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Friday, January 20, 2006

Some Nerve!**

Following the concession of Wal-Mart in their battle to build a Northridge store, the war of words is heating up in the 12th Councilmanic District.

The latest revolves around an email blast sent by Councilman Greig Smith that essentially credits himself with forcing Wal-Mart to give in.

You can imagine, this e-mail, has Assembly Candidate and Northridge West Neighborhood Council leader, Jim Alger, hopping mad. He's fired off a memo to his fellow Council members and copied Smith deputy John Bwarie on it.

There's no doubt that running Wal-Mart out of town on a rail was a group effort that not only involved Alger and the Neighborhood Council, but the local Chamber of Commerce, union types, the Wake Up Wal-Mart campaign, NIMBYs and more.

And there is no doubt that the Councilman has SOME NERVE claiming credit and not giving Jim Alger his due props for pushing the ball over the goal line. Jim even traveled to Washington, D.C. meeting with anti-Wal-Mart activists and appeared on numerous television programs discussing the campaign. The outcome is significant (and remember Mayor Sam was always in favor of Wal-Mart, but that's a different story) in that Alger and his crew defeated the first "by right" Wal-Mart in the United States. At least twice on the blog, Smith was slammed

To add insult to inury, at one point Smith supported construction of the store contingent upon a payment of over $150,000 by Wal-Mart into a special fund administered by Smith's office. Where I come from, we call that "pay to play." Say what you want, but Alger was consistent all along. At least twice Smith was slammed on this blog for his alleged flip-flops, once by me, then by Chief Parker on the issue.

We have no overall beef with Smith, but this stinks.

**UPDATES
  • Reacting to Smith's assigning credit for the mitigation fund to the Neighborhood Council, Jim Alger tells us "That is just absurd. He isn't even trying to tell the truth."
  • Wal-Mart has pulled out of another site, this time in Escondido. At least this time it wasn't because of government, NIMBY or union pressure. A Ralphs market, the anchor tenant in the shopping center, objected to the owners of the property. The City Council had already approved the site and Wal-Mart says its will look for another property in the area.
  • The Albertson's supermarket chain is looking at a buyout from the Supervalu chain, partially due to competition pressure from Wal-Mart and other lower cost grocery options such as Costco.

43 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why the shock Sam? Smith takes credit for other peoples work all the time. I agree that this stinks to high heaven but it is part in parcel to the antics of the Smith publicity machine.

I am positive you will see as the day moves on and staffers arrive at City Hall that the Alger and NC slamming will begin.

Smith bets that this news won't get out.

My favorite part of the email blast (thanks for posting it Sam) was his "sharing" credit with the Neighborhood Council for the mitigation fund. The very same fund that the Neighborhood Council called a bribe which led to Smith threatening to sue them.

Way to go Greig.

January 20, 2006 7:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's always fun to out our City Council members when they are up to no good and since as the above poster said the revisionist history buffs are arriving in the City Hall garage momentarily, let's get the truth out early in the thread.

MAYOR SAM 7/12/04 -

"As you may remember, we reported last week that Councilman Smith announced his support for a controversial Wal-Mart development in his District, one that the Northridge West Neighborhood Council opposes. Key to this, was the Councilman's additional announcement of a $166,000 "voluntary" fund contribution he was asking of Wal-Mart, which some Neighborhood Council members describe as nothing short of a bribe."

Now he acts like he supported the community and worked with the Neighborhood Council????

That takes a special kind of stupid.

What I do like is that while in your story you give Alger a good deal of credit for the defeat of Wal Mart,in Algers' letter he is defending the Neighborhood Council and others not himself.

Takes a special kind of integrity.

January 20, 2006 7:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sounds like Smith never learns. In this age of easy reference and the internet it is to easy to the real story.

I agree with the above poster who said Smith bets on most people not knowing, or caring.

At first I said "who cares?", but Algers point is a very good one.

Neighborhood Councils are in a constant battle to show the community why they exist. People like Smith would just as soon see them take a hike so he doesn't think twice about taking the credit for their work.

