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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Venice BID Finds Office, Ready for Business; Many Members Still Have Questions

New Venice BID office at 1320 – 1322 Pacific Ave, Venice

It was announced at the monthly meeting of the Venice Business Improvement District (BID) Friday that the BID board had found a place in Venice for an office at 1320 – 1322 Pacific Avenue subject to lease approval by BID attorney.

The lease was for 2300 square feet with parking at $8500 with a $250 yearly increase.

It was agreed by the board to table approval of agreements with Chrysalis for cleaning and AlliedUniversal for safety until the 9 March meeting which again will be held at 10 am at Mishkon Tephilio, 206 Main Street, Santa Monica.

One concern voiced by many in the audience was that local hiring was not part of the written agreements intended for Chrysalis and AlliedUniversal.  Becky Dennison, director of Venice Community Housing, said she had the wordage for such contracts and would be happy to supply such. After the meeting Jack Hoffman, member of the board, asked her to provide the wordage.

Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of the BID Tara Devine stated after the meeting that: 

Our vendors have agreed to launch services in 6-8 weeks from contract execution, and will accelerate that as much as they responsibly can.  Hiring, special training, background checks, equipment/uniform procurement and many other related tasks are pre-requisites to our launch of clean and safe services.

Much of the comment period was used for expressing discontent with the selection of board members and the inclusion of the properties  used residentially within the district– those which are zoned commercial or industrial but are used residentially. Tara Devine explained again that “Use” of the properties is immaterial to a BID property selection. Marlene Okulick asked if the board had considered removal of the contested properties used residentially.  John Okulick asked why Abbot Kinney commercial was not included.

Tara Devine explained after the meeting the composition of the board as follows:

Our current board of 7 has one lifelong resident and one 33-year resident.  Several other board members previously lived in Venice, and 6 out of 7 work in Venice.  They represent properties of various types, which are spread across the geography of the district.  We do intend to expand the board, and resident representation would be expanded with it.  Ours is a working board, so we are seeking local property owners who have both time and talents to contribute.  We expect our best future candidates to come from those volunteers.  Anyone interested in so volunteering can email us at admin@venicebeachbid.com.

Larry Perlof said the self-appointed board did not represent the people who were assessed and was a violation of the Constitution prohibiting taxation without representation. He was also concerned about the cost for the Westminster school having to pay.

One person mentioned that she has to pass on the extra cost of $20,000 per year to her tenants because that is the way the lease reads and the services are already provided by management.

Becky Dennison said that both the city and county had taxed her VCH organization and a refund was in order .  She felt that should be agendized for the next meet.  She also brought up the composition of the board and felt that residents should be at least represented.

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