Selected Highlights of the Culver City Council meeting on July 23, 2018 by Disa Lindgren

Mayor Thomas Small, Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, Councilmembers Daniel Lee and Alex Fisch; all present. Councilmember Göran Eriksson participated via phone from Sweden

Community Announcements

Mayor Thomas Small shared that he, Councilmember Daniel Lee, Police Chief Scott Bixby, Public Works Department Director Charles Herbertson, and the other city staff appreciated being able to attend a marvelous luncheon and tour of the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City. He said the Mosque leaders and members that hosted them were wonderfully hospitable, and he appreciated being able to learn more about the work they are doing, some of which is internationally known. Mayor Small also praised the beauty of the Mosque itself.

Presentations

Several members of the Environmental Programs and Operations Division of the Public Works Department gave an informative presentation about the City Transfer Station Stormwater Diversion and Rain Garden project completed in January and June of this year; the focus was on the technology advancements that have been made. The transfer station collects all trash and recycling from residential and commercial sources and sends them to a landfill, for composting, or to be recycled. Drainage for the waste material that is screened and filtered is discharged to Ballona Creek. Special bio cleaning processes and biofilters are used to remove bacteria, nutrients, metal, trash, oil, and grease before it is safely released in the rain garden on site. Councilmember Alex Fisch pointed out that we are now paying for the disposal of blue bin contents, instead of getting paid for recycling, as China is no longer interested in our dirty materials. Councilmember Daniel Lee stated pointedly that what we need to do is reduce the amount of waste we produce.

After Mayor Thomas Small learned of the opportunity, Culver City applied for a CivicSpark Water Fellow, and Jonathan Dolan was chosen to conduct research regarding the Ballona Creek Revitalization Project. Jonathan Dolan explained that the goal of the project is to enhance Ballona Creek; the environment, community use, and riparian improvements. A 200-page atlas was created, feasibility for bike path upgrades, and eight projects were identified. Ballona Creek Renaissance and Jim Lamm were named as being especially helpful sources of information. Mayor Small explained that AmeriCorps provides the grant funding for CivicSpark Fellows and said that Culver City is currently interviewing prospects for next year’s Fellow in order to plan for implementation of the projects identified by the research. Jonathan Dolan was commended for his excellent work, earlier in the evening.

Action Item: Ban of New Offshore Oil and Gas Activities off Pacific Coast

Resolution Supporting a Ban New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling, Seismic Oil and Gas Exploration, Fracking, and other Well Stimulation in Federal and State Waters off the Pacific Coast and No New Federal Oil and Gas Leasing in all U.S. Waters

This item was surprisingly contentious, though it was handily adopted on a 4:1 vote, with Councilmember Göran Eriksson abstaining on the grounds that this was not a “local issue.”

There were 11 speakers during the public comment period; Culver City locals Aura Walker and Khin Khin Gyi spoke in favor of the ban, and then nine members of CREED LA spoke against the resolution, citing the value of “safe drilling” because of job and economic benefits. Almost all of these speakers talked about wanting to live the “American Dream.” CREED LA represents itself as an organization advocating for workers and working families and their website says their support comes from a number of trade unions. They also claim to be committed to environmentalism, green buildings, and preventing ocean pollution, which doesn’t square with the statements of their members at this meeting in favor of new oil drilling.

Councilmember Alex Fisch pointed out that the resolution calls for a ban on new drilling only and doesn’t threaten the jobs of any workers today. He also said the reason for this ban is that we don’t have decades to protect ourselves from climate change and that the dangers posed by rising waters are already causing harm. “We are facing an existential threat.”

Councilmember Daniel Lee said he is ally of labor, and the solution is not to expand oil drilling but to invest in green jobs. He noted that China has been moving assertively to adopt solar energy for ten years. “True justice [for workers] is transitioning from our present dependence on fossil fuels to a path that prevents us from destruction.” Daniel Lee called for us to work with the labor community to push the green economy forward.

