Power Station Desperately Needed
(Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Councilman Mike Bonin’s office and to the Palisades News.)
The urgency of a timely process that will lead to construction of a new electricity distribution station in Pacific Palisades is undisputed. The frequency and duration of power outages, along with their attendant disruptions as well as the threat they pose to health and commerce, has long been a matter of utmost concern to all Palisadians.
Delays have arisen because a small but vocal group of Marquez neighbors have registered objections to constructing the new station on Marquez Avenue, at the site long identified as the location for the new station. This has resulted in the unfortunate, and incorrect, impression that this group of homeowners was speaking for a broad segment of our community.
To remedy that impression, we set about collecting signatures on a petition that called for rapid progress toward constructing the new distribution station at the Marquez site [west of Marquez Charter Elementary]. With only the briefest of efforts, spanning only a weekend or two, we collected nearly 500 signatures. These signatures represent a broad cross-section of the Palisades community: individual homeowners, business owners in Palisades Village, individuals with medical needs, and individuals who may conduct business activities from home offices. We further note that those who signed our petition generally expressed a sense of frustration that goes far beyond the mere loss of electricity; there was the greatest sense of disappointment that an important reason for the delay was political—namely, the decision of the Councilmember’s office to placate homeowners in the Marquez neighborhood.
We delivered those petitions, by hand, to the councilmember at the DWP meeting held at Marquez Elementary last spring. To date, we have received no communication from the Councilmember’s office concerning those petitions and no indication that the councilmember is prepared to support an EIR process that will lead to construction of the much-needed distribution at the Marquez site.
May we expect a response?
Chautauqua Haul Route: Poor Option
Chautauqua Boulevard is a vital, narrow artery in and out of Pacific Palisades. As such, cars are frequently backed up as much as half a mile en route to PCH, thanks to delayed, apparently uncoordinated traffic signals. With constant heavy traffic, Chautauqua is fast being eroded, particularly at a spring near the PCH intersection.
Planned heavy truck hauling of soil from Caruso’s Swarthmore development via Chautauqua is seriously flawed due to expected increased physical deterioration of the roadway, and added dump trucks in the traffic mix.
News Article Had Inaccuracies
The Oct. 19 Palisades News article concerning the Community Council’s alternate election contained inaccuracies and omissions (“Alternates Selected by Former Chairs and Approved by PPCC,” p. 5), which did not correctly reflect the processes and rules governing the PPCC. Among these are the following:
• An assertion of “No election”: The alternates were in fact elected by a vote of 19 of 20 board members present.
• Candidates: There were multiple candidates for positions in three, not four, areas, as incorrectly referenced in the article. These individuals did not expect that their names would be revealed if they were not recommended. No board member ever requested the names of all applicants.
• Applicants: Two of the individuals (Mr. Marshall and Ms. Ladinsky, as revealed by the News) did not apply for the 2nd Alternate position. Applicants are only considered for offices for which they have applied.
• Attribution: The quote attributed to Committee Chair Chris Spitz is also inaccurate. Ms. Spitz stated at the PPCC meeting that “input from the primary reps, while important, was not controlling.”
• Process: The Committee’s decisions were difficult. All applicants were worthy and possessed a variety of positive attributes and experiences. In deciding among multiple candidates, the members of the Committee of Three former Chairs exercised their best judgment, a judgment which was overwhelmingly accepted by the board, as reflected in the near-unanimous vote in favor of the recommended candidates.
• Correction: PPCC’s correct website address is “pacpalicc.org,” not “palpali.com” (incorrectly stated in the article). Sincerely, PPCC Three Chairs Committee Chris Spitz, Committee Chair and PPCC Chair Emeritus George Wolfberg, PPCC Vice President and former Chair Richard Cohen, PPCC Treasurer and former Chair Maryam Zar, ex officio, PPCC Chair
(Editor’s note: For clarification, the Area alternates were not elected, but rather confirmed by the PPCC Board. We asked if Mr. Marshall or Ms. Ladinsky had been approached by the committee for an interview or for the second alternate position. Spitz responded, “Both Eric and Gina were advised that they could and should apply for both positions. The various notices regarding the application process also made clear the ability for candidates to apply alternatively for both positions: ‘All interested parties must submit a Statement of any length indicating which position you are applying for (Area or At-large, 1st or 2nd alternate, or both; you may apply for both Area and At-large alternate positions).’ Applicants’ decisions as to which office/s they wished to apply for were their own; the Committee respected their decisions.”)
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