10/27/07 Those who are not for us,

The Los Angeles City Council sent a very clear message to Mesa Verde Developments and any other Land Developer who might be tempted to try to cheat their way around the already one sided system of permits and approvals on Wednesday October 24th when they unanimously voted to uphold the appeal filed by the NRDC on behalf of residents local to the proposed Pueblo Ave Subdivision [tract 35022] in Elephant Hills, The council action guarantees that before the proposed project is given approval and permits are granted, the long stale dated 23 year old EIR must be brought up to date.
Attorneys for Mesa Verde have clocked plenty of billable hours on this case, many spent testifying before the PLUM committee and the City Council, unfortunately for MV it seems that every time their hired gun(s) Ben Reznik or Kevin McDonnell open their mouths at either LACC or PLUM they make another enemy. Rezniks arrogant antics were almost tolerable compared to his pathetic attempt to gain approval / sympathy from the council last Wednesday by opening his statement with a self serving mention about his wifes humanatarian activities rescuing starving crippled children in some impoverished third world country or some such blather. His unconventional preamble was cut short when the President of the City Council Eric Garcetti interrupted him and instructed Mr Reznik to please stay on topic and to address the details of the proposed development in Elephant Hills.
Judging from the reactions I observed, I wasn't the only person in the room who thought his statement was way out of line. This blunder withstanding, and my lack of respect for him set aside, I must admit, this project is such a complete disaster I don't think that even a good lawyer could get it pushed through with the amount of attention this case has [finally] recieved and despite the fact that our City Engineers appear to be on Mesa Verde's payroll and continue to render the 'pro-developer' spin on every single issue brought before them.
After listening to the BoE, Planning Dept. BPW and half of the City Attorneys staff dispensing their unwavering [bad] advice to allow this project to continue without any further investigation or review, My first question is: "What would compel our city employees to ignore the myriad of evidence, hours of testimony and expert opinions from a handful of professionals who have repeatedly advised them of the public safety threat and potentially disasterous results this project is likely to cause.
My first answer is: Probably best left unsaid. I wouldn't want to cast suspicion on the wrong corrupt department or mistakenly accuse anyone of anything, including gross incompetence, absolute neglegence or dereliction of duty so I'll keep my conclusions to myself for now, but I would recommend an in depth investigation into the personal and financial records of every city planner and engineer who ever approved a project in the 14th council district since Richard Alatorre reigned as the 'master of disaster' and sold his constituents down the river while supplementing his meager city income with bribe, graft, payola and probably even extortion money. We can't blame him though, the record indicates it was probably all the cocaine that made him compromise his principles, we may never know the whole truth.
I only mention the Alatorre corruption machine for two reasons, first, because he was in office when the Elephant Hills project was up for approval back in 1992- 1993 and common sense along with sources close to to the investigation have stated off the record that this is where the project SHOULD have been stopped. Now that our City Council has taken on the responsibility of their actions, it looks like a new day is dawning in Northeast Los Angeles.

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