Councilmember Göran Eriksson said he may “personally agree” on this matter, but he does not see this as our primary responsibility. He found it “inappropriate” for our City Council to spend time on this resolution and said he would abstain because it is not a “Culver City-centric” issue.

Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells said that several cities around us have weighed in on this resolution. She explained that because our town is near the coast, and because of the vital nature of California’s coastal identity, we have a responsibility to support the ban. Vice Mayor Sahli-Wells talked about the outstanding opportunities we have to act in the interest of working families. She noted that Culver City voted to use 100% renewable energy by joining the Clean Power Alliance and said we’ve been talking with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). “We are committed today to the healthy jobs of the future. These are jobs that aren’t going to other countries.” Vice Mayor Sahli-Wells urged CREED LA to look into being a part of the new, green economy. “It’s not a zero-sum game; it’s not either/or. We can create new opportunities for your families and ours.”

Culver City gives Birds a Chance!

My Post (25)

Culver City Begins Six-Month Scooter Trial

Culver City Evaluating Innovative Last-Mile Transportation Solutions 

Bird, the first company to participate in the City of Culver City’s six-month trial period for electric scooter sharing, implemented a soft launch today in Culver City.

To encourage residents to ride safely, a community safety event will be held on Monday, July 30 at 12:00 p.m., allowing the public to test the scooters, learn the rules of scooter usage, and hear more about the City’s transportation goals. During the event, Culver City Mayor Thomas Small and Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells will be present to talk to press about the city’s transportation goals and encourage citizens to ride responsibly. Bird representatives will also be present to provide free helmets to the first 100 people and demonstrate how to ride and park a scooter.

  • WHAT: Community safety event celebrating electric scooter soft launch in Culver City
  • WHEN: Monday, July 30 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: City of Culver City Transportation Facility – 4343 Duquesne Avenue (at Jefferson Boulevard), Culver City, CA, 90232
  • WHO: Thomas Small, Mayor, City of Culver City; Meghan Sahli-Wells, Vice Mayor, City of Culver City; Bird, Inc. Representatives; and Members of the Public

Electric scooter share has recently appeared in cities around the world. Like many cities, Culver City is now studying the best way to address this new transportation model. In an effort to improve mobility and decrease carbon emissions in Culver City, the City Council decided on July 9, 2018 to allow dockless electric stand-up scooters in the City via a six-month interim operating agreement. The city’s interim operating agreement regulating electric scooters reflects its broader mission to improve communities by getting people out of cars to reduce traffic and cut carbon emissions.

“We are committed to both innovation and equity in addressing the crisis of mobility in our city and our region and to provide the best, most reliable transportation options available to our community. These dynamic collaborations with innovative companies and new technologies will support and enhance our vital public transit system and help meet the transportation demands of our community,” said Culver City Mayor Thomas Small.

“Scooter share offers a convenient mobility option for the first and last mile connection with public transit.  With alternative transportation services such as transit and scooter share, we hope to better manage mobility and improve the quality of life for those who live, work, and visit Culver City.” said Art Ida, Transportation Director for the City of Culver City.

Scooter riders are required to wear a helmet, must be over the age of 18 with a valid drivers’ license, and riding on the sidewalk is prohibited. Find out more about scooters in Culver City, provide feedback, follow the issue and receive updates on the City’s website.  Through its agreement with the City, Bird is required to respond to questions and concerns from the public about their scooters, and to ensure that their scooters are not interfering with the safety and well-being of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other members of the public. Members of the public can contact bird by phone at 1-866-205-2442, via text message at (213) 344-0211 or by email.

What the Council said on 3/13 about the Fox Hills Plaza

Here’s a video of the last 5 minutes of the meeting of 3/13.  The last few minutes are missing, but they are telling, see the transcript below for that last part.

