City Council punts again on CRA while waste continues under Chris Essel
|Would CRA/LA file legal challenge to pervent this type of Billboard blight?|
|CRA/LA Executive Director Chris Essel (in center)|
Blogger note: The City Council punted again today the issue of protecting nearly $1 Billion dollars of Community Redevelopement Agency/ Los Angeles's local property tax money from California Governor Jerry Brown. Brown, who is seeking to close the state's dire budget deficit by reclaiming jurisdiction over property tax money set aside for CRA-like projects statewide, would benefit from reading the following on a forlorn twelve year legal battle by the CRA against Regency Outdoor Advertising.
More after the bloggin leap.
The principles that form the foundation for the formations of CRA agencies state-wide are worthy ones. Communities grow old and over time are in need of investment to upgrade and improve the quality of life for those who choose to reside or do business within the given neighborhoods.
But sadly in the case of CRA/LA, the lead agency for redeveloping the blighted eye sores within the City of Los Angeles, the "current mission", has become one of governmental thuggery, that knows no fiscal restraints when engaging in nefarious and pointless legal proceedings.
In 1998, Regency Outdoor Advertising was given city approval for two billboards (small compared to the news-catching super-graphics of today) located at 6778 Hollywood Blvd and 3720 South Flower respectively. City approval was contingent on the final go-ahead by CRA/LA, and thirteen years later? We have a legal standoff that is compounded by CRA/LA's inability to accept reality, but then someone has to profit from this latest debacle.
Those profiteers are the outside, politically-connected law firms that CRA/LA put on retainer to litigate this case. The likes of Kay Reimann ($377,700), Fox & Sohagi ($224,500), Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver ($76,881) for a grand total of $679,081 and one can see that fighting supposed billboard blight pays.
But one catch, in the same time period CRA/LA has approved 14 much larger signs and 50 of the uber-obnoxious super graphics signs that added more than 50,000 square feet of new signage to that neighborhood (refer to map on page two of pdf of amended Hollywood Signage District).
Thus, the question here for CRA/LA Executive Director Chris Essel and the board is why continue this legal battle when even the presiding U.S. District Judge George H. King, pleads with the outside counsel representing CRA/LA "to stop wasting time and a lot of money on something which may not turn out as you had hope for?"
But as this legal fiasco continues on with the approval of CRA/LA's Chris Essel and the CRA board, the cost in punitive damages continue to mount, but hey, when your billing statements continue to return with checks drawn against CRA/LA's ledger, then what is the hurry to settle?
Scott Johnson in CD 14