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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Alger, Draper and Measure B: "Pieces for our Time"

When it comes to shady Measure B on the March primary ballot we have both the Daily News and Ron Kaye calling out City leaders for keeping the details under wraps and while activists Jim Alger and Ken Draper are throwing up all kinds of roadblocks to keep Neighborhood Councils from having a full and fair discussion of the controversial plan.  As the Daily News says "It seems like civic leaders are hoping voters won't ask too many questions," hence perhaps the effort to harrass Neighborhood Councils into not discussing the measure.

Alger has taken it upon himself to send out email missives to Neighborhood Council members all over town warning them to take heed of notification requirements that many feel don't even apply to Measure B and some that would even prevent some Councils from discussing the measure (based on their schedule) or be forced to consider special meetings, something most board members would not relish.

In the meantime Draper has a hissyfit over some Neighborhood Council leaders' advocacy and the sacred need to protect a "Memoradum of Understanding" negotiated some time ago between the DWP and various NCs in Los Angeles. Joseph Mailander writing at Street Hassle was correct to say that Draper's protocol concerns "sandbagged"  the No on B efforts.

The truth is that if the "Memorandum of Understanding" is going to be used in an effort to silence debate and intimidate a portion of NC board members who are reluctant to take on the City, then it's not worth the paper it's written on and NCs should consider something else.  

By the way didn't Neville Chamberlain once sign a "Memorandum of Understanding?"

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow Higby, you have no idea what you are talking about, at all.

Neighborhood Councils are required to give 3 days notice to the public and under the modified agreement 4 days, 1 extra day, notice to the DWP to allow them time to show up at the NC meeting.

If 1 whole extra day is to onerous a condition, then you have no business being in a Neighborhood Council.

January 27, 2009 2:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


ken Draper and Jim Alger have fought for the rights of NC's like few others in this city. Asking NC's to live up to the agreement they signed isn't out of line.

January 27, 2009 2:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nobody was "sandbagged" at the alliance meeting. The very discussion about the MOU was on the agenda for over a week.

It helps to actually know what you speak of.

January 27, 2009 2:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Read Joe Mailander's blog - they were sandbagged.

January 27, 2009 3:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Since when did Alger become the NC cop? I heard he caused all kinds of issues in Northridge.

January 27, 2009 3:17 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

OK kids, here we go,

First of all, Mike, you have not even a clue as to what you are talking about. There was no "sandbagging" considering the item was on a printed agenda to be discussed so with all due respect to Joe, just because it is said doesn't make it so.

As for the MOU, considering Mike it was YOU who said that NC's should live up to the agreements they make, why suddenly is it ok not to just because you think your position is right? We should break the rules because we feel someone else did? How does that make us any better then them?

As has already been stated the 4 day notification requirement is no a big deal, it is far time you quit whining about it.

For the record, out of all the NC's in the city, 4 people have expressed your opinion. Most NC members take their roles seriously and understand that standing behind your word means something. It doesn't mean you break agreements when it suits you.

As for the smartass with the cop remark, nobody made m cop. I do however have a vested interest in seeing the MOU that I initiated and my colleagues worked on for over a year, succeed. If NC's want to be taken seriously they need to quit whining and acting like the rules that they chose to agree to are too stringent, they aren't.

Fortunately, the vast majority of NC's, with so far 1 exception, have not had an issue holding up their side of the MOU. That is a pretty impressive record if you ask me and moreover, it is proof that this really is only any issue in the minds of a handfull of people who want something to scream about.

January 27, 2009 3:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:17 So according to you when a crime is committed it is the cops fault for doing something about it and not the criminals fault for committing the crime in the first place?


January 27, 2009 3:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"By the way didn't Neville Chamberlain once sign a "Memorandum of Understanding?"

So, Higby, NCs who signed the MOU are brolly-carrying pacifists, and the City government of L.A. is Adolf Hitler, huh?

You know what they say: in any kind of negotiation, debate, controversy, the first one to call the other side "Hitler" automatically loses all credibility and can't be taken as a serious contributor to the discussion.

I think that about sums up the hyper-reactionary face (or farce?) of this blog.

OH, and for the record, I'm a longtime NC board member, and I'm opposed to Measure B, too. But I'm even more opposed to having pundits on either side trash the opposition as anything even slightly akin to being "Nazis" -- even in jest.

As the son of a U.S. soldier that helped liberate WWII death camps, that is WAY out of bounds.

