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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

“History repeats itself? Oh, no, not again in Westchester!”

It’s neighborhood council election time again and the gloves are coming off in Westchester.

In one corner, there are the “Puppets of Playa Vista” (a.k.a. the Chamber of Commerce types) and in the other corner are the so-called “Pro-Community” slate- people who have not been bought off by the developers.

An interesting aspect of this year’s neighborhood council election is the political earthquake that has occurred when one of Playa Vista’s most avid supporters, Gwen Vuchas, suddenly resigned as President of the Westchester-Playa Del Rey Neighborhood Council and withdrew from the election. Two recent newspaper articles Daily Breeze and the Argonaut reported that she is under investigation for alleged embezzlement of L.A.P.D. Booster Club funds. YIKES!

With Vuchas out of the picture, Playa Vista and other special interest groups are scrambling to retain control of the Westchester-Playa Del Rey Neighborhood Council.

This year, Playa Vista has promised to not bus in their construction workers. Considering that one of the polling locations is in the heart of Playa Vista, does this mean that Playa Vista won’t walk those workers to the polls?

We've been told that Playa Vista is allegedly sponsoring parties for their residents and employees to get them out and vote, as well as supposedly making electric vehicles available to tote folks to the polls.

And who’s on the Playa Vista/Chamber axis line-up? Two names are notable. First off is Sybil Buchanan. No where does she mention that she is the Community Relations Director for Playa Vista. Second is the only person in the world who loved Alternative D of the L.A.X. expansion plan- the “I’m smarter than everyone else” David Voss. Voss, as you may recall on this blog was mentioned in the “Worm Turns in Westchester” we told you about last year.

On the Pro-Community side, there are some veterans and future “rookies of the year” in Westchester community affairs. Incumbent board members Harry Rose and community activist Sheila Mickelson are in the hot seat because they had the chutzpah to vote against Playa Vista Phase II. Schoolmarm Judy Petix faces off against construction attorney Jim Ferro. LAX NIMBY Denny Schneider is running unopposed. And one of the most watched matches will be anti-LAX expansion activist Robert Acherman who’s running against David Voss.

Voting begins today and concludes on Wednesday. Results will be known by the weekend. Log on!


Blogger Walter Moore said:

Put your money on Playa Vista. I personally saw the busses of their day laborers pull up to vote. I also talked to them, and they had been told their jobs depended on voting for the Playa Vista candidates.

Sure, this time maybe they won't come by bus. But they'll be there, and they'll all have the same flyers telling them for whom to vote.

AND, in fairness to them, it's perfectly legal. The people who vote for a "Neighborhood Council" need not live in the neighborhood, and need not even be U.S. citizens. Time to change the law.

October 04, 2006 7:00 AM  

Anonymous westchesterkids.org said:

That and change the city Charter to eliminate the 'Worker' category. A product of union influence over the city charter process.

October 04, 2006 10:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why is this citywide news? Heck as many have written here, most of these NC's have barely a handful of voters at all, so whatever.

October 04, 2006 11:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter: You're spot on! If a stakeholder is one who works in the community, how is it that these workers shouldn't be able to vote. They are out of a job if the opponents of Playa Vista prevail. Surely that is someone with a "stake" in the election perhaps more so than anyone else voting!

October 04, 2006 11:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Playa Vista pulled the stoppers out of the wine bottles yesterday as they offered free wine and hors d'oeuvres at Concert Park to get Playa Vista residents to vote for Playa Capital's lackeys.

Large, slick four-color postcards were sent to every Playa Vista household misinforming these residents that "Playa Vista opponents were trying to get their candidates elected to the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey."

Considering that Playa Vista has all of the approvals that they need, why are they spending thousands of dollars for an ADVISORY COMMITTEE election? Is this Steve Soboroff's way of being "puppet master" after he was beat so badly for L.A. Mayor in 2001?

October 04, 2006 2:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


You are not saying you saw any busses this year right? You are referring to three or more elections ago.

Don't their jobs indeed depend on supporting candidates who support the next phase of Playa Vista? Is it irrational for them to vote against those candidates who would threaten their future livelihood?

Not at all.

By the way, I hear there were only twenty workers yesterday total. Hardly stealing an election.

