asked for people to sign up to receive his weekly crime reports. When he gets the new crime maps, he will send to the community.
Saw reports of two burglaries – both were cases where suspects got into unlocked vehicles. Garage door openers were in the car, and so suspects got into garage and took items. He said please make sure vehicles are secured and locked, and find a hiding spot for the garage door opener – this concerns him that suspects can get into unlocked cars and then into homes though the garage.
Kimberly Bloom asked about the Hartzell incident: SLO Espin said there were no updates or arrests on the investigative side. Residents said the same vehicle was seen on Chautauqua, but no calls were recorded, even though there is a post on a social media platform. LAPD has not determined that the same car/same suspects were back in town. Zar asked about fingerprints which he had said might be gleaned from the knife recovered on the scene. SLO Espin said there had been no prints recovered from the knife, as yet.
Karen Ridgley: Raised the idea of an office for the police in the Palisades. Zar said the idea is in the works, and updates are forthcoming. Ridgley asked about response times – noted only urgent 911 calls are getting quick responses. Nonviolent response times are terribly slow and that impacts the quality-of-life offenses we deal with. Asks, how can we keep our police in the Palisades area – looking to enhance the response time and keep our resources local.
Captain Heredia said they are looking at ways to keep LAPD officers in the Palisades. Said they are short staffed on the sworn side and the non-sworn side.
Murray Levy, Area 1 Rep asked about traffic infractions. Captain Heredia said West LA Traffic is stepping up enforcement per updates received from SLOs.
8.5.3. Zach Gaidzik, Field Deputy, County Supervisor, Sheila Kuehl – not present.
8.5.4. Noah Fleishman, CD11 District Director, Office of CM Bonin – not present.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.
8.6.1. Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor, PCH Taskforce meeting – not present
8.6.2. Sharon Kilbride, PPCC Homelessness Advisor, Winter Shelters
As there has been a lot of rain and cold, Ms. Kilbride asked about westside winter shelters run by the County of LA. There are none in our area. After emailing City and County Field Reps, she founds that four new winter shelters opened on November 4th, but the closest ones are in downtown LA (Westside Armory was closed in 2020). “Very bleak and very sad.” Something needs to be done on this forefront. There are a lot of “warming fires” where unhoused individuals are creating fires to stay warm because there are no winter shelters nearby. LAFD has come out to respond recently, and this is something that is concerning; the city and county need to provide more winter shelters during the cold months. Ms. Kiibride informed the Board that Sue Pascoe got some assurances from candidates Traci Park and Erin Darling after writing an article, but for now, the problem remains that people are out on our streets and in our hillsides, creating fires to stay warm at night. The President clarified that there are no winter shelters in all of SPA 5.
8.6.3. Allison Holdorff-Polhill, PPCC Education Advisor, Education update – not present.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. Awards Selection Committee Report, made by Committee member, Daphne Gronich who thanked the community for all the nominations. She announced the selection of the Citizen of the Year, Golden Sparkplug and Pride of the Palisades Selection of 2022 Awardees. Following consideration by the 2022 Selection and Awards Committee the following have been chosen to receive the Citizen of the Year Award, the Spark Plug Awards and the Pride of the Palisades Award:
Citizen of the Year Award: Michael Lanning
Sparkplug Awards: Cindy Simon & Tracey Price, James Cragg, Hazel Tate
Pride of the Palisades: Pacific Palisades Historical Society Centennial Celebration Committee.
Ms. Gronich briefly described the awardees’ accomplishments and noted that Selection Committee member Barbara Kohn, who was also a member of the PPHS Centennial Selection Committee, did not participate in the vote on the Pride of the Palisades award.
The President thanked Ms. Gronich and the Awards Selection Committee, chaired by Nancy and Kevin Niles, and the Board congratulated all the honorees.
9.2. Awards Event Committee: Karen Ridgley, committee Co-Chair, reported that the Event Committee is on track for event planning and has already met and distributed tasks.
