[ZD: WOW, Let's make sure Neighborhood Council money is the LAST money to get cut...DON'T CUT A PENNY! Cops, Fire, DOT, Libraries...ALL MUST BE CUT FIRST BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK OF CUTTING WANNABEE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL MONEY FOR THINGS LIKE FREE FOOD GIVEAWAYS, SOCCER UNIFORMS, CRIMINAL MONEY PILFERING, ALL KINDS OF NUTTINESS...AND EVEN WORSE...THIS:
Pay attention because Mike O'Connell's story could be yours.
With typical L.A. stealth, cell phone giant T-Mobile cut a deal with Armen Simonian and Hovik Avanessian, owners of an enormous new apartment complex at 4771 Forman Avenue, to install 12 antennas atop the building. Of course, there was zero input from the people who would, literally, be living under it. People like Mike's family and his neighbors -- none of whom knew anything about the deal that pimped out their block to T-Mobile for a measly two grand.
"The first I heard of any of this was a letter from the City Planning Department telling me 12 antennas were going up directly across the street," O'Connell said.
"I called my neighbors and they knew nothing about this," explained O'Connell. "How could that be?"
And to add to the outrage the get-away car is being driven by the Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council -- the very people supposed to keep these things out of the neighborhood.
At last Tuesday's Zoning Department meeting in Van Nuys, O'Connell and 10 neighbors discovered the Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council "approved" the antenna deal for a crummy $2,000 in "median improvements" -- L.A. speak for grass seed -- without telling anyone they'd now be sharing their yards, kitchens and bedrooms with industrial blight and microwave radiation.
Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents Toluca Lake, says he's opposed to the antennas, as he should be. As we all should be. Under something called "co-locating," once a site has been established by the city for antennas, every company who wants a microwave dish, receiver or transmitter must use that location. In plain language, after the first antenna moves in, there goes the neighborhood.
So, the building owners get a bundle of cash for renting space to T-Mobile and the cell phone company gets expanded coverage for their customers. That's simple. What's tough to comprehend is the behaviour of the Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council.
Neighborhood Councils were created specifically to block rotten deals like this -- deals the L.A. City Council is usually cutting on our behalf. Nobody wants to live across the street from a chorus line of antennas and microwaves. Aside from potential health risks, they're ugly and depress property values. Thanks for (NOT) having our backs, Neighborhood Council!
- Doug McIntyre in Daily News