If I had a personal staff of 15 and and an army of bureaucrats working for me, I might be able to figure out the magic tricks the City Council is set to perform today.
But I don’t. I only have a tip from a viral email from the citizen activist network and the bureaucratic gobbledygook of the council agenda.
The tip is that Item 30 on the budget allows the mayor to “make his deals that he lost by the defeat of
Measure B. He can work with LAUSD and the Community Colleges for “green
energy and good jobs”–for a start. It is that same financial blank check that was in Measure B.
What the ordinance does is expand the mayor’s role in Community Redevelopment Agency projects by adding this language to his duty to help “in maintaining working relationships and communication” between the CRA and other city agencies.”:
“In addition, the Office of the Mayor shall, in regard to redevelopment project areas, work with
property owners, developers, lending institutions, governmental entities and other private
entities to promote and facilitate development, housing opportunities, business and job creation, and other activities directly related to specific redevelopment activities.”
Frankly, I don’t really know what the game is in this or whether it goes so far as being a back door way of doing what they wanted in the solar energy measure: Get their hands on billions of dollars of the public’s money without discussion or accountability. I think DWP is doing that on its own without bothering to tell us.
But it might have something to do with Item 14 which gives the CRA authority to negotiate a deal with AnsaldoBreda — the rail car manufacturer that bungled its previous MTA contracts — to build a 240,000-square-foot factory in the mayor’s “clean energy corridor” in a toxic brownfield on East Washington Boulevard.
I’m sure City Council members will be as forthcoming in making the implications of all this known as they will be about admitting their responsibility for screwing up the city’s billboard and medical marijuana ordinances when they try to repair the damage today and their finagling with $9 million through fund transfers to deal with the budget catastrophe they created.
Having allowed more than 600 pot dealers to open shop in LA since Prop. 215 passed in 1996 — compared to a few dozen in the entire San Francisco Bay area — the council belatedly wants to impose some kind of control.
Nearly half of pot shops are operating illegally under city law selling illegal drugs under federal law thanks to a feeble attempt at control 2007 that allowed a “hardship” exemption that was totally unenforceable. .
“Unfortunately, the spirit and intent of Proposition 215 has been exploited and abused for both
profit and recreational drug abuse by many of the medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles,” says Jose Huizar’s motion defecting all responsibility.
The problem is the council imposed a moratorium in 2007 but 287 pots shops opened since then claiming a “hardship” that City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo decided made the moratorium legally unenforceaable.
Now the council is set to eliminate the “hardship” provision but that won’t close the pot shop near your.
“The Amending the ordinance will have no effect against those dispensaries that that registered prior to November 13, 2007, and will also have no effect upon those dispensaries that have filed for a hardship exemption,” Huizar’s motion concedes.
Perhaps, the council will enact an effective ordinance in a few years.
The same is true of the council-created billboard fiasco which only dates back seven years. Having bungled the legislation, court cases and legal settlements, the council will extend the temporary moratorium another three months while they try to figure out how to please the sign companies that have been so generous to them and cut the angry community activists off their backs.
It is a busy day for the nation’s highest-paid municipal officials but I’m not sure they’re earning their $180,000 salaries. It’s too harsh to suggest only paying them what they are worth but anyone for cutting their salaries in half?