NOTE: When ZD started LA Daily Blog.com, the purpose was to have a bunch of people do the writing, but no one signed on, officially. People mainly like to email me the stuff and have me blog it. A lot of good stuff piles up in my email box, so I am going to try and feature more of it, as direct posts, instead of having ZD re-write it. Here's someone who sends great inside analysis of the Council meetings, for ZD. So here's a little bit of the (behind the scenes) analysis ZD is provided with throughout the day, that I will now copy and paste here on LA Daily Blog.
From CD 14 ZAPPER (Zuma's Action Plan) on LA City Council Agenda Item 15 (10/22/08)
Council President Garcetti:
ABOUT- The guy you asked from city inspector (building and safety) He said there was an illegal billboard cited recently, and you asked if the billboard was taken down- there was an answer to a question not asked (sound like a familiar technique?), nevertheless, you asked if the billboard would be taken down AND HE EVADED QUESTION BY same technique:
Paraphrasing, "if there is no compliance, it will be referred to City Attorney for enforcement"--
That still did not answer your question. You should not have let him slip by without some direct answer, even if it is, "I really don't know what will happen."
THE GUYS in building and safety continue to be evasive with CM Alarcon as I listen to the verbal exchanges now- clearly they in B&S don't have experience in fast rescheduling and expediting or they are so ritualistic, they don't know how to make an exception and improvise. They could use someone with McGyver-type skills to do what they need done with what they have.
COULD NOT THEY just get in a car, take a video camera, narrate on camera and record a TOUR OF THE VISIBLE billboards to have a starting point, using major areas, or starting where most complaints have been received? They could CONTINUE rolling tape while adding, at the same time, corresponding narration for identification of the subjects. A lot could get done in a few half-day tours in the city- for heaven's sake, it's not making up a production of Star Wars that we are talking about here. (And with all the city vehicles out daily, THIS would be a worthwhile excursion for all of us.)
A small crew, or several crews could do it. If the city attorney needs something better from an evidentiary standpoint, they could revisit with the procedures followed per site need. A business records exception to the hearsay rule in the Cal. Evid. Code is there and procedures could be adapted to fit within the exception.
But for now, it's a starting point. It's data collection for review. The private citizens get more work done to i.d. the sites. The taxpayers lose in the outcomes with this particular special interest AND they sue the city (clearly the B&S dept. is intimidated by that possibility, accomplishing one of the goals of the billboard companies and FURTHER slowing down any adverse action against the billboard company.
I SUGGEST if this guy is representative of the ills of that B&S dept that there be segments taken you choose how to divide, by districts, main streets of some other apportionment style, to EXPEDITED ENFORCEMENT. Justice delayed is justice denied is a phrase that applies to non-criminal matters as well as to the criminal system.
CONTINUED delay on actual enforcement just gives the billboard companies more motivation to FURTHER delay things, while they collect money from the illegal signs.
I am glad that you folks have arrived at a subject that has finally garnered unanimous support and I am a bit please that you see the roadblocks thrown in your path to correcting the problem by your very own dept. (B&S). Supervision really is hurting in this dept, I would say. They were already on notice, with your actions on making the earlier motion, and they STILL blew it. Can you imagine how many OTHER depts? of the city are running without even THAT level supervision where no one has touched them as Council did to B&S?
No Accountability is the public's complaint and you see why the notion of that is so strongly present, having just been reinforced.
I ONLY WISH JAMIEL'S LAW WAS AS IMPORTANT a matter to be expedited.
You accidental pushing of CM Wiess' "comment" button may have been unintentional, but it should have been a coincidental reminder if what you have IN YOUR OWN COUNCIL- in the embodiment of Mr. Weiss, as another "roadblock" to moving things along, and what it means to the public, just like the B&S not coming through on your matter NOW, and THEN making ludicrous time projections for accomplishing your requests. "2009"? And not even the EARLY part of 2009.
JAMIEL SHAW II was murdered on March 2, 2008, over 7 months ago, the Zine motion was made a month later and it is coming up IN COMMITTEE this month, not even reaching the FULL COUNCIL yet. There are too many instances of the City's personnel, at ANY and ALL levels, not addressing the needs, especially failing with the long-expected responses to urgent and explicitly stated needs.
There is a lot to be done and needs shaking up.
Z.A.P. Constituent in CD-14