 

Jim Clarke: This is a statement that I discussed earlier tonight with the Community Development Director and the City Attorney.  Currently we’re scheduled to consider a community benefits proposal from the developer of the Fox Hills Plaza at our March 26th Council meeting.  This is consistent with our policy in which the developer holds a community meeting and develops a Community Benefits Proposal which are presented to the council prior to the project being presented to the Planning Commission which is scheduled for April 12th. I have no way of knowing what the developer plans to present or how the Council react but should the process move forward on March 26th, I will ask for 3 nodding heads to agendize the special Council meeting on either April 17 or 18th to consider the Fox Hills Plaza Project.  I want to give you a heads up about this possible placeholder.  This project has been very contentious for a long time and I think we owe it to our residents to resolve this project one way or another rather than dragging it out farther.  So it is my intention that depending on what we do on March 26 to possible ask us to agendize a special meeting on April 17th or 18th.

Meghan Sahli-Wells: I’m sorry this. We’re scheduled.. I just have a clarifying question. So we’re already scheduled to vote on this on April 12th on the Fox Hills…

Jim Clarke/Meghan Sahli-Wells: that’s the Planning Commission, ok..

Jim Clarke: The process that we .. our policy is that the Community Benefits Package comes to us for Council first before it goes to the Planning Commission for the entitlement hearing.  We can decide if we are favorably disposed and we want to move the process forward then I’m suggesting that we go ahead and schedule our hearing on this project within the period of time after the Planning Commission.

Meghan Sahli-Wells: OK, so

Jim Clarke: If we decide not to adopt the Community Benefits Proposal then it’s moot and I wouldn’t bring it forward.

Jeff Cooper: Dependent on it going to the Planning Commission.

Jim Clarke: It’s still scheduled to go to the Planning Commission on the 12th but if the Community Benefits Package that is presented to us on the 26th, gets to a point where it really doesn’t seem to work there might be a re-scheduling of the whole Planning Commission hearing of which case then I would not make the motion to ask for..

Meghan Sahli-Wells: But what would be the discussion  on for April 17th?

Jim Clarke: Would be the actual approval, it would have gone to the Planning Commission

Meghan Sahli-Wells: I understand.

Jim Clarke: we would actually be voting on the project.

Meghan Sahli-Wells: Ok so this happened with Entrada that in a lame duck Council there was the very controversial Entrada was voted on and so I think that it would be a travesty to do such a thing. A travesty.

Jim Clarke: Understand but I also think too on the other hand everything else on a new council is going to be involved. I mean, we’ve been with this project…

Meghans Sahli-Wells: No.

Jim Clarke: for the whole time.

Meghan Sahli-Wells: It will be a travesty.

Jim Clarke: It should be on us.  Ok, we’ll see what we do on the 26th.

Jeff Cooper: I cannot support it

Culver City Kids Forum – questions and answers

Here is the link to the video – if you prefer to see the answers there, just look for the comment from Claudia Vizcarra which has all the questions and timestamps.

Opening: 52:08 Michelle Mayans Fernandez opens the events, 58:48 Sydney Kamlager-Dove, President of the Board of Trustees of the  Los Angeles Community College District, 1:01:58 State Senator Holly J. Mitchell, 1:06:20 U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 12.22.37 PM
California State Senator Holly Mitchell

1:08:28 Candidate Opening Statements:  Alex Fisch for Culver City Council: 1:08:28,  Daniel Lee for Culver City Council, 1:10:03,  1:12:14 Candidate Marcus Tiggs for Culver City Council 1:12:14,  1:14:19 Candidate Albert Vera for Culver City Council 1:14:19

Question 1: Who did you vote for in the last presidential election? Answers start at: 1:16:29 

Question 2: Do you own a gun or have you ever owned a gun? Are you a member of the NRA? Answers start at: 1:18:06

Question 3: With regards to the NRA booth at Fiesta La Ballona, in what do you place more value? Upholding the first amendment right to free speech or the majority of voices in your community who prefer that the NRA not be there? Answers start at: 1:19:50

Question 4: Marijuana is legal in California and so is buying a gun. Which should be easier to purchase in Culver City? Answers start at: 1:22:57 

Question 5:  Do you think the city should still issue concealed weapons permits? Answers start at: 1:24:36

