Council and Conciliation

It’s an important moment when someone decides that the parking ticket is worth it.
The city council meeting that convened on Monday May 3 was interesting for many reasons, but one of them stood out as a moment that any city council, in any city, would want to have framed, matted and mounted on the wall for posterity.

With the new council called to order, and Jeffrey Cooper installed as the new member, there were proclamations, announcements and comments off the agenda-

May is Senior Citizens Month, in addition to being Historical Preservation month. Proclamations were read, people assembled, pictures taken, and smiles all around.

Sadie Cerda was proclaimed Senior of the Year, and her long resume was proof of how appropriate this honor is. The director of the S.A.V.E. S. program at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Cerda graciously thanked her family for their support, and said she was “proud and honored… to work with and work for the people in our community who have such good hearts.”

The Culver City Historical Society will be unveiling a plaque on May 22 at noon at Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park, commemorating the park as the first in Culver City. Dr. Carlson’s widow Lois Carlson will be there. (She is also the author of a biography about Carlson, titled “Monganga Paul.”) Stu Freeman offered his thanks to the city, and asked “Please come out to the unveiling of the marker. We’ll have a great event and we would love to see everyone there.”

The moment to be framed came when Monica Harmon, who identified herself a resident of Los Angeles came forward to comment during “Items not on the agenda.”
The tall brunette was amazed by the behavior of the gentlemen on the dais. She said that she came to complain about a parking ticket, but that she was so overwhelmed by the behavior of the city council, she had to comment. “You guys are so civil! If you knew what we have to put up with from the Los Angeles City Council… I mean, you are just so civilized, this is great!” She ended by exclaiming that she was just going to pay the ticket.

If Andy Weissman has had any cause to wonder that his mission to return civility to the council has been successful, this was proof.

The business of the evening was filled with enthusiasm. The council approved sponsorship for Indiecade, the independent showcase for video games that had it’s first showing in Culver City last year. Stephanie Barish spoke about how successful the previous year had been, and that both Indiecade and the city were confident that they could double the number of attendees this year.

The landscaping for neighborhood bordering West Washington will be going forward, with approval and much excitement on the part of the residents. Bob Pine, Linda Frost, and Evan Keplcki all spoke in favor of the work, and the city staff was confident that the next step would be taken soon. Sol Blumenthal was singled out by Frost as being praiseworthy, and noted that his efforts on behalf of west Culver City were appreciated.

The darkest moment of the meeting came when discussion of the note to pay the state of California $1.7 million in Revelopment Agency funds (as per the bill AB 26, passed to forestall the budget crisis). The was another bill in the offing, that the money grab was unconstitutional, (AB 60 A) but until the resolution of the suit, the money would have to be sent. Vice Mayor Mehaul O’Leary commented “This is just a complete mess. The state has been spending money without check, without balance, and now they are coming to us for the funds that they should be contributing.”

The annual redistribution of committee assignments went quietly until it hit one snag. On the Expo subcommittee, Scott Malsin asked to be given another year to be the member, with O’Leary kept in the alternate role. Almost fifteen minutes of discussion ensued, but in the end O’Leary coolly acceded, and Malsin remained in the position he had held for the previous year.

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