Is the Group Going to Reject a $50,000 Grant?
During the public comment period at the monthly Business Improvement District meeting on April 3 in the Chamber of Commerce office, resident Marge Gold asked when they were going to hold a community meeting to gather suggestions about how to spend the parking-meter money designated for Pacific Palisades
BID board member Rick Lemmo explained that a meeting isn’t planned because the BID would have to submit an application and a designated project (funded by this pilot program) would need to be completed in a year.
Asked how much money it would be, Lemmo said “about $55,000,” and added, “We would only be able to spend the money on that project.”
Circling the News asked Lemmo and BID President Elliot Zorensky for a clarification: “Does this mean you won’t take the money because you don’t want to fill out an application?”
CTN was told “No.” Zorensky clarified that “We can only spend money on a specific project, and one isn’t being considered.”
Lemmo added, “We would never have a forum for that.”
Councilman Mike Bonin’s Field Deputy Lisa Cahill said, “There are lots of other entities that really want this money, for example the Brentwood Community Council, who wondered why the Palisades got it.”
DRB representative David Peterson asked if the money only goes to BIDs or if it could go to the Pacific Palisades Community Council.
“My understanding was this area was chosen to do a good thing as a pilot for parking meter money,” said Cahill. “I’m hearing that people don’t want this money.”
In his February newsletter, Councilman Bonin wrote: “The city recently approved a pilot program that is designed to keep the money spent at parking meters in the neighborhood where the money is generated. Under the pilot program, 15% of the revenue from parking meters in designated business improvement district areas will go to the BID, so decisions about how best to use money from meters to improve local transportation can be made by people in the neighborhood.
“I am very happy to report that Pacific Palisades will be one of three areas where this pilot program will be launched, meaning that a minimum of $50,000 – and likely more – will be available for the Pacific Palisades BID to spend on local mobility improvements, like street and sidewalk repairs, wayfinding signage, or on streetscape and community beautification efforts. The BID, which is made up of local businesses, will be responsible for engaging local stakeholders to decide which local improvements are best for Pacific Palisades.”
The other two BIDS chosen were Westwood Village and Lincoln Heights.
Circling the News contacted Bonin’s spokesperson David Graham-Caso in February, asking if it was all meters in the Palisades meters or just those in the business district. In a February 7 email, he clarified that the money would only come from meters within the BID boundaries (from Carey to Via de la Paz, on both sides of Sunset, plus side streets).
BID members Joe Ramirez and David Peterson volunteered to form an ad hoc committee and see exactly what needed to be done to receive the money.
Gold said, “I was thinking some sidewalks could be fixed.”
Lemmo replied, “You don’t get a lot of sidewalks fixed for $55,000.”
If the Palisades doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity, the money probably won’t be offered again. Thanks to Marge Gold, as well as BID members Joe Ramirez and David Peterson for offering suggestions and being willing to spearhead discussion and a possible dialogue or grant application writing.
Whatever small areas of sidewalk or public alleys or the Rec center parking lot used by people in our community that can be repaired for $50,000 would be helpful if that is the only way the money can be used.
FOR YEARS, THERE WERE EFFORTS BY THE COMMUNITY TO GET THE CITY TO CREATE A PARKING IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT IN THE PALISADES FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING PROPERTY AND BUILDING ADDITIONAL PARKING IN THE VILLAGE BUT EVERY EFFORT WAS TURNED AWAY BY THE COUNCIL MEMBER. THAT IS WHERE THIS MONEY SHOULD GO. THAT PLUS REVENUES FROM A PARKING STRUCTURE WOULD PAY FOR THE BONDS AND INTEREST AND RIGHT NOW, INTEREST RATES ARE LOW.
Why can’t we spend it on expanding Chrysalis clean up services?
Use the money to repair and upkeep The Clearwater Mural of The Palisades!
Speaking of “fixing” things.
Years ago we had asked for and finally got a marked crosswalk on Monument at Bashford. When the crosswalk was changed last fall – widened – the “Caruso”side got the markings and the side near the medical building and business complex lost its stripes. It is now unclear whether one can cross at the stop sign or not, the other stop, with the marking, is a distance away. How do we get our zebra stripe back?
Chamber of Caruso
I am not sure many Palisadians are aware of this “snafu” re: the parking meter money and its designated application. Could Sue Pascoe’s article be published in the Post? Or, on Next Door? We need to be aware of shenanigans like this.
We should use the money to fix side walks in the Alphabet Streets, they are dangerous.
Why is Rick Lemmo deciding everything? He says, “We would never have a forum for that?” Why not, why is he the deciding person? What does he want to do for the community? So far all he’s done is strip needed services like trash pick-up.
Joe Ramirez and David Peterson, are you forming an ad hoc committee to see how to get the money? Please let us know so the community can participate.
No the money should not go to the PPCC, they are unreliable and we have no idea whose
interests they actually represent since they bow to every wish by Caruso and Rick Lemmo.
My understanding is that since the money came from the parking meters in the Pacific Palisade business district, the money would remain there. But fixing sidewalks along the businesses would still be one way to spend the money.
If we can fix a small stretch of sidewalk, it’s worth the effort of completing the paperwork required. We should not turn the money down.
It appears that the Chamber has been listening to the Caruso folks on the board and outside the board. The sidewalks in the Caruso Project don’t need repair, So Rick Lemmo votes against it.
We supported the chamber’s president when he had his retail store. It would be nice if he reciprocated and decided for the best of the whole community, not just Caruso.
I say TAKE THE MONEY.
There is no valid reason to leave this money on the table. Thanks to Joe and David for taking the initiative to get this underway. Interested people should attend the next BID meeting to get an update and bring suggestions. IMHO