The Pacific Palisades Business Improvement District board met this morning, July 22, and learned that the BID’s contract has been approved by the City for another 10 years, starting January 2021.
The BID was first approved in 2015, when 51 percent of the commercial property owners voted to pay a yearly assessment to pay for, among other things, tree trimming, garbage pickup and street/sidewalk cleaning in the town’s main business district. This maintenance is something the City of Los Angeles can no longer afford to do.
The 10-year renewal process, under Palisades BID President Rick Lemmo (representing Caruso) with the consulting assistance of New City America’s Marco Li Mandri, was recently completed.
“This is history making,” Lemmo said Wednesday, noting that the renewal had an 80 percent passage rate, based on the BID’s own formula.
PRIDE member David Peterson pointed out that the 80 percent number can be misleading.
There are 54 property owners within the BID boundaries, which extend along both sides of Sunset from Carey to Via de la Paz. Owners of 27 parcels responded, but five parcels were not counted because the ballot had not been signed properly.
Of the remaining 22 parcels, 12 voted “Yes” and 10 voted “No.” The total value of the counted ballots reflected $60,860 of our total assessment of $152,009. The 12 “Yes” votes accounted for $48,363.20 and the 10 “No” votes accounted for $12,497. The $48,363.20 was 80 percent of the total voting of $60,860.
“It’s important to have self-determination of our own assessments,” Lemmo said. “This vote exemplifies that. It is a weighted ballot.”
Peterson did not disagree. “BIDS are exceptionally valuable,” he said. “I think BIDs [across Los Angeles] will replace some Chamber of Commerce organizations.”
He noted that those organizations depend on membership or events for funding, whereas a BID receives money it can use on projects through assessments.
Initially, the Palisades BID renewal was going to discuss two different proposals for garbage pickup and street cleaning: Chrysalis, which has been under contract for the last five years and employs those who are working their way out of unemployment and homelessness, and a second company, DMS.
DMS pulled out, no reason given, and the contract went to Chrysalis.
According to BID treasurer Manual Pardo (representing Village School), the City is requiring $60,000 be spent before the end of the year and that it needed a “detailed plan of expenditures.”
Veteran retail owner Susan Carroll (Gift Garden on Antioch) was appointed to come up with a plan by the September meeting.
“We cannot roll over any money into the new year,” Lemmo said, “because this will be a new BID.”
Lemmo also announced that he would like to step down as president in August.