By John Okulick
I did attend. I had only two minutes to read a list of questions that I would like answers to, as a CPRA request. After several attempts to get answers, Tara Devine, manager of the BID, said she would get back to me, which really means she will do nothing as usual. She once worked for Councilman Huizar who is now being investigated by the FBI.
The property owners’ board (VBPOA) and Devine then listened to a pitch from Athens cleaning and recycling service offering its services for a fee. Next came Taylor Bazley trying to say how good Bonin is for the area: redoing the bike path, having signs replaced, locks on bathrooms, and improving a parking lot, all of which had nothing to do with the BID. He said, in a dictatorial manner, that the Bridge Housing on the MTA lot will happen, with possibly some retail business being included. Another assumption with no basis of fact. There will be a meeting on the MTA lot on December 1. I’m not sure where. This shows how connected Devine and the BID board are to Bonin, allowing him to do damage control from the town hall meeting of a few weeks ago.
Then came the clean team who walk down my sidewalk with nothing to do. I said that the time it takes to walk is about a minute, and that equates to about $5,000.00 an hour for a year of non-service. No benefits to my property. The arts person for Venice asked if the BID could clean the public artwork in the area, which she has requested numerous times in the past. The clean supervisor stated that the clean crew did not know what art is, and that it might be damaged. It would also have to be in the BID district. They did not mention that 30% of funds that pay for the BID come from city taxpayers.
Another person complained about the boardwalk not being cleaned enough in certain areas. He said that he spoke with the Parks and Recreation Department and that they did not have enough resources to clean. His location was not in the BID district despite the fact that a portion of his property tax was. Another example of public money being diverted to private services.
Next came Allied Universal who also will not answer questions regarding their published numbers on incidents. They and the BID refuse to give specifics of where, when, and what these numbers correspond to. We have a right to know where these incidents are occurring, and the scope of the problem, for our own safety. They have all learned from Devine and Sokol how to stonewall the community with impunity while collecting millions of dollars.
Then they gave the financial report, which was incoherent to most, and the 2019 annual planning report which showed no changes in district boundaries or so-called benefit zones. No changes? After two months of services in 2018, they voted to raise assessments by 5% affecting all of us. If they have the authority to change zones and benefits why have they told us that they can’t remove residential non-commercial use properties?
More disinformation from them. They will receive $2,237,980.00, with $457,405.00 going directly to management and administration which, translated, is Devine. And $162,184.00 for District Identity, which is part of their slush fund.
It was another disgusting meeting with the arrogant BID board and Devine. They decreed that these public meetings will now be held every other month to avoid more questions, as they think it is a waste of time; another violation of their fiduciary duties as a non-profit. I was unable to bring up the subject of replacing board members since it will soon be two years and I think the management plan calls for a change. They don’t seem to care about that and they make up their own rules. I have to look into that.