Also, Smith is one of 15 of the highest paid City Council members in the country, these NC folks are volunteers.

To shove them aside to hog the spotlight after opposing them so publicly is a new low, even for Smith.

January 20, 2006 7:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jesus, no-one can get any sleep without all hell breaking loose again.

WHAT IS SMITHS' PROBLEM??

This guy has been offered an olive branch by Alger several times just here on this Blog. Alger even did it again 2 days ago on this Blog, then he sends out that stupid ass email and pisses everyone off again?

This moron just never learns.

January 20, 2006 8:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As soon as Mitchell finishes his jelly donut, he'll be posting.

January 20, 2006 8:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

you are right... and Fridays usually suck.

I'm going to get the popcorn because every time Smith or Englander go up against Alger, it ends up being like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.

Smith usually ends up in the papers looking like a bumbling fool.

Let the games begin.

January 20, 2006 8:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Smith doesn't "look like" a bumbling fool, he is one.

He and his staff have handled this poorly from the start.

January 20, 2006 9:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Does Jim Alger Run this site, i think so. Ps Alger is not this Angel all thinks he is.

January 20, 2006 9:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey Mitch!!! we've been waiting for you!

Have to do better then veiled accusations. Besides, we never said he was an angel... just stands up for the community.

Try to keep the attacks on topic, if you can.

January 20, 2006 9:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Smith hasn't learned how to take advantage of Mayor Sam unlike Antonio/ Parke/Trujillo during the campaign or more recently, Bitter Bernie, Jr.

January 20, 2006 9:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

{{{Kicking feet up on city owned desk patiently awaiting the fireworks}}}

January 20, 2006 9:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I thought that Smith's operation would class up a notch or two when Meyerhoff came on board, but so far its backsliding if anything.

Either Meyerhoff is not the cream in your jeans, or Mitch is holding a short leash on the boy.

January 20, 2006 9:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Too bad Mayor Sam ran this on a Friday. everyone is off skiing.

January 20, 2006 9:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If Smith was smart... OK I know funny joke but go with me here...

If Smith was smart he would have thanked the community and the Neighborhood Council for their hard work and he would have shut Alger down.

Based on Algers' own words he has been looking to "bury the hatchet" but nope. Instead Smith has got to be the pompous ass we all know him to be and piss of his constituents AGAIN.

When is his term up?

Oh and Mitch and company, we all know Alger isn't an angel but my boss (a city council member) has no problems with him, nor do I (despite your attempts to destroy his credibility around here.) When we disagree with him we tell him so and he has been nothing but respectful.

Sounds to me like you have some work to do over there in CD 12

January 20, 2006 9:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The problem with Meyerhoff is that he is only as good as the information he gets.

Mitch cares about one thing, publicity for his boss and himself so he can run for City Council. It is the greed for publicity that gets him in trouble.

Threatening to sue constituents who disagree with you gets you in the paper, but not such a hot idea.

January 20, 2006 9:26 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The problem with those boys over there is that they are a bunch of too smart for their britches fraternity brats who think they can do no wrong. Get ready for the fall.

January 20, 2006 9:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ironically it was Meyerhoffs success in his press releases and email blasts that got Smith into the shitstorm he is in now.

Greig, would it have KILLED YOU to show the smallest amount of deference to the Neighborhood Council?

January 20, 2006 9:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The fourth floor crew has weighed in.

Greig stepped on his hoo-haw.

That has to hurt.

January 20, 2006 9:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:28AM I couldn't agree with you more. They act like their shit doesn't stink in 405.

Someone needs to smack them around a bit but the fall is coming, and you probably know what I am talking about.

January 20, 2006 9:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It is a shame the media lets Smith get away with this shit. He said in the Times the other day he had no idea it could be stopped and then sends out an email as if he had a master plan.

Say whatever you want about Alger, but he sure does the right thing by his Neighborhood Council.

January 20, 2006 9:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Does anyone know if Alger is going to ENN today? That is an important NC issue he should be supportive of.

