Friday, September 4, 2009

Blog Reader Weighs In on Zuma Dogg's Public Pressure In Special Event Fee Waiver Reform at City Council Level

Here's a post from a great writer, RG of Lincoln High 90031 Quick Notes blog:

Council votes on Special Events motions

Well, the special event fee waivers has been something going seemingly giving money to anyone who makes the request or is connected, a relatively small but steady drain of tax money without any real guidelines made known to the public.

City Council went back into session after a couple of weeks of summer break and they approved a change that was originally proposed by CM Parks and amended last by CM Huizar. The video portion that I saw of CM Alarcon was not much of a surprise when he complained that "I do not want Zuma Dogg dictating public policy," adding that to other jabs to ZD that Alarcon throws into his comments from time to time. The idea, I suppose, was to connect ZD and the notion of being "a bad guy" to the creation of the controls on Special Event Fee Waivers (where the city winds up eating costs of doing work caused or needed by events, including traffic control, closing off streets and all sorts of things like that).

Actually, ZD or David Saltsburg (as he's becoming to be known now in his CD-2 council bid) has constantly been a thorn in the side of city council on what they do. The problem was not created by ZD but instead was snowballing into an out-of-control fee waiver practice for too many things that were not appropriate to do- and now in near-bankrupt condiitons of the city, this is even more needed.

The whole matter was voted on and approved, with CMs Hahn and Alarcon being the two NO votes, complaining that this will end needed events. The real policy should and apppears to be making these contributions on the city side to be 50-50 instead of covering 100% of the city expense, and the main idea is that the events should be public ones, open to all members of the public, as opposed to "private" affairs.

Still, there is the Grammys, the Oscars, and other awards keeping eligibility for waivers, and these are definitely NOT inclusive of anyone in the general public to drop in or sign up to attend. That side is still a big part of the "trade off" Council makes on things, to some extent logical by considering the economic effect generated, but that's still not a non-profit group operating at all, and the council people like to rub elbows with movie stars and celebrities. They will often trip over themselves, figuratively, when such celebs come to City Council meetings to speak on topics, and if you get one who has a real fan on the Council, the gushing is pretty obvious and often over the top. So you have lots of simple reasons for the way things happen in the official world of the city political organization.

But on Tuesday's action, the matter has to be voted a week later to become a law and that will be on next Tuesday or soon thereafter if voted to put it off.

There is a list of the years spending by districts that you can see HERE. The Recommendation from the Budget and Finace Committee, composed of CMs Parks and Huizar. There's a lot of money spent in the different districts on small events that are what the waiver process is really supposed to be about.

Something that Zuma Dogg brought up for years, but also brought up as needing control by none other than the Mayor himself, but that's not mentioned by Alarcon since the mayor's toes cannot be easily stepped on by CMs whereas a member of the public, especially a critic, can be demeaned and it's safe to do most of the time. The problem happens when the people see the B.S. that goes on and no amount of excuses can compete with common sense and arithmetic.
Posted by rg-

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