Question 6: Do you support the national walkout day and, if so, will you walk with us the students on March 14? Answers start at: 1:26:50

Question 7: Do you think CCPD should train our teachers to be armed in classrooms or is that a really bad idea? Answers starts at: 1:29:16

Question 8: Students are being killed in classrooms across the country because of gun violence. What will you do to protect the citizens and families from a shooting occurring at a Culver City School so no one has to live in fear of not returning home. Answers start at: 1:32:40

Question 9: So far we have three shops in Culver City that sell guns, all of which are near schools. Would you allow other shops to sell guns if they wanted to? Answers start at: 1:35:50

Question 10: If you had to be on a desert island with one of your fellow candidates, who would you want it to be and why? Answers start at: 1:18:06

Question 11: What thing do you admire most in each other? Answers start at: 1:40:53

Question 12: If you could have any famous band play at your city council inauguration ball who would that be? Answers start at: 1:43:24 

Question 13:  Elliot: Do you think Americans should learn more than one language?” Answers start at: 1:44:52

Question 14: 1:46:58 “Where do you get your news?” Answers start at: 1:46:58

Question 15:  Isreal, “If you were elected to the council, what would you want the city to remember you for?” Answers start at: 1:49:14

Question 16: 1:52:01 Miley, “Do you support the great wall that President Trump wants to build between the US and Mexico?” Answers start at: 1:52:01

Question 17: With the advent of automation here in Culver City, people in the parking structures at Trader Joe’s have been replaced. How would Culver City cope with this change and what would you do to protect jobs in Culver City?” “specifically low wage jobs.” Answers start at: 1:55:15 

Question 18: Bella asks, How can you make facilities more accessible to the disabled in Culver City community? Answers start at: 1:58:14 

Question 19: Zachary, Do you think fracking is worth the harm it may be causing? Why or why not? Answers start at: 2:01:31

Question 20: If oil companies approach you to invest money in the city, do you think CCUSD or CCEF should take the oil money if it benefits the students? Why or why not?”  Answers start at: 2:04:41 

Question 21: If you win, will you be a tweeting city council member?” Answers start at: 2:07:30

Question 22: Your favorite city in the world other than Culver City 2:08:19  Answers start at:  2:08:19

Question 23: Do you have a favorite current world leader? Answers start at: 2:11:48

Question 24: Cities including Boston, San Francisco and D.C. have all pledged to cut their green house gasses by 80% by the year 2050. How are you going to lower Culver City’s carbon footprint?” Answers start at: 2:13:32

Question 25: Are you OK with doing this for free?”Answers start at: 2:16:18

Answers start at: The proposal to build 32 new fracking wells in the Inglewood Oil Field is deeply concerning to me and many students and citizens due to its posed environmental impacts and health impacts such as exposing our citizens to an increased risk of carcinogens found in the environment, seismic activity, and anthropologic climate change…If you are in opposition, what regulations would you support? Answers start at: 2:19:15 

Question 27: What is your position in regards to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United Versus FEC decision and do you think it was justified. Do you agree with the role that this decision has given to money in politics? Answers start at: 2:23:01 

Question 28:  How did arts education shape you? (15 seconds or less). Answers start at2:25:46

Question 29: What book are you currently reading? Answers start at: 2:28:14

Question 30:  What’s your favorite film shot in Culver City? Answers start at: 2:29:46 

Question 31: When you see a homeless person, do you give them food? money? or neither? Answers start at: 2:30:43

 

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Culver City Democratic Club Candidate Forum – questions and answers

Link to the video

Introductory Statement: Daniel Lee: 26:43, Alex Fisch: 33:43, Albert Vera: 30:26

Question 1: What would you to provide affordable housing in Culver City? Answers start at 32:04

Question 2: Given the horrific school shooting today in Florida what is your position on gun control? Would you be willing to pass a resolution condemning gun violence and supporting common sense gun laws? Answers start at 36:20

