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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Councilman Mike, Follow the Procedures

Ira
(Photo courtesy of Yolanda Gonzalez. Ira Koslow, president of Venice Neighborhood Council, at the Congress of Councils this year. Koslow, now retired, is no lightweight in the field of accomplishments. He worked 25 years in the music business as a talent manager with Peter Asher management. Before that he was an associate professor at California State University, Long Beach for four years. His last job was with the LAUSD where he was a math teacher for 10 years and taught economics for 12 and for five years was Dean of Discipline.

“Do you hear me … Do you hear me now?” How many times did one hear Verizon ad man ask that question in response to obtaining adequate service. Your Venice Neighborhood Council is now asking this of Councilman Mike Bonin.

Projects affecting Venice are being approved and they have never been thru the Neighborhood Council.

In August the VNC sent a letter to Coouncilman Mike Bonin to present all current projects to the VNC rather than skirting the system. (Letter is at end of article.) They did not receive an answer to the letter. In the December meeting, Matt Shaw presented a motion that all projects affecting Venice, in whatever state, be presented to the neighborhood council and “stop taking any actions until such time as our council and stakeholders have had a chance to voice our opinion on any and all proposals.”

The neighborhood councils were created by Charter amendment in 1999 to provide grassroots vetting and input to the governing bodies. “To promote public participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs by creating, nurturing, and supporting a citywide system of grass-roots, independent, and participatory neighborhood councils.”

There are 99 councils and Venice, although one of the first 4 or 5 to be certified, has outshone all councils with their professional participation and voting record at the polls. Other neighborhood councils visit the Venice council to see how it is done. Former Land Use and Planning committee (LUPC) Chair Challis MacPherson wrote the book on LUPC and taught other councils how it should be done.

The people on the board are businessmen, attorneys, architects, professionals and some are retired professionals. They have all been trained to address a problem and provide solutions. Because of their broad backgrounds, many times the suggestions, solutions are varied prior to consensus.

Ira Koslow, president of the Venice Neighborhood Council, says “I have been on the board a long time before becoming president. These people who have never served before just do not understand the lack of cooperation from the council office,” he said. “I don’t understand it.”

Koslow started reciting in rapid fashion the latest instances he could remember regarding the preempting of the council.

“Bonin brought an “ice rink” to be put at the park on Windward to the council,” he said. “No one wanted it. Then he wanted to bring it back thru the Venice council again. Normally, we do not hear a case twice but he said he had altered the plans enough for it all to be considered new. The council voted it down again. Bonin then went over the Venice council to the California Coastal Commission and got it approved in spite of the Venice Council members testifying against the project at the Commission hearing. Whatever happened to the project after that, we do not know.

“The three homeless projects—Westminster Senior Center, Venice Median, and Thatcher Yard have never been thru the Venice Neighborhood Council. “Bonin claims that he had a town hall and that was sufficient, “ Koslow said. “Hardly. Telling Venetians what he plans to do is not vetting a case.

“The Business Investment District (BID) that was so controversial and had to be redone, It never went thru the Venice council. Had Bonin not thrown in 25 percent of the city land, it would never have passed. Now the City has to pay $480,000 in fees.

“Lava Mae, the mobile shower service, was new to us. It was mentioned as a project but never presented with details until our December meeting when everything was a fait accompli. There are Board members who live on Third who could have given valuable input at some point.

“This is why we are here.”

August letter to Councilman Bonin.

The Honorable Mike Bonin
City Hall Office
200 N. Spring St. #475
Los Angeles, CA 90012

By email: mike.bonin@lacity.org

RE: Inclusion of VNC On Matters Pertaining to The Community

Dear Council Member Bonin:

The Venice Neighborhood Council by-laws were certified by the City of Los Angeles in shortly after Charter Reform in 2000. These governing rules were designed to give Stakeholders an opportunity to voice their opinions on all developments and budgetary items within the boundaries of our region.

City government has taken actions which have potential financial impacts to our community. Additionally, some of these actions involve land development issues none of which have been shared with our neighborhood council.

We believe the City just like any private developer should share anything that is going to affect our community in an open and transparent process.

Therefore, we request the City present the following projects to our council in whatever state they are presently and stop taking any actions until such time as our council and stakeholders have had a chance to voice our opinion on any and all proposals.
List of Projects including but not limited to:
A project in DOT Parking Lot No. 731 has had City resources allocated for a new project

A parcel commonly known at the MTA Division No.6 is under construction with a CDP

City resources have been allocated to the Venice Senior Center / Dog Park located at Westminster Ave.

Resources are being spent to rezone the Thatcher Ave Maintenance Yard

Ocean Front Walk Business Improvement District is having resources allocated and City properties included without any public input.

Respectfully submitted,

Ira Koslow
President,
Venice Neighborhood Council

Comments (3)

  1. Venice78

    HOW IS HELPING HOMELESS PEOPLE A PROBLEM? SO RETA, WHEN THE WELLERS DO IT THEIR SAINTS BUT WHEN LOS ANGELES DOES IT THEY ARE DEMONS.

    • Anonymous

      It is a matter of scale and impact – The Wellers do not demand that the LAPD stand down, nor demand that one neighborhood bare the burden of the majority of services offered. While the Wellers concentrate on helping people who want help, one at a time, LA is enabling a large undefined group of people who are loosely called “homeless” in Venice at the expense of the residents.

  2. Nick Antonicello

    Ira is an excellent advocate for Venice. His thoughtful criticisms are valid and just another reason why we need secession and city hood from this monster bureaucracy known as Los Angeles. #Vexit

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