(Editor’s note: At year’s end, I wanted to be fair to Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin because many of my political-related postings in 2020 were not always complimentary about them. I put out a plea to readers to let me know good/bad and I would print their comments.)
Reader 1 wrote:
“Bonin and Garcetti have done nothing to enhance our family’s life in LA. They ignore completely the quality-of-life issues — trash and garbage everywhere on streets, freeways and exit ramps, homeless encampments everywhere, transients wandering the streets on drugs or in need of mental health services, begging or threatening or demanding. The downtown LA homeless situation is a national disgrace. The tent cities that frame the VA in WLA on San Vicente are inexcusable.
“LA is about to become the next great CA disappointment — following in San Francisco’s footsteps. We are in desperate need of strong leadership to clean up our city and to relocate the homeless into group shelters somewhere with attached services… and not relocated in the middle of existing neighborhoods!
“Homeowners should not be made to feel guilty by opposing large mental-health facilities to be dropped into their neighborhoods, especially when the city has shown time and again that the services they promise are never provided. The tax-paying resident of LA, either a homeowner or renter, has lost in the battle for rights — the right to pay taxes and expect basic city services and safety when walking on a sidewalk that is not littered garbage, tents or passed out bodies or screaming mentally-ill persons. And now, the police are having restrictions placed upon them on their ability to restore peace & safety… in response to BLM.
“So no, I cannot think of one thing that Bonin or Garcetti or Sheila Kuehl for that matter has done for me, and I am a resident of LA for 25 years.”
Reader 2 wrote:
“Bonin and his staff have been very helpful during his term with July 4th in the Palisades. He has supported the effort both financially (out of his discretionary fund) and facilitating coordination with the various City agencies.”
Reader 3 wrote:
“Regarding ‘the ill-conceived 8-mansion development that was proposed for Marquette Street, we feel it is important for people to know the crucial part Mike Bonin played in protecting this small part of the community he serves.
“At the final hour before LA City Planning was set to approve the Marquette development, Bonin agreed to meet with a few members of our community. He listened intently to our concerns and requested that his deputy, Jason Douglas, follow up on the issues we raised. Consequently, he sent Jason to the appeal hearing before the Planning and Land Use Committee with a statement that he disapproved of the project as it stood at that time and recommended a full Environmental Impact Report be initiated before any further consideration. The committee voted to accept our appeal and Bonin’s recommendations, and the development was halted.
“We are extremely grateful to Mike for acting with conscience in this matter, and for saving the community from a development that would have likely triggered another landslide into the last undeveloped canyon within the city and may have taken Marquette Street with it.”
Reader 4 wrote:
Mike Bonin has helped the Palisadian Highlanders! He blessed and enforced the ruining of the Highlands for all of us. It is, of course, the 65,000-sq.-ft building for assisted living. He has placed all of the Highlanders and disabled residents of the [proposed] four-story building in a dire danger of no escape from the fire.
Reader 5 wrote:
“Eric Garcetti has helped me by not being Mayor Caruso.”
Reader 6 wrote:
“We wish we could think of any example of how either Garcetti or Bonin has helped us, but we can’t. Sadly, we can think of many examples of the contrary.”
Reader 7 wrote:
“It would be hard to imagine a worse representative for CD11 than Mike Bonin has been. Just compare our district before his tenure to now. And keep it mind it all started well before the pandemic.
“The Venice Boardwalk (SoCal’s #2 destination) started looking like a scene from Mad Max a couple years ago — but with stolen bikes instead of cars. Unrestricted lawlessness encouraged by Bonin’s hands-off directives to LAPD when it comes to the so-called ‘homeless’ who now flock there. Needless to say, local tourism and businesses were suffering badly.
“With the arrival of COVID, the Boardwalk is now just another skid row. Dangerous to visit even during the day. Just look at the recent shooting and homicide stats. An LA icon and cash cow sacrificed for his pandering to ‘advocates.’
“Downtown Mar Vista was experiencing a renaissance of some sorts until Bonin arrived. The popular stretch of Venice Blvd took its first blow with the ill-conceived and unused Road Diet. But it now looks the way Venice used to with vagrants wandering the streets and taking everything not nailed down.
“The beautiful Ballona Wetlands area is now an RV park and public toilet. Piles of trash from the platoon of RV’s Bonin has encouraged to come to CD11. Glen Alla Park is so overrun with transients it’s practically unusable. The bathrooms have been commandeered by the RV dwellers and are beyond disgusting. Westchester Park, where Bonin’s unused office sits, has been turned into an illegal campground. Penmar Recreation Center? A warzone that needed the threat of a lawsuit from neighbors to even be acknowledged by Bonin’s office.
“Bonin is both a cheerleader and enabler for the droves of recently arrived ‘homeless’ from all over the county. Crime and violence have skyrocketed despite the decriminalization of property theft, drug dealing and vandalism. There is an indisputable correlation between ‘homelessness’ and crime — yet politicians like Bonin will try to convince you it’s not so. Up is down and left is right. He’ll be videotaped walking away from a transient setting a fire and his staff will tell you it didn’t happen. Our own mini version of the Trump Administration. A fountain of lies.
“The fact is 67% of homeless people are mentally ill/chronically addicted: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-10-07/homeless-population-mental-illness-disability.
“But because of the constant misinformation from people like Bonin and his donors in the social service industry, we’re supposed to think that people smoking meth and masturbating in public just need a brand new 700K condo. That will solve these problems. It’s in no small part because of Garcetti and Bonin that $1.2B from HHH basically disappeared into thin air with zero accountability (besides a scathing report from the city controller Ron Galperin).
“Bonin’s cozy relationship with the homeless industry is the perfect illustration of pay-to-play cronyism that has plagued LA for years. It’s truly despicable to think how many people could have been helped with that money instead of lining the pockets of PSH developers — who were clearly the top priority.
“Hopefully voters will look outside their own backyards to the greater city at large. It’s time for accountability. Failure cannot continue to be rewarded.”
Reader 8 wrote:
Councilman Mike Bonin (and his several predecessor L.A. City Council members) and their Field Deputies for the Palisades have pushed long and hard to help us create and build a public park in Potrero Canyon.
Field Rep Norm Kulla wrangled several City departments (primarily Rec & Parks and Bureau of Engineering, and the City Attorney, among others) and other agencies (Coastal Commission, Caltrans, State Fish & Game, and others) to break through the bureaucratic roadblocks. He used his very persuasive powers to bring them together at regular meetings and craft understandings that allowed them to agree on a coordinated plan of action and how to fund the project. Councilmen Rosendahl and Bonin personally made sure that the bureaucracies cooperated and made progress after decades of start-and-stop filling and grading.
Field Rep Lisa Cahill carried forward Councilman Bonin’s continuing efforts to complete the grading (done) and to develop the park’s landscape plans. She met regularly with the BOE project manager to facilitate efficient and appropriate decision making. She made this a priority in her very busy job, because Mike Bonin wanted her to. Lisa couldn’t have made this steady push and progress without the active support of Mike Bonin.
Current Field Rep Durrah Wagner is continuing Mike’s efforts to finalize the last details of the park plans, get them out to bid to landscape contractors, and see that the new park is built. It was Mike’s suggestion that it be named George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon. That naming and the bid package will be on the agenda for approval at an upcoming Rec & Parks Board of Commissioners meeting.