November 25, 2008

Government Relations Committee Meeting Minutes

Committee Chair – Charlotte Laws

Meeting called to order at 7 pm. Members present: Charlotte Laws, Vic Viereck, Stan Friedman, Montie Mazo. Quorum attained.

No public comments.

A. River Improvement Overlay District Public Hearing for December discussed. No Committee Member is available to attend the hearing. Discussion about halted building projects due to Overlay District. No motion made on this agenda item. Committee may take up the issue at a later date after the December public hearing.

B. Discussion about proposed new elephant exhibit which will cost the taxpayers $42 million. Thirteen elephants have died at the LA Zoo. Elephants normally live to 60-70 years, but those in captivity live 20 years or so, and according to experts, suffer greatly. The supporters of the elephant exhibit want a place where they can take their children to see elephants & say the exhibit educates about endangered species. Both sides of this issue were invited to the Government Relations Committee meeting, but no response from them other than a standard response email from Councilmember LaBonge’s office. Councilmember Cardenas proposes the exhibit be closed and the remaining elephant be sent to a sanctuary. The City Council will take up this issue again on the day after the GVGC general meeting. It would make more sense for LA to build a virtual elephant exhibit in keeping with LA’s image as the entertainment capital of the world.

Motion made by Charlotte Laws and seconded by Stanley Friedman: “Zoos cannot provide adequate acreage to accommodate the needs of elephants. In addition, Los Angeles is facing a budget crisis and should not be spending $42 million on an unnecessary elephant exhibit which cannot provide the space elephants need to survive. The Greater Valley Glen Council asks the LA City Council to halt plans to construct a new elephant exhibit and to immediately send the remaining elephant Billy to a sanctuary where he can experience a degree of freedom.” Motion passes unanimously.   

C. Department of Water and Power issues are postponed by request of DWP Rate Payer Advocate, Montie Mazo, until the December meeting. Mazo needs to obtain the exact wording of the motion that he wishes to present to the committee.  

D. Discussion about Clean Money Workshop. Motion made by Charlotte Laws and seconded by Montie Mazo: “Clean Money workshop to be held in the auditorium at Kittridge Elementary School on Tuesday February 17, 2008, 6:30 pm.” Motion passes unanimously.

Motion made by Charlotte Laws and seconded by Vic Viereck: “The Clean Money Workshop will be advertised by emails (including a flyer for email purposes), an ad or announcement in the Valley Glen Neighborhood Association newsletter, announcements at LANCC and Valley Alliance meetings and other possible advertising (as determined by the GVGC outreach committee) at a cost not to exceed $500.” Motion passes unanimously.

E. DWP Rate Payer Advocate Montie Mazo will present information at the next Government Relations meeting.    

F. Valley Alliance announcement by Vic Viereck regarding the December 11, 2008 holiday party at CBS Studios.

G. LANCC representative Charlotte Laws announced that LANCC will have elections at the next meeting.

H. Boardmember comments on non-Agenda items –

Mention of a motion by the LA City Council related to “rent control and eviction of tenants from single family homes.” Issue will be placed on the Government Relations Committee agenda next month.

Brief discussion about whether potential name change for area of Van Nuys should be placed on the agenda in the future.

Next meeting date to be determined because several committee members will be unavailable on the normal committee meeting date, therefore a quorum would not be attained.

Meeting Adjourned