January 27, 2009 3:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Equating the NC coalition with "neighborhood councils" in general and any movement among them over "B" is a gross exaggeration.

LANCC is a self-appointing, nominal player -- at best -- and one which has no standing whatsoever with the City. Less than half L.A.'s NCs ever agreed to take part in it several years ago when it launched and only a small fraction bother to actually send people to vote on their behalf.

That's now been watered down even more by LANCC - which seldom had more than a 12-15 actual NC "delegates" attend - deciding awhile ago that attendance was open to anyone, regardless of whether that actually represent an NC. That resulted in an open call for gadflies and ousted ex-board members trying to find a platform for their self-important speeches.

And, as a result of turnover on most boards (average 50 percent each year) most sitting boards don't even know it exists, and wouldn't care what position this sub-sub-sub-minority of NC activists said or did about Measure B, regardless.

Trying to get credibility for a citywide "coalition" of neighborhood councils (which were formed to give advice on LOCAL needs and services in their areas) is like trying to design a UNIFORM for an army of NONCOMFORMISTS.

By definition it's doomed to fail.

January 27, 2009 4:09 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Los Angeles Candidate For Mayor, Zuma Dogg, will be appearing in studio with Doug McIntyre, this Friday January 30th at 7:30am, on AM 790-KABC radio to discuss his candidacy with Doug.

Zuma Dogg has been a long-time listener to Doug, since his overnight days on the station, so I'm really excited to get to head down to the station and be in the studio!!! (Even though Doug supports another candidate, and this may not be the most cakewalk of interviews. PLUS, it will be at 7:30 in the morning, which means I will have to be up at about 6:00 to be there on time...so Zuma Dogg should be cranky as hell, anyway. And then if Doug gives me a hard time, it could be pretty fun!)

Tune into AM-790 KABC this Friday at 7:30am for the radio segment of the decade!



January 27, 2009 4:18 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Jim -

If you sign an agreement with someone and they breach it; usually the agreement is null and void.

Given that 1) DWP has breached the agreement and 2) Many feel that Measure B doesn't fall under the category of issues covered by the MOU it may be time to revisit the MOU. And as it has been said here LANCC is incredibly non-representative of NCs as a whole.

So maybe someone else needs to take this issue on.

January 27, 2009 4:38 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

I never said the City was "Hitler" but if anyone understands what Chamberlin did was that he signed his nation's rights and security away. It didn't have to be Hitler it could have been Nabisco that Chamberlain singed with. The example is Chamberlain is the poster boy for appeasement, something you never do in battle. What Alger and Draper are proposing are "Oh please Mr. Big Bad DWP let us dialog with you even when you don't with us, we won't let those awful NCs vote against your precious Measure B without letting you put up a fight!"

January 27, 2009 4:42 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

Mike, your ignorance is astounding. LANCC is not a player in this discussion at all so your views on them is irrelevant to me and this subject.

Secondly, the MOU, in this instance, has not been broken by DWP. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. If you dont want to participate in the MOU, pass a motion on your council to withdraw, no one has a gun to your head.

The MOU provides 6 months notification to NC's prior to rate actions going before the DWP commission.

The MOU provides each NC with a specific liaison to respond to that NC's requests.

The MOU provides immediate notification of emergency work in a NC's boundries.

The MOU provides advance notification of scheduled work in an NC's boundaries.

The MOU provides NC's direct input in the DWP budget via several budget workshops throughout the year.

In return for all of this, they have asked for 4 days notification prior to an NC beating the crap out of them.

If NC's refuse to engage the DWP then they are in no position to c9mplain, they have the opportunity.

Now quit whining and read the actual agreement instead of parroting false claims of violations made by others.

January 27, 2009 5:02 PM  

Blogger Heather said:

Leave it to Janice Hahn and the Mayor to take advantage of a tragedy of the father who killed his entire family in Wilmington. Hahn is being a drama queen but supports the Bow Bow gang banger who was arrested assaulting a person at the Universal Hitlon. We all know Antonio is a media whore and goes whereever there's a camera. Boy, how were these lame people raised by parents? I loved Kenny Hahn but he must be turning over in his grave.

January 27, 2009 5:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim Alger : DWP MOU :: Kevin Roderick : LAT Pulitzers of 1992 and 1995.

I hope Brady Westwater and Leo Wolinsky are having a drink somewhere ROTFLTAesO.

