VIEWPOINT: Most Running Unopposed for PP Community Council

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Pacific Palisades has a community council, but people do not want to run for seats.

“All politics is local,” is a phrase commonly associated with Tip O’Neill, former speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives.

For Pacific Palisades residents that phrase should mean that residents care as much about local issues as state or national ones.

One way to make a difference locally, whether it be sidewalk or road repair, would be to run for a two-year term on the Pacific Palisades Community Council.

Over the next term, Palisades representatives will vote on City issues.

There are only two areas that have contested elections, and CTN listened as residents made excuses about why they didn’t want to run:  “don’t have the time,” “didn’t like the people involved” –and CTN’s favorite, “it doesn’t really matter, anyway.”

The final list of candidates is:

Area 1: Murray Levy
Area 2: Steve Cron
Area 3: Haldis Toppel
Area 4: Karen Ridgley vs. Reza Ronaghi
Area 5: Allison Holdorf-Polhill vs. Kimberly Bloom
Area 6: Cindy Simon
Area 7: Julie Sillman
Area 8: Reza Akef
At-Large rep: Chris Spitz (Alan Goldsmith withdrew his name on 7/29)

The PPCC will hold a Candidates Forum on August 11 (Visit: pacpalicc.org for the link). Voting will begin on August 19 and end on September 2.

At the least, residents should be aware that PPCC bylaws prohibit a representative from using his/her office to sway City and State officials in arguments, when PPCC has not adopted a position.

“Only an officer of the PPCC or other person designated by the Board or the Chair may make official statements on behalf of the PPCC or state a Board position on an issue which is not part of a public record.”

The bylaws note that if a representative wants to make a statement, he or she must state that “He or she is not officially representing the Board on the matter being addressed, and b. The Board has considered the matter and taken no position, or c. The Board has considered the matter and is still studying the matter, or d. The Board has never considered the matter.”

For example, the Area 4 Representative sent the following July 8 email to the Coastal Commission urging that the Friends Gate at the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero not be approved.

She wrote: “I am a 46-year resident of El Medio Bluffs, Pacific Palisades on Northfield St. in El Medio Bluffs. I am the Area 4 Representative to the Pacific Palisades Community Council. I represent constituents on Asilomar Blvd., directly across the street from the Asilomar View Park (Asilomar Park). El Medio Bluffs and Asilomar Park are situated on the bluff above PCH, and Temescal Canyon Rd. El Medio Bluffs is a neighborhood of 780 R1 homes. Asilomar Park is a narrow neighborhood park along the bluff and contiguous with the El Medio Bluffs community.

“El Medio Bluffs and Asilomar Park are located to the west of Temescal Canyon Road and are geographically identical to the bluff’s neighborhood to the east (Via de las Olas and Friends St./west rim of Potrero Canyon). I oppose the proposal to place a public entrance on Friends St. to the park in Potrero Canyon. There is no need for this entrance because there will be sufficient access to the park via an entrance at the Palisades Recreation Center . . .”

In this letter she needed to state that she was not officially representing the PPCC.

In another instance, during Memorial Day weekend, “No Parking Signs” were posted along Asilomar Boulevard. CTN sent a letter to CD 11’s Noah Fleishman and asked who had made the request.

He responded, “These temporary parking restrictions have been authorized by LADOT and our office at the request of the community council.”

CTN asked the Pacific Palisades Community Council, specifically President David Card, if that body had made a request, and he said “No.”  It appears the request to CD 11 had come via the Area 4 representative.

To recap, PPCC Area representatives cannot make a request of the City, unless it has been approved by the board.

And if you don’t like your area representative, you have no one to blame but yourself seven of nine races were uncontested.

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