(Editor’s note: This letter was sent today after the Planning and Land Use Management Committee meeting held on December 8, yesterday. It was impossible to join the meeting for the first hour or so. Circling the News made numerous attempts.)
December 9, 2020
Planning and Land Use Management Committee
Room 1050 City Hall
200 North Spring Street
L.A. CA 90012
This meeting was in clear violation of the Brown Act. Although meetings are allowed to be conducted telephonically, this 2 p.m. meeting was not heard by the general public until at least more than an hour later.
I tried to access the meeting by telephone and also by computer, starting at 1:55 p.m. At 2:15 p.m., I contacted City Planner Nick Vasuthasawat by email and he responded with a 2:40 p.m. email: “Please stay on the line. There are audio issues occurring right now.”
CTN responded: “People who tried to get on may think the hearing has changed, since there was no audio.”
At 2:46 p.m. CTN emailed Vasuthasawat again, “Still no sound.”
He responded at 2:59 p.m. “Meeting is currently ongoing. Please contact PLUM staff for technical support. Leyla Campos – Legislative Assistant (213) 978-1078.”
I responded at 3:01 p.m. “I did call her; she is not responding.”
CTN also called the City’s Ethics Commission, and somebody answered the phone, but said they had no control over that department. CTN asked that person to please get in touch with the PLUM people, because they were holding a meeting in violation of the Brown Act.
Sometime around 3:15 p.m., the sound did come on and public comment was being heard. The Commissioners then heard item 16 and 17. That meant that anyone who finally was able to access the meeting may have thought that since there were 18 items on the agenda, they had missed the earlier items.
If the City listens to subsequent public comments, you will hear one man who wanted to comment on agenda item five, but couldn’t because he had missed that opportunity. One man wanted to comment on agenda item 13, but didn’t know if it had already been discussed. Yet another woman wanted to warn the commission about the meeting violation but was told she could only speak on an agenda item.
This entire meeting should be re-noticed and reheard, allowing the public proper access.
Circling the News
cc: L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, Tom Donovan