Viewpoint: The Pacific Palisades Community Council Meeting or the Call of the Banshees


The past two meetings of the Pacific Palisades Community Council have allowed for interchanges between guests and members that were decidedly uncivil, bordering on rudeness.

In the January 26 meeting, even though the Department of Water and Power representatives stated that the proposed Distributing Station had been put on hold, and would not present at the PPCC meeting, they were lambasted.

In the February 9 meeting, several people were allowed to verbally criticize and loudly attack Pacific Palisades Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin.

It was a testament to Espin that he allowed the verbal barrage, and then tried to point out several facts that did not agree with the information residents were presenting.

And then it was on to Councilmember Traci Parks new field deputy Michael Amster, who was treated obnoxiously.

Amster thought that Palisadians might like to hear about encampments near roadways in the district.

For example, parents whose children attend Windward, are aware that encampments have drifted from the sidewalks into the street at Bundy, which is dangerous and concerning and also at Centinela. Just as he was trying to explain what Parks was doing, someone interjected “What about the Palisades?”

Traci Park’s Field Deputy Michael Amster was cut off when he tried to speak about the encampments under freeways that impact roadway safety.

But don’t take this editor’s word about the unpleasantness, a recording was made of the meeting.


It isn’t available to the public. It’s for secretarial purposes only?

Is that legal? Why can’t people hear it?

Maryam Zar explained in a February 14 email to CTN said, “I am the PPCC President, and the meeting is recorded at my discretion for secretarial purposes only. That purpose is plainly stated at the outset of all meetings. It shall remain that way and will not be shared or distributed beyond that scope.”

CTN contacted Rob Weber, who is the legal advisor for the PPCC and was asked about the legality of not making a tape public, responded in a February 15 email, “PPCC is not a certified neighborhood council, is an advisory group only, and as such it has taken the position for decades that it is not governed by the Brown Act.”

Weber said, “You, of course, have previously reported that position.  See, for example, BID Faced with Legal Challenge, Circling the News, Nov. 17, 2018 (“The Pacific Palisades Community Council is not governed by the Brown Act, unlike Neighborhood Councils which are sanctioned by the City of L.A.”).”

Well, now that’s a sticky wicket, isn’t it? There’s no way a resident, who happens to miss a meeting, can read a transcript or hear the banshees “sing.”

PPCC sends letters to City, State and Federal officials that state the “Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the most broad-based community organization and voice of the Palisades for 50 years.” Those officials think PPCC speaks for the community.

Does it?

There are 23 voting members on the PPCC board (including the Chair Emeritus).

The officers, president, vice president, treasurer and secretary are elected by other members of the PPCC Board.

There are nine organizational representatives (also NOT voted on by residents) and nine Area Representatives. A resident is only allowed to vote for the person running in the area they live and for the at-large candidate.

To sum it up, a resident votes for two of the 23 people that represent him/her on the PPCC.

Now, there is a Zoom PPCC meeting at 6 p.m. on February 23, and residents are urged to tune in to see if the banshees are alive and wailing, or whether a more civilized interchange takes place. Join Zoom Meeting /click here). To call, dial 669-900-6833 the meeting ID is 825 0531 0911. Just a reminder: the “Meeting will be recorded for Secretarial purposes.”

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7 Responses to Viewpoint: The Pacific Palisades Community Council Meeting or the Call of the Banshees

  1. Lynn Hylen says:

    Thank you to Circling the News for always trying to get to the truth of the matter and report objectively. A recording would have been great to hear, and could have reminded citizens to act respectfully. Doesn’t make sense to me that it can’t be shared.

  2. Alisa says:

    You’re too kind dubbing them banshees. It’s so sad what’s become acceptable behavior. I guess you, or someone else could record the meeting.

  3. Alisa says:

    Furthermore, if ppcc is only an advisory group, they aren’t required to hear the banshees- or anyone. Isn’t the purpose of the Brown Act to allow neighbors to be heard? No Brown Act, no neighbors!

  4. Jerry McBrearty Sr says:

    This is the woke meeting the woke. No thought. No wisdom. No courtesy.

  5. Stephen says:

    This is sheer hyperbole!

    I watched that meeting, and your representation is buffoonish.

    This is a hit piece on the brave women who spoke up! And respectfully yet firmly I might add! You on the other hand have gone off the deep end with this attack piece. The Palisades is unsafe, and LAPD with SLO Espin, who is never here by the way, are to blame. Evidently you couldn’t care any less for the young lady who was almost raped on our beach! And the fires that keep on being started due to our lack of police efforts in the hillsides and on the beach.

    What happened to your journalism? You used to be an objective Journalist. This is so beneath you.

  6. Sarah says:

    Cringe. Not horribly sexist at all. So women aren’t supposed to advocate zealously or they’re banshees? Fail, Sue.

  7. Patty Dobrowitsky says:

    No it is not representative of the community, it is too insular.

    The alleged HOA for the Alphabet Streets is even worse, the Civic League is a group of self-appointed people who only address architectural issues, and don’t do a good job on that either. The number of remodels in the Alphabets that don’t follow any rules is huge,
    making the houses closer together and parking worse. The Civic League has no interest in what the community thinks and has no interest in quality of life. It is not even listed on the internet as a HOA. The Alphabets have no real HOA and it’s a shame.

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