January 27, 2009 5:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Trying to act as if Jim Alger and Ken Draper are somehow against Neighborhood Councils is to take being disingenuous to an entirely new level.

Both of these guys have dedicated years of their lives to the advancement of the cause of Neighborhood Councils. The few Neighborhood Council members who take issue with being asked to follow rules they agreed to should either take a break or shut the hell up. You can't keep screaming at City Hall for doing things wrong when you are doing the very same thing.

January 27, 2009 5:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow Jim, your point is dead on. I actually took the time to read the MOU and it doesn't ask much of the NC's at all. These crybaby's want it all, they just love to bitch.

January 27, 2009 5:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ken Draper has been running CityWatch and has advocated for NC's forever. Isn't it amazing that the instant he expresses an opinion that a member of his NC family should rethink what they are doing, the crazy uncles attack him?

I was part of the MOU Mr.Higby. I was there, you weren't. NC's and the DWP spent along time putting that agreement together. If you wish to organize the NC's to "revisit" the MOU, feel free but until you do you have to follow it or withdraw from it.

It would be of great service to the readers of your blog Mr. Higby, if you bothered to take a moment to learn about the subject before you mouth off about it. Your denigration of my work, and the work of the dozens of other NC members who took the time to actually put this agreement together is not appreciated.

January 27, 2009 5:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is anyone surprised that Drudge-wannabe Higby posted something where he's talking out of his ass?

No one>>>>>>>No one is suprised.

January 27, 2009 6:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Higby is advocating selectively not following the rules for political expediency. He would fit right in on the 4th floor.

January 27, 2009 6:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

All this feigned outrage against Higby would be at least interesting if it wasn't for the fact these guys are shilling for the DWP.

Higby may not have all his history correct and if he wasn't there, okay. But he's right to smell a rat or a couple of rats.

If Mailander and Higby agree on something then you know something is up.

January 27, 2009 8:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mailander has it right:

January 27, 2009 8:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mailander / Higby -

Ask Jim these questions:

1) Who is he working for?

2) Is he employed or receiving compensation from anyone directly or indirectly supporting Measure B

3) Jim is correct. He is not running for CD12. What Council District IS he running for?

4) Ask Jim why he is now a fan of the DWP when he used to tell us they were the enemy.

I am asking you, please ask him those questions.

January 27, 2009 9:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Vote no on Prop B!

January 27, 2009 9:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

keep posting anonymously wacko

January 27, 2009 9:38 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

9:00 pm, each of these are very fair questions.

1) My employer is in no way shape or form interested in Measure B one way or the other. I have no horse in this race whatsoever.

2) I am not employed by, or receiving any compensation whatsoever from any source affiliated with either side of the Measure B issue.

3) I am not running for any elected office whatsoever.

4) I never said I was DWP was our enemy, nor am I their "fan" today. All I am asking is that we all follow the very rules we worked to create. It is a very simple concept.

This entire hoopla is completely manufactured. NC's who are MOU participants are being asked to provide 24 hours additional notice to the DWP before taking a position on the issue. This is not unreasonable at all.

Mr. Higby and Co actually tried to circumvent the Brown Act, and thereby the very constituents he is supposed to represent, by trying to have this item presented, with no counterpoint, as an "emergency" item with ZERO notification to the community. This kind of nonsense is just the kind of crap we go nuts about when the City Council pulls it.

You can shoot at the messenger all day long, it won't change the message. Follow the rules you agreed to.

Why is it OK for Higby to demand this from everyone else but not ok for people to demand it of him?

THAT is the real question.

January 27, 2009 9:42 PM  

Anonymous truthteller said:

Actually, Mike H. DOES know what he is talking about.

Alger: do you know the difference between an MOU and a contract? An MOU IS NOT BINDING.


Let me say it again: DUMBASS!

The DWP has NO BUSINESS trying to force city government to discuss things on the DWP's terms, when the DWP wants. That's why they COULDN'T SIGN CONTRACTS, just MOUs.

Are you really this bad?

(And don't accuse me of being Englander. He is a sack of summer's eve, if you know what I mean.)

January 27, 2009 10:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Does the LADWP/OSC MOU apply to Neighborhood Councils regarding Measure B ?