Question 3: Will you act to protect Culver City from oil drilling and fracking by voting to require a .5 to 1 mile setback, a $2.5 billion disaster bond and a baseline survey of the health risks and property damage? Answers start at: 40:05

Question 4:  What plans have you for relieving traffic congestion, particularly in light of the three new venues that will open soon? Answers start at: 43:40

Question 5: How many times have you voted in a Culver City election since you moved to Culver City?  Answers start at: 47:30

Question 6:  Do you have a plan to fight airplane noise?  Answers start at: 50:00

Question 7:  Will you accept campaign contributions from large corporations such as developers, oil companies, etc. Answers start at: 53:07

Question 8: What specifically will you propose to mitigate traffic congestion in Culver City now that so much new development has been approved and do you support the building height limit? Answers start at: 55:44

Question 9:  How can Culver City be more LGBTQ friendly? Answers start at: 1:00:17

Question 10:  Who are your main endorsers?   Answers start at: 1:02:44

Question 11: Given that these are non-partisan elections, how you present citizens that do not agree with you on issues, before you take a representative position as a citizen and what ought to be best for the whole Culver City community? Answers start at 1:07:28

Question 12: About banning AirBnB (question inaudible). Answers start at: 1:11:40

Closing Statements: Albert Vera: 1:15:10, Alex Fisch: 1:15:56, Daniel Lee: 1:17:10

Member Discussion: 1:20:05

Announcement of Voting Results: 1:59:35

 

 

 

Fox Hills Culver City Candidate Forum – the questions and the answers

Link to the video

Introductions:  Marcus Tiggs – 8:49, Alex Fisch 10:22, Albert Vera 12:03, Daniel Lee 13:24

Question 1: Residents of Fox Hills are concerned about parking and traffic related safety issues such as speeding.  What solutions do you propose to address these issues in CC especially when the City is trying to increase housing?  Answers start at 15:33

Question 2: What are your views regarding the upcoming implementation of Proposition 64  – that’s the marijuana legalization initiative in Culver City? Please specify any challenges or benefits you foresee when implemented and do you support Proposition A? Answers start at 23:57

Question 3: HSH management Proposal for the Fox Hills Plaza is to change the zoning from commercial to planned development for mixed use project with 762 residential units as well as retail space.  The plan is for 960 parking spaces for all uses, employees, residents, shoppers and guests.  The proposed density is double the requirement for units for mixed use which is 50 units per acre.  If you were on the City Council right now and this plan was presented to you, how would you vote and what, if anything, would you like to see changed? Answers start at 32:26

Question 4: What proposals would you make or support so that present renters in Culver City will not be pushed out due to excessive rent increases? Answers start at 40:12

Question 5: What do you see as Culver City’s single most important issue today, challenge facing Culver City and what would you see as a possible solution? Answers start at 48:02

Question 6: Have you received any campaign contributions from developers? If so, which developers and if not, will you accept developer contributions to your campaign? Answers start at : 56:09

Question 7: With the record number of homeless in Los Angeles what strategies would you propose to address this issue in Culver City? Answers start at: 1:00:36

Question 8: City Council passed a smoking ban on all complexes without any enforcement mechanism. What will you do to give this ordinance more teeth? Answers start at: 1:09:10

Closing Statements:  Marcus Tiggs: 1:15:45, Alex Fisch: 1:11:25, Albert Vera: 1:19:15, Daniel Lee: 1:20:31

CCCC – Helping voters make an informed choice

Even though we went through an endorsement process, we want to support all voters in making an informed choice.  We are very pleased to see Culver City Live recording all the candidate forums.  We are taking the time to help you navigate through the videos through the group of blogs.

Here the links to each of the videos and the post where we share the questions and the point in the video where the answers start.

Sunkist Park

Kids Forum  – questions and answers

Culver City Action Network

Fox Hills video –  questions and answers

Senior Center  – Part 1 

Senior Center – Part 2

Chamber of Commerce

Culver Crest

Downtown Business Association

Heart of LA Dem Club

Culver City Democratic Club video – questions and answers

Tellefson Park Part 1