Whatever happened to the parking-meter money Pacific Palisades was supposed to receive via a City pilot program? Councilman Mike Bonin promised in December 2018 that upwards of $50,000 was coming our way for beautification projects in the business district.
In a February 21, 2020 update, Circling the News reported that the councilman’s office had responded: “Unfortunately, however, the pilot program was impacted by a critical staffing shortage at LADOT in the parking division. Our Transportation Deputy has been checking in with LADOT regularly to get updates and I share those as part of my regular reports at the PPCC [Community Council] meeting.
“We have been pushing very hard to get the program manager position filled at LADOT. (To be 100% clear: this is a civil service position within LADOT’s parking division, not our office, and as such, must go through normal civil service hiring procedures.) Our expectation is that this program will be staffed and begin this spring.
“It is also important to note that [City] Council appropriated the funding for this program, and that revenues have been accumulating. So, when we do start, the BID [Business Improvement District] will have access to the accumulated balance since program authorization, not just the annual estimated annual revenue moving forward. Most importantly, this delay in program start will not result in fewer dollars flowing to projects in the Palisades.”
Circling the News contacted Bonin’s transportation director Eric Bruins on August 26, August 31 and September 14 with the same question: “I heard that the parking-meter revenue promised to Pacific Palisades (since 2018) is not going to happen. Can you confirm or deny this?”
Today, an email came from Kevin Taylor, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s West Area Representative, who wrote to the Pacific Palisades Community Council: “Specific cuts have been made… Unfortunately this has also affected the Pacific Palisades Local Return Fund.”
He explained that the purpose of this Special Parking Revenue Fund is to provide salaries and maintenance operations as required by ordinance and because of the stay-at-home orders that started in March, all non-essential spending will be cut.
“The Mayor is saddened that the current crisis requires this action and it hurts us all to have to put it (and other beloved City programs) on pause this year,” Taylor wrote.
Circling the News responded: “I understand that going forward the program will not be in place, but what about the money ($50,000 per year) set up for 2018 and 2019? That was prior to Covid-19 and was promised. We were told it was being held in an account. Is that money gone? Where did it go?”
Bruins responded in September 15 email, “We are still trying to figure this out. I’ll provide more information as soon as I have it.”