On January 10, 2009 at the LADWP Renewable Portfolio Standard Workshop DWP General Manager / CEO Mr. H. David Nahai said DWP did not ask to put Measure B on the ballot and that DWP can’t advocate for the measure. It appears the only people qualified to advocate for this measure is the City Council and the Mayor. Mr. Nahai advised there was not a bidding process due to lack of time and the Huron Consulting Group, an independent group, was selected to conduct a cost analysis on Measure B.

At one of the LADWP Commission it was mentioned that DWP’s Management will be attending a retreat to come up with strategies and the Huron Consulting Group was attained to be the mediator, an independent group.

January 27, 2009 10:14 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

10:10 You nitwit. Of COURSE an MOU can't be "enforced" per se, so long as you are willing to risk your credibility and not ever establish one again. MOU's are in existence with various groups that do business with the City and serve as an understanding of how things will be done. So if you are part of an NC, and wish to lose all credibility whatsoever, feel free to violate the agreement if it makes you feel better.

10:14, You are absolutely right. The DWP is actually neutral. To be honest I was actually surprised they invoked 6.2 of the MOU because they have no official position, but nonetheless they did. The MOU applies to "items relating to the DWP," this "relates to" to DWP. Regardless of my opinion, it is what it is unless or until the City Attorney says otherwise. So far, no one has been so opposed to it that they have asked the City Attorney for an opinion, which makes the point that this is maybe 5 people throwing a fir here.

I would love it if someone would explain to me what is sooooooooooooooooooo outragous about giving DWP 4 days notice? Oh, that's right. There is NOTHING that outrageous about it. It is just something we can bitch about.

Listen folks, you want to beat Measure B? GET OFF YOUR ASS and knock on doors, call people, donate money to the anti-measure B campaign.

Of course you WON'T do any of that because it is much easier to stand ON THE SIDELINES and bitch instead of engaging the actual issues and DOING SOMETHING.

Out of 86 NC's, 1 NC has reported they aren't even part of the MOU so it doesn't apply to them, 1 has knowingly refused to comply, 30 have already complied, 15 are complying and 5 missed the boat due to the intercommunication.

So for all the bitching and moaning of how "oppressive" the MOU is and "how dare they," nearly all signers to the actual MOU saw little issue in abiding by it.

Some people just LOVE to complain. They generally go by the name of "ANONYMOUS"

If you want to stop Measure B, motivate yourself to doing more then blogging about it for Christ sake.

When the champion of the anti-B campaign tells me that he defines success as 40% of the vote, it isn't hard to see that there is a campaign that has defined losing as a win.

Any idiot can point at something and say "that's broken." How about helping fix it? or is that too damn difficult for you so instead you shoot at those who do try to fix it?

Interesting strategy.

January 27, 2009 11:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As much as it pains me to say this, I have to go with Alger on this one. I looks to me like this was a made up "attack" by the frenzied anti prob b people when the issue that Alger is addressing really has nothing to do with prop b, but just standing behind your word. It also doesn't seem like Alger, Draper or DWP has asked anyone to climb Mt. Everest no matter how you spin it.

January 28, 2009 12:37 AM  

Anonymous Justiice said:

We are fighting Measure B because of its shadiness and the fact that it was put on the ballot without adequate notification to the public.

This establihes a "Course of Performace" for future shadiness to be acceptable,if we don't stop this!

There is no plan for "B"except to purchase from China. "B" Lies about bringing jobs to L.A., and it eliminates competition from the private sector.

It's not cost proven effectove there is no perspectus or knowledge of its cost, etc, etc. etc. It's only guaranteed to our pocketbooks

Forget about the MOU. If the DWP is telling the truth, DWP had nothing to do with getting it on the ballot. Therfore, they are not accountable ,and don't need notification because it's not their Measure.

However, I do have a problem understanding why Representatives for the DWP did attended the SLAP meeting and spoke along side Michael Trujillo,Consultant and Manaager of "Yes" on Measure B. I am sure others must find that amusing as well.

Obviously, what is going on now is a devisive tactic by the "Yes of B" supporters to stiffle "No on "B" supporter.

So, we who oppose Measure B, must ignore the reteric about the MOU and let's get busy and continue to opposing it at every opportunity.

IMO, Neighborhood Councils are free to take a stand on them any way that fiting according to their NC's requirements.

Vote "No" on Measure B! Check out the "No on Measure B" website for more information.

I will stay anonymous in order to avoid being called names which, by the way, is so unprofessional!

January 28, 2009 9:02 PM  

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