January 20, 2006 10:04 AM  

Anonymous Sherry Ramstead said:

In light of recent events surrounding the Northridge Wal-Mart issue I decided to visit Mayor Sam for the first time ever. I was amazed at how brave (and insulting AND uninformed) some people can be when they can hide (or rather, think that they are hiding) under the veil of anonymity. My name is Sherry Ramstead and I'm the Vice President of the Northridge West Neighborbood Council but more importantly I am a 30 year resident of Northridge.

Many months ago myself and another long time resident of Northridge by the name of Beverley Adler heard that the building of a Wal-Mart was being proposed in an area of our neighborhood that was already highly impacted by traffic. This was of great concern to us so we went to Jim Alger, who at the time was part of the interim board for our neighborhood council and asked him what we could do about it. On Jim's suggestion we invited representatives of Wal-Mart to our monthly meeting to give the community and the board their presentation. Some of us were not happy at what we were hearing and since the window of opportunity for opposition was closing rapidly the 3 of us decided to take matters into our own hands. We spent our own money to rent a hall for a town meeting and printed up thousands of flyers then wore out plenty of shoe leather getting the word out. At this town meeting we had well over 200 concerned members of the community and an attorney representing Wal-Mart.

After this event many people from the community called Mr. Smith's office with their concerns and/or opposition to the project only to be told that this was "a done deal" and we had no recourse. Thanks to Jim Alger's encouragement we (and from here on out when I reference "we" I mean the board and stakeholders of the commnity)didn't give up. With direction from Jim we continued to get the word out to people and the media.

With his trip to Washington D.C. and our loud and persistent voices back here on the home front we attracted the attention of some people from the legal community that were further able to help our cause and STILL Mr. Smith's office continued its mantra.

At the public hearing, and this is something that I want to make perfectly clear, the representative from Mr. Smith's office spelled out all the proposed terms of the mitigation package that the stakeholders and interim board had recommended with one big surprise to all of us. His office, without the board's knowledge proposed a traffic mitigation trust fund that would amount to just over 150,000 dollars to be used at the council office's discretion. I, personally, was stunned by this news and voiced my opinion that it sounded like a bribe to me. The point in bringing up this incident is to set the record straight. In Mr. Smith's January 19th release he states that this was in partnership with DOT and the local neighborhood council. I can't speak for DOT but I CAN tell you that the "local neighborhood council" was not in "partnership" on the recommendation for a traffic mitigation trust fund.

We contined to look for ways to fight this behemoth of retail stores and Jim kept us on task. The turning point was when we learned that an EIR was an appropriate action. Jim Alger advised Mr. Smith's office of this type of action which Mr. Smith then brought to the attention of the proper people. (Oh...so NOW he's on our side.)

So....now you know exactly how this all came about. This, coming from someone who doesn't have any kind of agenda other than making sure thal all those SMALL minded people out there have the facts.

January 20, 2006 10:10 AM  

Anonymous Lost in the 50s said:

Thanks Sherry.

How you gonna get out of this mess Greig?

January 20, 2006 10:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I believe the only thing for Greig to do is to issue a formal apology to Jim, Sherry and the entire Neighborhood Council and correct his email with an updated e-blast.

Of course we all know that this is way to stand up of a thing for Smith to ever do.

January 20, 2006 10:26 AM  

Anonymous Bill Shakespeare said:

What a tangled Web we weave when first we practice to deceive!

January 20, 2006 10:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I am not sure that there is any way out of this other then a complete retraction.

It was hard enough when he could go after Alger, but with Ramstead now on deck and the Neighborhood Council clearly pissed off he can't spin this as Algers' fight for political attention.

Greig, do the right thing and admit what we already know. These community folks made this happen and you were on the sidelines dumbfounded that Alger and his cohorts pulled off the win.

What you did is just plain wrong. Be a man Greig, blame it on some poor staff members mistake. Say how shocked you are to learn the community was slighted by your rougue staffer. Issue a retraction and move on.

Oh wait. Even to lie and blame your staff like you usually do would take more ethics than you have let.

