by Lisa Sarkin and Judy Price
1. Essel makes the error by saying that the appeal process Neighborhood Councils (NC) want is to appeal City Council motions. The NC appeal process would not appeal council motions, but it would allow NCs to appeal planning decisions.
2. Density along the subway and transit corridors – Essel talks about areas in the city and downtown only being affected and seems to forget that there are subway stations and transit corridors in the Valley and Sunland-Tujunga. Where does she really think density should go?
3. How would Essel pay for the number of task forces and blue ribbon committees she says she wants to establish? Some already exist, but nobody on the City Council pays attention to them now. Or would she just advocate more citizen committees filled with political allies of herself, Greuel and the Mayor?
4. Essel doesn’t know that there is no support within the state legislature to change the Ellis Act nor SB1818 and there is no way Los Angeles would ever be exempted. We need ordinances that protect our neighborhoods as other cities do, instead of giving everything up to developers and city unions who are trying to buy this election.
5. Her insistence that she would stay in the job and never seek another office is a joke. Who is she fooling when she says that would keep her from being influenced by the PAC money? She thinks Paul should pay for the election to replace him if he wins, but she doesn’t call for Greuel to pay for this special election caused by Greuel when she became Controller. It is just the same old contradictions in all of Chris’s flip-flopping i.e. SB1818, film jobs in California and Neighborhood Councils.
6. Essel again, as she did in Sunland-Tujunga, misstated the issues. She said the Los Angeles Police Protective League didn’t endorse Paul because they didn’t like him at his interview. But they stated in a letter to Paul that as a friend to public safety, they wanted him to stay in the Assembly to help them in the state legislature.
7. AB 1866 Accessory Dwelling Units – Essel says is another way the state is trying to control land use in Los Angeles. Essel doesn’t know that we have to write an implementing ordinance. Los Angeles is the only city in California without an implementing ordinance. It is interesting that Councilmember Ed Reyes has not endorsed Essel, since he is the chair of the Planning and Land Use Management Committee, tasked with writing the ordinances.
8. Essel talks about her accomplishments, but none, not one, is in CD2. Paul is endorsed by numerous community leaders within the area of CD2 he represents in the Assembly and can point to a long list of accomplishments.
9. Essel stated that billboards need to be counted obviously now knowing that has already been completed. Building and Safety is in the process of finding out which ones are illegal. The real problem is that Building & Safety doesn’t enforce the laws in the first place i.e. marijuana dispensaries.
10. Essel claims that when Laura Chick was auditor, she did not have a friend on the City Council and that is why her audits went nowhere. She further claims that with her on City Council she will work with Wendy Greuel to get things done. Laura Chick performed many audits during her term as controller. None was more important than the Department of Building & Safety, for which many assessments could be made to bring in money to the city. The audit was completed in mid-2006, but the council never took it up. City Controller Greuel was on the City Council then, but she did nothing to get the audit out in the open. This is just one of many examples of the City Council’s resistance to act on audits. Why didn’t Greuel support the controller’s audits then and why should we trust Essel when Greuel sat on her hands and did nothing?
11. Essel has almost no support from CD2 leaders. Her fundraisers are held in other locations because her support is from out of the district. Why do these people want her on the council? A look at her list of donors and Independent Expenditures tells the story. Which leads to…
12. Essel made a feeble effort to dispute any endorsement or aid to her campaign by the Mayor. This is also a joke. Compare her Independent Expenditure contributors and the Mayor’s from his last campaign. Interesting similarities, particularly the IBEW. Which leads to….
13. When questioned about her over $700,000. in Independent Expenditures, Essel stated she was proud to have the support of all of the groups. What should be noted is that the IBEW, the union representing the 8,678 DWP employees, is a major contributor to Essel’s Independent Expenditures. Considering that the DWP workers are paid 40% more than comparable City workers, costing ratepayers at least an additional 10% in rates, not including the 8% transfer fee and the 10% City utility tax (thanks to Jack Humphreville for the stats), one should be alarmed by the five-year package of raises now being considered by the Mayor appointed board of Water and Power Commissioners. If approved, it will then be voted on by City Council. Remember, IBEW is the same group, aided and abetted by the Mayor and the City Council, who tried to ram Measure B down the voter’s throats.
14. Essel continually refers to her experience as a businesswoman as a major qualification to serve on City Council. In truth, she was a lobbyist for Paramount Pictures where her job as Senior Vice President of Government and Community Affairs was to “interface with city and state government” (from her bio). In other words, a lobbyist. Were her relationships with government officials, including our City Council, established when she doled out free gifts?