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Staff

Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

LOCALmotion - Jozelle Smith

Feng Shui from A to Z - Janet Mitsui Brown

Looking Up - Bob Eklund

Special Features Writer - Sandra Coopersmith

Ruth's Truths - Ruth Morris

Dear Editor – Long Memory

Malsin wants you to vote for him because of his past “track record” and “institutional memory”. Institutional memory is a collective set of facts, concepts, experiences and know-how held by a group of people.

One of his supporters said, “Scott has a passion for our unique city, and for making sure it maintains the “Mayberry” feel while it continues its growth”.

I am not voting for Scott Malsin because I don’t condone his lack of action. Millions of people a year see his inaction from the 405 Freeway.

As Redevelopment Agency Chair (2007-2008, 2011) Malsin approved and knows the history of the Westfield Culver City outdoor signs, from December 2007 and May 2009 public meetings. The Design for Development pertaining to Advertising Content of the Westfield Culver outdoor signs said, “Signs will be used exclusively to advertise the business conducted or service rendered or goods produced or sold upon the property upon which the sign(s) is placed. A sign which advertises a brand name, trade name, product or service only incidental to the businesses or services conducted or operating at the Mall shall not be permitted. Goods, products or services are incidental if they do not make up a significant portion of the business”.

1) How does Scott Malsin justify signs that do NOT advertise the business conducted or service rendered or goods produced or sold upon the property?

2) How do the three TV shows currently advertised meet the Design for Development? How do the three movie ads?

3) Does Scott Malsin justify the blatant violation because the former Redevelopment Agency receives money and a potently cut of the advertising revenue?

He said at the 3/1/2012 Gateway Candidate Forum, “I’m really proud of the signs…” “They weren’t my idea…” “They were proposed to us…” “When I talked with them (Westfield) about those signs I said, I can’t imagine supporting them, unless you split the profit with us, us, here, us taxpayers in the City of Culver City.”

From the 05/11/2009 RDA Agenda, “The sole purpose of the additional sign area is to enhance revenues for the freeway oriented mall signs which will be shared between Westfield and the Agency. Westfield indicates that the increased signage is justified because that was the sign area upon which their original sign revenue projections were based.”

Pursuant to the OPA, the Agency receives a guaranteed base payment of $225,000 and an additional payment in an amount equal to 50% of the gross sign revenue received by Westfield during each calendar year. The additional payment occurs after Westfield receives a base payment of $2.2 million in revenue per calendar year. Additional sign revenue could increase revenue sharing to the Agency.

So this is how Scott Malsin justifies signs that do NOT advertise the business conducted or service rendered or goods produced or sold upon the property!

He is allowing the blatant violation for us taxpayers!

When the mall rents out display space to a wide range of advertisers, it is engaging in “general advertising for hire,” in contrast to the “self-promotion” function of a store sign. It is this economic independence that makes billboards legally different. Billboards are not just large signs. The content that does NOT advertise the business conducted or service rendered or goods produced or sold upon the property makes the signs by definition billboards.

The Redevelopment Agencies Attorney explained it clearly. “Significant portion of business involved”. Goods, products or services are incidental if they do not make up a significant portion of the business. Movies and TV ads do NOT meet these criteria, so they are violations.

The intent stated by the mall for the signs was to draw in customers by advertising businesses in the mall. The billboards are only about advertising revenue and do NOT draw in customers with Movie and Television Show Ads.

How serious of a business are billboards? California Highway Patrol caught a person cutting trees in the 405 Freeway right-of-way adjacent to the new Westfield shopping mall in Culver City after the first sign went up. The trees, which stood in the line of sight of the billboard affixed to a corner of the shopping mall, were advertising a movie.  According to the California Department of Transportation, this blatantly illegal act is currently under investigation, along with six other tree-cutting incidents that may involve the issue of billboard or super graphic sign visibility from L.A. area freeways.

Malsin in a resent mailer said, “Teamwork is what makes Culver City great…” “Everyone can be a part of the team”. The ad shows him standing in front of community members including Former Mayors, President of the Chamber of Commerce, School Board Member, Teachers, Planning Commissioners, Business Owners, Husbands, Wives, Coaches, etc. Their Team Leader knows the signs violate the Design for Development pertaining to Advertising Content of the Westfield Culver outdoor signs. Now they do and everyone else. Members of his team… call Malsin and ask him why he is allowing this blatant violation! See what excuse you get from him. Does the end justify the means? What are your ethics?

For those that say this is negative hit piece… it is not a hit piece if the facts are true. Malsin wants you to vote for him because of his past “track record” and “institutional memory”. This is his record. Ask him about it. See what excuse you get from him.

I am going to be voting for 4 candidates. Malsin will not be one of them.

Sinning by silence. It’s not smart, it’s not brave… it’s just cowardly.

Cary Anderson
Culver City Homeowner for 25 years

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