City Council Passes Ethics Reform Package…
When City Council Member David Ryu ran for office four years ago, it was on a platform largely dedicated to transparency in local government. Soon after taking office, he introduced two motions aimed at removing special interest money from local election campaigns. Those first montions did not come to fruition, but yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council passed a third ethics reform motion introduced by Ryu and five other Council Members this past January. In a statement released after yesterday’s unanimous vote, Ryu said:
“The motion approved today seeks to add certain developers to a list of restricted sources, barred from making campaign contributions or behested payments in City elections. This ban would extend from the date property owners and their principals file an application for any significant planning entitlement process with the Department of City Planning to 12 months following the final resolution of the application.”
The motion was passed along with an accompanying Ethics Commission Report and a set of Rules Committe Instructions, which, together, Ryu said “…would create one of the greatest reforms to campaign finance laws in the City’s history.”
“Today, we have achieved an incredible milestone in our City’s history,” said Ryu. ““Reform is here. It’s time to make clear to Los Angeles voters that their needs come first. It’s time to rebuild trust in City Hall.”
…and Delays Action on Tom Bergin’s HCM Application
Meanwhile, a bit more locally, the Historic Cultural Landmark application for Tom Bergin’s Bar and Restaurant, 840 S. Fairfax, was scheduled for a vote at the City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee on Tuesday, and the Miracle Mile Residential Association, co-author of the application for the building’s historic designation, rallied the troops and turned out approximately 50 people for the key vote (if the application is approved by PLUM, it will go to the full City Council for final approval).
At the begining of Tuesday’s meeting, however, a representative of the City Attorney’s office requested some extra time to study the matter, and the committee agreed to continue the item until next Tuesday, May 28.
After the meeting, MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon told the Buzz that the delay was a big surprise – to everyone present. “It was like a bomb had gone off [in the room],” Hixon said, describing the next few minutes as “chaos” as both supporters and opponents of the application absorbed the news. The confusion was heightened, Hixon said, by the fact that the application will expire if not acted on by the Council by June 5, and it wasn’t clear whether a PLUM vote next week could move it to a vote at the full City Council by that deadline.
Yesterday, however, Mark Pampanin, Communications Deputy for City Council Member David Ryu, who is on record supporting the Bergin’s nomination, told the Buzz that even with the one-week delay, the application will be dealt with before it expires. “We’re going to make sure that happens,” he said, either by making sure a final vote happens before June 5, or that an extension is granted.