Greater Valley Glen Council

Minutes for the Government Relations Committee Meeting
Chair – Charlotte Laws

 January 21, 2009

Role call: Members present are Charlotte Laws, Vic Viereck, Monte Mazo. Quorum obtained.

No public comment.

1. DWP solar initiative. Any motion will be presented to the GVGC after the forum on Measure B. The following motion is made by Vic Viereck, seconded by Monte Mazo. Council Files number: 08-2795 and 09-1100-S11.

“The Greater Valley Glen Council supports solar power, but opposes Measure B.

1. Measure B is open-ended: there is no specific price tag or plan in place.

2. DWP recently increased customer rates by 24%; it is the wrong time to raise rates further. Taxpayers are financially strapped due to the recession, and Measure B is expected to require significant rate increases.

3. The public and neighborhood councils were not given an opportunity to properly discuss and comment on this proposed ballot initiative. It was hastily passed by the City Council. .  

4. Measure B contracts will go exclusively to the DWP Union. There will be no competitive bidding. It is likely the private sector could do the work at a lesser cost, thus saving taxpayers money.”

Motion passes unanimously.

2. Eviction of tenants from foreclosed properties. Council File # 07-2438-S9   Ordinance # 180441. Motion made by Vic Viereck and seconded by Monte Mazo. Motion is as follows:

“The GVGC recommends the following:

The City Council should revise ordinance number 180441 also known as “Eviction of Tenants from Foreclosed Residential Rental Properties or Article 14.1 of Chapter IV of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. After the one-year sunset clause, the City Council should not renew the ordinance, unless previously altered to apply only to buildings with five units or more.

This ordinance was not properly vetted. Neighborhood Councils and stakeholders did not have sufficient time to comment. The issue was initiated by the City Council on December 11, 2008 and signed into law on December 23, 2008. 

This ordinance:

1. Should only apply to rental buildings with five units or more. 

2. Negatively impacts the salability of foreclosed homes, condos and townhouses because tenant-occupied properties are difficult to sell and eventually sell for a lower price on average than vacant or owner-occupied properties. A buyer would not be wise to buy a property with a tenant intact unless it is an apartment building or the buyer is seeking a rental property. 

3. Hurts buyers, (often first time buyers with limited funds), who will inherit a property with a tenant, then have to go through the costly eviction process and possibly incur tenant-related damages to the home. It also hurts buyer insurance and financing options. The buyer may have to obtain a non-owner occupied loan at a much higher interest rate.

4. Will lead to more “for sale” inventory on the market and drive down property values. It hurts the real estate market as a whole when properties sit for a long time then sell for less. It also hurts the sellers who lost the home (and may face greater tax consequences with a lower sales price) and the taxpayers whose money is going to bail out banks. It also hurts neighbors who are looking to refinance their home, which they often cannot do when property values in the area are low.

5. Will lead to scams. Opportunists will take advantage of banks by creating fake rental agreements at “under market” value rents, then leave with thousands in relocation fees and reimbursement of a security deposit that they never paid in the first place. . 

6. Will lead to fewer short sales and potentially greater tax consequences for those who are losing their property to foreclosure. Tenants will have no reason to cooperate with short sales. They will have incentive to let properties got into foreclosure because they will want the relocation fees.

7. Will lead to reluctance by banks to lend in the future, especially on rental properties.

8. Will potentially reduce tax revenues.

9. May violate the Costa-Hawkins law.

Instead, the City Council should:

1. Mandate that banks inform occupants (tenants) by mail when a notice of default is filed on a property.

2. Revise the ordinance so that it only applies to multi-family residences that are 5 units or greater.

3. Encourage banks to keep the exterior of vacant properties tidy and watered, and free from vagrants.”

Motion passes unanimously.   

3. Clean Money flyer presented. Motion to accept the flyer to be used for any purpose to promote the workshop. Motion made by Monte Mazo, seconded by Charlotte Laws. Wording is as follows: (actual flyer to be presented at the GVGC meeting).

The Greater Valley Glen Council

invites you to participate in a Clean Money Workshop

Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 6:30 pm

Kittridge Elementary School

Auditorium

13619 Kittridge Street , Valley Glen , CA 91401

The LA City Council Rules & Government Committee is considering a voluntary system of full public funding for city election campaigns
and would like YOUR INPUT

     How can Public Funding Limit the Influence of Special Interests?

      How can Public Funding Level the Playing Field?

      How can Public Funding Allow New People with Good Ideas to Run?

      How Strict Should Public Funding Spending Limits Be?

To RSVP for this event, Contact Charlotte Laws at (818) 346-5280 or drlaws@roadrunner.com

Motion passes unanimously.

4. Monosodium Glutamate and Food labeling. Motion made by Vic Viereck and seconded by Monte Mazo. Letter to be sent to the LA City Council, GVGC’s Sacramento representatives as well as GVGC’s Congressional and U.S. Senate representatives.

“When food companies hide the presence of MSG (or free glutamic acid) in products, consumers are misled and lose the ability to choose what they put into their bodies. It is estimated that 5% - 40% of the public are negatively affected or become quite ill by the presence of MSG. Food companies may hide MSG under 40+ names that consumers would not recognize, (i.e. gelatin, natural flavor, soy sauce, seasonings, autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, textured protein, yeast food, etc.). The Greater Valley Glen Council wants to see improved product labeling and suggests the following: When there is a new product on the market or a recipe change, the food manufacturer must measure for free glutamic acid and disclose it as MSG on the label with levels present in milligrams.”

Motion passes unanimously.

5. Boardmember comments – none.

6. Meeting adjourned.