January 20, 2006 10:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why the big surprise? That's the motus operandi that Mayor Tony has ushered in to the halls of city hall. No matter what your position, if ther are cameras, take credit for it! Leadership silters from the top down, and it seems as if Smith has gotten the message.

Mayor Sam don't you know that unless you are an elected politicians, you can't take credit for anything. I'm sure lager will get his props once he becomes an Assemblyman,

January 20, 2006 11:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Greig, your a dumbass.

January 20, 2006 12:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:30

"You're a dumbass"

Idiota.

January 20, 2006 1:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It was designed so Greg I can't spell my own name Smith could read it.

January 20, 2006 2:10 PM  

Blogger joseph mailander said:

For that matter, it's modus operandi. I'm sure a lot of bored Friday readers have cringed at that one a couple of times too.

January 20, 2006 3:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Geez. We know you're in love with Alger, but enough! Frankly, the over-self-promotion by Alger is long since old. Much as you don't want to hear it, some of us think the guy's a blowhard.

January 20, 2006 4:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Northridge got a taste of what CD14 has had and will continue to have for a couple of years. Council members HATE to be upstaged by community members. Look at how Antonio sniffs for press conf. everyone else is having then invites himself to get all the glory. Smith is no different. Something successful happened in HIS district so of course he wants claim to victory. Thankfully we're not as dumb as politicans think we are and MAYOR SAM gives us this open forum to vent. Thanks Samy

January 20, 2006 4:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Poor Smith. About to head off to a relaxing weekend and once again that pesky truth thing comes up again.

Shithead deserves everything he gets for how he is completely screwing the North Valley with a smile.

Notice none of the other council districts have this problem?

January 20, 2006 4:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Some of us"?Unless you have multiple personalities there is no "us". Of course if your a CD12 staffer then ok you get a pass.

This wasn't about Alger per se, but an entire community. Smith once again made it a story by trying to claim credit for what he didn't do.

You may not like Alger and that's fine, but find new ways to say it so it at least LOOKS like more than one "we".

January 20, 2006 4:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You know if Alger doesn't win the State Assembly race, I hope he does what Lauritzen did in 2000 with his new name recognition and run for another office. If Alger wins LA County (as Lauritzen did his state assembly race against richman in 2000), most of the Assembly District in LA County is CD 12. That could set him up for a run for Council.

January 20, 2006 5:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

why is this blog is still misleadingly called mayor sam's sister city instead of jim alger's rant page?

what a loser alger is.

January 21, 2006 9:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is that seriously the best you can do? Why didn't you just call him a Goonie, would have been about as mature.

Boy the Alger Hater is really slacking off lately. What's the matter, ran out of original material?

Algers' accomplishments are well documented.

We talk about him here because he is changing the waty things are done. He has forced real tangible change in LA with the DWP and now has run the Wal Mart crew out of town in defense of his community.

If that makes him a loser, then this City needs more losers.

January 21, 2006 10:23 AM  

Anonymous Dirty Bubble said:

Take Jim Alger out of this drama. Pretend his role was played by SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS. Look at the situation forgetting about Alger and focus on Smith's actions alone.

Without Alger, Smith STILL majorly stepped on his dick.

When will he learn?

January 21, 2006 10:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"the Alger Hater"?? Come on, this Alger guy is not significant enough to inspire any emotion as strong as hatred. Pity maybe, perhaps morbid curiousity. I only read the posts these involving this guy because I take some sick pleasure in watching him make an asshole of himself. He's so creepy and repulsive.

January 21, 2006 3:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Creepy and repulsive? Ouch. That's how some people feel about Smith.

Different strokes for different folks.

January 21, 2006 5:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Bottom line is when a resident does something that's for the good of his community its makes the council member look badly. People are asking why didn't their CM do something about this issue. When it takes residents to stand their ground and CM to stay out of the fight well let's just say why do we need the CM"S?

January 21, 2006 8:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

While spewing hate this anonymous poster claims not to have enough emotion to hate. Gotta love it.

C'mon CD12 staff, can't you do better than that?

January 22, 2006 10:29 AM  

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