October 04, 2006 3:32 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

I'm not in Westchester any more. I don't know what happened.

October 04, 2006 10:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"I am told there were only twenty workers yesterday"

Well, I am told there were 100 - just at lunch time.

So now what? You are told, I am told.

Residents (whether renters or homeowners) have more stake than workers. I could at least understand wanting to include local businesses and employees, but to say that temporary workers voting solely on the basis of their jobs should be allowed to determine a community's future? I hope people can see how wrong that is.

But even with local businesses - if the boss says vote X way, who's going to say no? It may be illegal but it's also human nature.

October 05, 2006 1:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Since Playa Vista has all its entitlements, exactly what jobs are being protected? If someone only saw 20 construction workers, they either weren't there the same time that I and the other poster saw the approximate 100, or they were standing with their back to 3/4 of the room.

October 05, 2006 9:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Just over 700 people voted on Tuesday October 3rd. The polling station that day was at Playa Vista (and yes wine, beer etc. was offered as a posting vote treat). A good friend of ours went to vote on Tuesday (his wife voted Wed. at the Westchester location). As he got near the polling station there was a person handing out flyers, handed one to him and said "here is who you vote for". He refused the flyer and responded "I know who to vote for". He was, to say the least, really ticked off. Then he shared this story with his friends on Tuesday. Maybe this instance, the beer and wine etc. got over 1000 people to vote on Wednesday. Should be interesting

October 05, 2006 10:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Shame that everything is by slates. The merit of the individual candidates seems to be irrelevant to both sides. It would be interresting to see how many voters actually broke ranks and voted for anyone not on their slate of choice. There has to be a better way.

October 05, 2006 2:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

<<"As he got near the polling station there was a person handing out flyers, handed one to him and said "here is who you vote for". >>

Same thing happened the next day but in reverse. It was the 'pro-community'. A group of wackos' who have their own country club called the Westchester Neighborhood Association who's mission statement is to become a safehouse for Maxine Waters and interfere with NC elections.

October 05, 2006 3:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Assuming Walter is right, I wonder how long it will take for the losers to start trying to blame it on workers, etc. again?

October 05, 2006 10:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Of course workers at Playa Vista are going to vote for candidates that have not publicly proclaimed their opposition to Playa Vista. With the CD11 concilman, Rosendahl being a well-known opponent of Playa Vista and someone who has stated that he wants to "shut the place down", and many of his supporters running, it makes sense to keep the opponents of the project from getting elected. It is called self preservation and common sense. The head of the election stated herself that there were only around 20 or so election workers that voted. The margin of victory for the candidates far exceeded this number anyway. Moot point.

October 06, 2006 3:36 PM  

Blogger Westsider said:

For 3:01pm-

Last time I checked, there was no country club in Westchester. However, there is a "Millionaires Acres" at Playa Vista.

October 06, 2006 4:08 PM  

Anonymous westchesterkids.org said:

The results of the election are posted at http://www.ncwpdr.org

The turnout was 250% over last year and on Wednesday we saw steady and busy voting all day long. Long lines began to form at 5:30PM till the polls closed. I'm told that very few workers voted on Tuesday so this was VERY MUCH a community lead election.

The surprising element to this election was that on Wednesday maybe a 1/3 to 1/2 of the voters were voting for the first time in the NC election since so many were registering as stakeholders that day.

October 06, 2006 11:31 PM  

Anonymous Disenfranchised Westchester Voter said:

Shame on anonymous who said << "Of course workers at Playa Vista are going to vote for candidates that have not publicly proclaimed their opposition to Playa Vista.">> Have you forgotten what the purpose of a Neighborhood Council is - "to bring government to the people and to make goverment responsive to local needs."

Dare I say not responsive to temporary workers' paychecks and special interest management.

Walter, you are a Betting Man!!!! Playa Vista brought out the wine and cheese and bought another Neighborhood Council election in Westchester.

October 07, 2006 9:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Not a 1% council here.

October 08, 2006 9:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

For Anon 2:14pm - Soboroff beaten "so badly" in 2001? He pulled in over 100,000 votes and was within 3% of kocking JKH out of the runoff. This blog's chosen mayoral candidate in 2005 got just over 80,000 votes.

October 12, 2006 8:11 AM  

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