Outtakes from CD 14 Special Report: Where has the CLARTS Fund Gone Councilman Huizar??
It has been awhile since our last "Outtakes from CD 14", graced the cybersphere and so much has transpired since we last reported.
Fire stations have gone on brownouts which have led to community protests, our favorite councilman has voted to raise DWP rates after not voting to raise rates and we still don't know the status of the CD 14 discretionary fund known as the CLARTS Fund.
But first some background on the Central Los Angeles Refuge Transfare Station Amenities Fund, aka., the CLARTS Fund.
The CLARTS Fund was the brainchild of former CD 14 Councilman Nick Pacheco's Chief of Staff, the late Lloyd Monserratt. Monserratt conceived the idea to create an "community amneties fund", which would come from the proceeds of recycle materials that were process at the CLARTS facility, during a tour of the facility.
Then Councilman Nick Pacheco, in a video avalible on You Tube, can be seen discussing his plans for the CLARTS Fund, to the Boyle Heights Nieghborhood Council.
In the story that I wrote for the March, 2010 edition of The Voice Newspaper, regarding the evolution and status of the CLARTS Fund, I noted that the fund is one of only two (the second being the Sunshine Canyon Landfill Fund) discretionary funds in the City of Los Angeles that first, are base upon the proceeds derided from recycle refuge. Second by law, the proceeded from the CLARTS Fund can only be use in CD 14. This clarification was courtesey of City Controller Wendy Greuel, who stated this in response to my question about the status of discretionary funds, at a recent meeting of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council.
As part of my story on the status of the CLARTS Fund, Editor and Publisher of The Voice Newspaper Carlos Morales made this request to the Office of Councilman Jose Huizar. Please note the dates of the request and reply by Councilman Huizar's Chief of Staff Ana Cubas are in bold.
From Carlos Morales of The Voice Newspaper on Febuary 23, 2010
I am working on an article regarding the CLARTS FUNDS.
I want to make sure the article is accurate and I need this information.
Please provide me a list of expenses for the CLARTS FUNDS for the past 5 YEARS.
I am also requesting all city council motions that has any modifications for the usage of the CLARTS FUNDS.
Please provide the information by FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26th as we are working on a dead line.
Carlos MoralesPublisher and Editor
THE VOICE"For The Community By The Community"
February 25, 2010
Thank you for your Feb. 23, 2010 request made to our office. I wanted to make sure we acknowledged receipt of your request. We have made “a determination” with respect to your request within 10 days, as we are required to do under the law.
We believe the records are public and we ask you to recognize that you are asking for records spanning a number of years. Given this fact, we estimate that it will take approximately thirty (30) days to fully gather the specific expense information you seek in the first half of your request.
With respect to the second half of your request, relating to council motions, I would encourage you to look at the publicly available information on the City’s Council File Management System (CFMS) website at: href="http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/" rel="nofollow" http://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect. There is a simple search function on the CFMS that will allow you to quickly and easily search for any City Council Motions involving CLARTS funding. All of the actual motions are downloadable as PDFs from that site.
Finally, your request asked for information from the last five years, however the Councilmember has not been in office a full five years. The Councilmember was first elected to office in November 2005. We will gladly give you information from that point on.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 213-473-7014.
Ana E. Cubas, Chief of Staff
Ana E. Cubas
Chief of Staff
Councilmember Jose Huizar
200 North Spring Street, Room 465
Los Angeles, CA 90012
As I type these words on Sunday, April 18, 2010, 36 work days, minus Cesar Chavez Day, has pass since Cubas response to our Public Records Request. Maybe the District Attorney's Office of Public Integrity, might want to investigate this "stonewalling on a public records request". I plan on sending them a link to this post, in the upcoming week.
** It should be noted that Cubas has been known to work on Saturdays, calling CD 14 constituents and accusing them of blogging here at Mayor Sam, as we note below courtesey of the Los Angeles Garment and Citizen Newpaper.
BIG BROTHER FOR BLOGGERS?: Some of the keyboardists who weigh in with political postings on local blogs could be getting more attention than they’ve bargained for. Word on the street says that a local political pro with sufficient technical training to have hacker skills regularly plumbs cyberspace for clues on who’s posting what on which blogs…SATURDAYS IN CD 14: There seems to be more than one way to hunt a blogger. Reliable sources say that Ana Cubas, chief of staff for City Councilmember Jose Huizar, spent a recent Saturday morning calling around the 14th District to accuse constituents of posting items from this column in the blogosphere. Memo to Cubas: Feel free to give a call if you have anything to say about reports in this space—you’ll find contact information at the end of column. Meanwhile, it’s been several weeks and still no word back on calls seeking comment about the item that started this whole go-round—a report from reliable sources that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigators are looking into Huizar’s spending habits…
It can be noted here, that Councilman Huizar has been made aware of this article on multiple occasions. I myself had this article read into the record at a recent meeting of the City Council. Further during a recent City Council Budget Committee Meeting in El Sereno, copies of March Edition of The Voice Newspaper, with the CLARTS article, were handed out to everyone in attendance and highlighted by myself during the Public Comment portion of the proceedings. I posted these observations about that meeting at this post on the Griffith Park Wayist.
Further, at that meeting in El Sereno, a prominent CD 14 business person, took interest in the mostly negative comments, directed at Councilman Huizar by local constituents. Could it be that this person is eyeing an potential challenge of the incumbent Huizar in 2011?
That said, issues like that the lack of transparently regarding the CLARTS Fund, give plenty of fodder to those intuitive CD 14 observers, who are wary of what Councilman Huizar and former Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, now Mayor Parkervillar, have done with the multi-million dollars generated by the CLARTS Fund.
The Voice Editor Carlos Morales has these words in the April 2010 Edition of the paper.
The Councilman has forgotten about the oath he took and what it truly means to be a public servant. Stakeholders in the community deserve and have the right to know what is going
on with these funds.
As city employees take furlough days off and possible lay offs why do you continue to HIDE and not produce what the stakeholders of this community are asking for…Fire Departments Paramedics in our neighborhoods are taking BROWN OUT DAYS, leaving us in danger of loss of life, yet he has publicly stated “I will continue to monitor the situation” Huizar WAKE UP – PEOPLE ARE DYING!
......, and dying they are, link here to view the emotional City Council testimony of El Sereno resident Luis Gonzalez, who's father died of a heart attack. He describes his nine plus minute wait for a LAFD paramedic squad. This being because the paramedic unit at Station 16, nearest his father's home, was out of service due to the LAFD brownouts. Something that could of been averted if Councilman Huizar had made resources from the CLARTS Fund, available to offset budget cuts in local paramedic services, resources that CD 14 constituents have the right to know the status of at anytime.
Scott Johnson in CD 14