Sunday, December 28, 2008

Los Angeles City Controller LAURA CHICK on Chicago-Style Closed Door Ballot Measure "B"..."THE PROCESS STINKS HERE."

Controller Laura Chick on KPCC's Larry Mantle "Air Talk", Dec. 23, 2008

It just feels wrong, it feels like were going backwards, like were starting to use Chicago as our role model city you know the way Chicago gets things done where deals are being struck behind closed doors all the time and the public isn't in the mix very much.

What's wrong to me is the process, something moved very quickly within three weeks with the most minimal public discussion, very little committee review. Typically, the council lmembers all want an issue that remotely relates to their committee to go to their committee. It is not at all unusual for issues especially things going on the ballot to go to two or three committees. Certainly, the Budget and Finance Committee, Councilman Parks' committee, to look at issues of  fiscal impact, and  potential cost. None of thiat happened here.

Three weeks, this thing I think maybe went to one committee very little debate, or discussion or reports presented or analysis requested..and boom its going on the ballot. We hear that taxpayer dollars were spent for outside consultant expert advice ....and that advice it seems was suppressed, suppressed even within the council.and certainly to the public including really some disingenuous efforts made to deny the existence of the report and to keep this information hidden and secret.

On top of that, a last-minute, stealth, at the 12th hour, almost as the clock was striking midnight, a heavy-hitting political lawyer serves a lawsuit against the citizens who have written the against argument on this solar ballot measure  and yanks them into court and i think suing for legal  fees as well...They're going to teach them a lesson.what is going on in City Hall...

This is an anti-transparency City Hall right now

The process stinks here. Green power, solar power, we know are good things. Creating union wage jos is a good thing, that's how our middle class is hanging on by their fingernails. But the public deserves to have thoughtful open public airing of different points of view of potential risks of the different analyses...

The way a council member should be making a decision is listening to those different tpoints of view. There was no rush here but there seems to a rush here. What is that about...My suspicion is the decision was made behind closed doors with visits from proponents of this to individual elected officials and discussions, not illegal, not violating the Brown Act, were had and everybody got on board and sold this is a good thing. This is certainly a step to helping the mayor deliver on a promise that is really been pie in the sky and that's 20 percent renewable energy by 2010 for L.A. 

The decision was made at that front end without needing to have the questions really analyzed asked and answered. It was a deal that was cut. It's my basic philosphy as an elected official when you do things that way when you're cutting deals and you don't want to discuss in detail in public, that's not in the best  interest of the public