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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Another Broken Deal Cedillo (and Supervisor Solis) Moment regarding the Flat Top Open Space Acquisition?

In her first Public Policy-related appearance since the 2015 CD 14 City Council Elections, former LA County Board of Supervisor Gloria Molina, is taking a leadership role, in demanding that CD 1 City Councilman Gil Cedillo and LA County Board of Supervisor Hilda Solis, follow through on her crafted deal that financed the purchase of the Montecito Heights "Flat Top Open Space", with the intent of giving the land to the City of Los Angeles Recreation & Parks Department (and not Joe Edmiston's "Mountain Recreation, Conservation Authority").
The Montecito/Lincoln Heights Flat Top Open Space.
** Blogger's Note: For those who thought that former LA County Board of Supervisor (and CD 14 City Council Candidate) Gloria Molina, would trek quietly off into the political sunset after her unsuccessful campaign for the CD 14 City Council Seat last Spring .........,, there is no quiet in the trail-blazing Latina Politico's vocabulary.
In her first appearance regarding a public policy issue since last Spring, the former LA County Board of Supervisor (and CD 1 City Councilperson), demanded that CD 1 City Councilman Gil Cedillo and her replacement Hilda Solis, stand by the LA County-approved purchase of the Montecito/Lincoln Heights "Flat Top Open Space".  
Former LA County Board of Supervisor Gloria Molina with ASNC Member and Flat Top Open Space Advocate Roy Payan.
The acquisition of the Flat Top Open Space acreage, was a supposed culmination of a multi-years effort by Montecito Heights Improvement Association President and Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council Member Roy Payan, to preserve the community-renowned locale, with a superb view of the Downtown LA Skyline (especially at night), by being designated Open Space ........, as noted via The Eastsider in the Fall of 2014.

The purchase of about 37 acres is expected to be completed next month, said Megan Moret, press deputy for County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who agreed to use her office’s allocation of Prop A funds to finance the deal. The funds will allow North East Trees, an environmental group,  to purchase the property but the City of Los Angeles will eventually take control of the property, Moret said. 

........, or so they thought.

Santa Monica Mountains Conservacy/Mountain Recreation Conservation Authority Strongman Joe Edmiston.
But in a meeting of the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council Montecito Heights Issues Committee, Payan, with former Supervisor Molina concuring, stated that Northeast Trees was reneging on its plans to turn the land over to the City of Los Angeles Recreation & Parks ......., and instead, was planning to give the acreage to the controversial Joe Edminston-controlled, Mountain Recreation, Conservation Authority (MCRA), with the support of CD 1 City Councilman Gil Cedillo, along with LA County Board of Supervisor Hilda Solis.
Edmiston, a former East Los Angeles College Student, Sierra Club Lobbyist and self-created Chief Ranger (with gun) of his own Open Space Preserve/Land Bank Fiefdom via the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy/MRCA, has longed craved adding Northeast LA acreage (including Flat Top) to his control. 
Yet, the supposed master of crafting deals to purchase property for Open Space Preservation, has garnered a Tsunami-size backlash from many preservation advocates (including Supervisor Molina), regarding his "surprise support" of Oil Drilling within the Proposition A-financed Whittier Hills Preserve as noted in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

However, MRCA, the operational arm of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the largest conservancy in the nation, surprised the county by saying it would drop its lawsuit in exchange for cash. If the drilling project moves forward and oil is extracted and sold, MRCA would get $280 million, or about $11.25 million a year for the life of the project.  

Thus, is it fair to ponder whether "Ranger Joe" is scheming to "Land Bank" the prime real estate of Flat Top, until the market presents the best opportunity to sell off the acreage to a Developer?

Northeast Trees Executive Director Mark Kenyon.
In the interim, the paramount question that needs answering by the likes of Northeast Trees Executive Director Mark Kenyon (Husband of former Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Board Member Clare Marter Kenyon), CD 1 City Councilman Gil "Chevron" Cedillo and LA County Board of Supervisor Hilda Solis, is why they are attempting to modify a much-wanted act of Open Space Preservation, that would of added a new preserve jewel to the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department ........., and instead, place a beloved community locale, in the trust of a self-made Land Bank Baron, not beyond exploiting (and scaring) the same Open Space, supposedly being preserved? 
** Link here for details on the Monday, February 22, 2016 Meeting of the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council at Ramona Hall at 7:00 PM.
9. FLAT TOP OPEN SPACE: MOTION: The ASNC Board moves to send letters to Councilman Gil Cedillo and Supervisor Hilda Solis in support of the community’s wishes that Northeast Trees adhere to the purchase agreement’s original intent as adopted by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on September 30, 2014 that the “City of Los Angeles will ultimately be the owner of the property and the and the successor to the grant obligations” among other points. (The full agreement is available at http://file.lacounty.gov/bos/supdocs/88363.pdf).
Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14 

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