10. Old Business – none.
11. New Business.
11.1. The Board took up a WRAC recommended motion to call upon Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon to resign from Los Angeles City Council. The motion calling on Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo to resign was made by At-large Rep, Chris Spitz, seconded by Steve Cron and passed unanimously.
11.2. The Board tabled discussion of a possible motion to urge LAPD to keep “the Palisades car” here in the Palisades at all times, since we learned from LAPD/Capt. Heredia that a beach patrol car has been (re)secured for the Palisades.
11.3. Discussion and possible motion on city bus shelters – are they suitable for Pacific Palisades – was tabled pending more info from new Council Office staff. The President opened the floor to hear from members regarding their impressions/reservations about the new proposed transit shelters.
Julie Silliman, Area 7 Primary Rep, said she had investigated the statistics on bus ridership, and the numbers attributable to our community are fairly low (4/5 up to 10 people). A couple of our stops represent 40-50% of our ridership at certain times. They are not constant and only peak at certain times. She looked at the material and didn’t think they would be durable or attractive.
Eric Dugdale, PPHS Rep, said he drove by and thought the digital back-lit screen signage would be very distracting. Unclear what is being proposed and where they would be placed.
Courtney Macker, PPRA Representative, concurred that there’s little need for these shelters, as far as she can tell, as she lives close to one of the high ridership locations.
There was concern about scooter docks at the shelters and there was not much support for that (safety hazard and eyesore). All agreed that these shelters would be inappropriate for us, given ridership, coastal/scenic highway placement of shelters.
Chris Spitz reminded us that all reps from Streets LA and Tranzito Vector have assured us that there will be more outreach before anything is implemented in PP. She notes IKE – the digital Kiosk advertising program which was heard in Council today, was put on hold for more review.
K.C. Soll, resident/Palisades CERT coordinator) says Sunset Blvd is more dangerous than ever, with high speeds and traffic and these shelters (with lights and screens) will be a distraction.
11.4. Discussion and motion regarding George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon (GWPPC) signs, which the City is to print and install in time for the opening of the park.
Language of motion below, sponsored by Chris Spitz, was seconded by Area 6 1st Alternate, Quentin Fleming, passed unanimously with a friendly amendment (seconded by Karen Ridgley, which also passed unanimously). The friendly amendment was made by the President to include the requirement that the park opening hours remain and be codified/noticed as “Open from Sunrise to Sunset.” The motion passed unanimously. [See attachment, “Proposed motion requesting signage,” below.]
The President noted that the Wolfberg family has asked for an informative black and white sign in three locations throughout the park (this has been approved), and invited Diane Wolfberg to address signage and park opening, as she wishes. A conversation ensued regarding the No Bicycling code section. The consensus was that pedal bicycling would be allowed and the signage should be worded to allow pedal bicycling but not motorized bicycling. The board agreed we should monitor the evolution of signage on this matter.
12. Adjournment. Meeting adjourned at 8:05PM.
[Attachment: Item 11.4]
Proposed motion requesting signage – George Wolfberg Park in Potrero Canyon
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) urges the City of Los Angeles (City) and the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) to expedite preparation and installation of signs in George Wolfberg Park in Potrero Canyon (GW Park) containing the following rules and regulations:
- No smoking
- No open flames
- No fireworks
- No camping, no campfires
- No tents or other bulky items
- Specific reference to applicable Code section/s (including LAMC Sec. 63.44)
- Hours of park operation (i.e., closed from dusk to dawn)
The preparation and installation of such signs should be expedited in order for the signs to be in place at all park entrances and in other potential strategic locations, in time for the publicly-announced GW Park opening on December 3, 2022.
PPCC further urges City and RAP officials to meet and confer on site as soon as possible with LAPD officers who are thoroughly familiar with conditions in our bluff and canyon areas, to determine the most strategic and effective locations for placement of such signs within GW Park (in addition to locating signs at all park entrances) in order to deter camping, fires and other real and potential risks to community safety. These officers should include Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin and lead Beach Detail Officer Jose Bermudez.
This motion is made with reference to the following facts and concerns: