Many Pacific Palisades residents appreciate the work that Chrysalis workers do in keeping the business area clean with sidewalk washing, weeding and trash pickup.
One resident sent Circling the News a note last week, “It makes me crazy that Chrysalis does such a great job thanks to a huge donation by Michael Edlen, yet Rick Caruso rebuffs any and all advances by Chrysalis in Carusoville.”
That statement is not quite accurate.
In 2002, when the business district along Sunset, Monument, Swarthmore, La Cruz, Antioch and Via de la Paz was plagued with overflowing trash bins, unwashed sidewalks and debris-filled gutters, jewelry store owner Saad Mazboudi decided to take action.
As president of the Chamber, Mazboudi joined with Arnie Wishnick, the organization’s executive director and a member of Palisades PRIDE, to bring about a fundraising campaign that would pay Chrysalis to collect the trash and clean sidewalk areas.
Every year through 2017, the Chamber solicited donations through a community-wide mailer and managed to raise about $30,000 (helped by the annual $7,500 contribution from realtor Michael Edlen) to fund one or two workers for two days a week.
The Business Improvement District was formed in 2016 (palisadesbid.org). Each business in the district pays an assessment fee. The BID board then allocates that money to marketing and improving the business climate, which includes keeping streets clean.
But, at a May 2, 2017, BID meeting Chamber board member Rick Lemmo (who represents Caruso’s Palisades Village project) reiterated that the Chamber would no longer serve as the fundraiser and financial conduit for Chrysalis services. “The Chamber is not a trash organization,” Lemmo said. (Editor’s note: The Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce closed its doors on Antioch in 2021.)
BID took paying Chrysalis, through its assessments. The largest share of the about $150,000 budget goes to Chrysalis ($120,000).
Rick Caruso’s Palisades Village pays about $18,000 in assessments to BID but has its own cleaning service and does not use Chrysalis.
At the BID Board virtual meeting held June 1, Chrysalis Representative Emeline Neau reported that in May workers picked up 303 bags of trash, removed 15 graffiti tags, removed 12 bulk items and performed eight hours of pressure washing. (Total trash bags collected in Palisades Village from January through May was 1,365.)
Board members voted to raise the assessment by five percent for the coming year. Board co-chair Leland Ford, said, “We didn’t have an increase last year and costs are going up.”
Another board member Elliot Zorensky pointed out “We have not had an increase in two years.”
The board has lost two members. Susan Carroll, who closed her shop, Gift Garden Antiques, in February and has been on the BID since its inception. The other member, a TOPA representative has also left that company. If you are a shop owner who would like to represent a property owner or if you own property and are interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.