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Charlotte Laws
Member of the 
Greater Valley Glen Council

21781 Ventura Blvd., Suite 633
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Tel.  818.346.5280
Fax.  818.985.1690

drlaws@roadrunner.com

Photo of Charlotte Laws in March 2005

Government Relations Committee Minutes

October 14, 2008

Chair – Charlotte Laws


Call to order and roll call. Members present: Charlotte Laws, Vic Viereck, Aram Alepyan. No public comments.

1. Presentation by David Hernandez on Public Access Television. Time Warner closing all studios at end of Dec. 2008. There is no plan at this time for continuing the program. Two weeks ago, city council discussed issue and asked the city attorney to come up with a plan. Discussion about postponement of closure until a plan is in place and discussion about potential use of channel 36.

Motion: “The GVGC supports public access television and asks the City Council to make sure there are studios, equipment and staff available for the people of Los Angeles . Time Warner should keep the studios open until a new plan is in place to protect the integrity of public access.”  (Council File #07-3611).

Motion passes unanimously.

2. Presentation by Vic Viereck and discussion about Mayor’s five billion dollar affordable housing plan. GVGC previously voted against Prop H and city’s previous affordable housing plans. There are inexpensive housing options in LA, including four bedroom homes that sell for $250,000 and five bedroom homes that lease for $1600 - $2000 per month. There are two bedroom apartments on the cities “affordable” list that have been vacant for months. One such unit is south of Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. It is a two bedroom unit that rents for $1000 per month. The Mayor’s plan helps those who make as much as $90,000 per year.

Motion: “The GVGC opposes the Mayor’s 5 billion dollar affordable housing plan.

1. It will fail to provide housing for those who need it most.

2. It is a waste of taxpayer funds

3. Due to declining real estate values and the glut of property on the market, this plan is not needed. For example, there are four bedroom houses in quiet, family neighborhoods in the valley selling for under $250,000.” 

Motion passes unanimously. Vic Viereck will get the council file number to the board.

3. Presentation by Vic Viereck about $500 million in fees and fines that the city has not collected. Laura Chick has supported appointing a sheriff to collect these sums.

Motion: “A competent sheriff should be appointed to effectively and efficiently collect the $500 million of validly assessed fees and fines owed the city. The cost of collection should not exceed the amount collected.” This is council file 08-2122.

Motion passes unanimously.   

4. Discussion about NCRC recommendation for enhanced public comment for stakeholders and video conferencing of city council meetings. Education & Neighborhood Committee – council file #08-0830).

Motion: “The GVGC supports enhanced public comment for stakeholders via video or telephone conferencing of City Council meetings and City Council Committee meetings. This would encourage participatory democracy and allow stakeholders who do not have the means to drive downtown in the middle of the day to give input on city issues. If comments are made by phone, there should be a mechanism by which callers’ identities could be verified, such as by Caller ID and a password.”

Motion passes unanimously.

5. Discussion about the Dept. of Transportation MOU (and other city departments’ MOUs) with neighborhood councils. This is council file #06-3147.

Motion: “Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) should created between the Department of Transportation (as well as other major city departments) and the neighborhood councils. MOUs can be somewhat broad in order to allow for some flexibility, but must, at the very least, give stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in on issues.”

Motion passes unanimously.

6. Discussion about increased speed limits in the San Fernando Valley . No motion on this item.

7. Discussion about the Prop 2 ballot initiative, reducing cruelty to certain farm animals.

Motion: “The GVGC supports Prop 2, which helps stop the cruel and inhumane treatment of farm animals. There is ample time for factory farms to comply with this legislation since it does not go into effect until 2015.”

Motion passes unanimously.

8. Boardmember comment – potholes mentioned.

9. Meeting adjourned. Next meeting is scheduled for  November 13, 2008.