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LATC Round Three

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, May 04, 2005, at 10:49AM

The issue of the Los Angeles Theatre Center is back in front of City Council today, after having been continued three weeks ago. Once again I'm up on the bluetooth/EDGE connection, but that drains the cell battery fairly quickly, so I'll be trying to conserve and last the meeting. I'll post some notes here, and then look to sum things up in a follow-up post once I get back home.

1:50 -- I'm back at home now, so here's a quick recap of what went on today. Public comment was set at twenty minutes, and was largely Will & Company supporters. After public comment the Council talked to the City Attorney's Office representative and had him say that receiving and filing (and not acting on) the RFP would be legal. Several members of the Council stressed the need to act in the city's best interest, and to start over with a new open discussion. The Council then voted unanimously to receive and file. My notes are after the jump, and I'll try to write up a more thorough recap later on.

10:44 -- The meeting's just getting started. There was an event on South Lawn, and I think that ran over and kept the councilmembers late. The LATC is item 27, so it might be a bit.

11:35 -- The first part of the Council meeting was a recognition of John Mack, from the Urban League of Los Angeles. That just finished, and now we get to start up the rest of the meeting.

11:42 -- It's amazing how the room cleared out after the John Mack ceremonies were over. The ceremony was very well attended, and the bit here concluded two other events that occured this morning. This had also been made John Mack day in the City of Los Angeles. We're on item 26, now, so the LATC is up next.

11:45 -- Public comment is set up to be five members for each side, which means they're just running a ten minute clock. There were a heck of a lot of people that turned in speaker cards, so this is going to be interesting. Jason Waters of AACE is up first. That's good work. There are probably twenty-five people in line. I turned in a speaker card, but I'm not going to even get up. I estimate six speakers in the limited time.

11:49 -- Will & Co is touting their history in running theatres, and asking that the RFP process be upheld. They run theatres in multiple council districts.

11:52 -- Aside from Jason, who just asked questions, the next four speakers have been from Will & Co. There's three minutes left, so I think we're going to see more comment time for the other side.

11:56 -- Councilman Labonge (I think?) just asked that comment be given ten more minutes. The council didn't object. There are now 18 people in line to speak, and nine minutes left. We still haven't had a Latino Theatre Company speaker. I guess the lesson here is to sit up front and jump when the opportunity comes.

12:02 -- Brady somehow just worked his way up to (almost) the front. He says he has a bombshell. I think he should make it as last speaker in this ten minutes. The Council has given us more theatre than anyone at LATC lately.

12:03 -- We have a speaker who just raised the reverse racism and bid enhancement question. She's a yeller.

12:04 -- Two minutes. Brady's up next. Still just Will & Co people.

12:06 -- Brady's up. He's accusing LTC of lying to Budget & Finance committee. He claims to have documentation to refuse the things they told the committee about their financial ability to run the theatre. Now public comment is over. The yeller is still at it. She may just get removed. The policeman on duty is eying her.

12:08 -- Jan Perry is speaking. She says the RFP no longer meets the city's needs, but that the Council is committed to keeping the center open to all theatre companies. And the yeller got removed.

12:11 -- Councilwoman Perry is now asking questions to a rep from the city attorney's office. I get the feeling that she knows what his answers are going to be, and just wants the members of the public to hear his answers.

12:13 -- Closing comments from Perry reject the idea that race is part of this. If the city has a way to improve its financial position in regards to the operation, it needs to act on it. Asks for recieve and file.

12:16 -- One more ejection for public yelling. Janice Hahn is up. The city only got back from the RFP what it asked for. Why did it take two years to figure out that this wasn't a good RFP? Calls for another RFP to be issued. "Only way I can swallow this receive and file."

12:18 -- Miscikowski is up. Perhaps we hadn't asked the right questions in the RFP. If we awarded this RFP, we would hear back in the next year or two that there are problems with the building. Concurs with Hahn on new RFP. Will not be pressured by an artificial deadline. Negotiation takes time. A May 17 deadline is far too fast. Doing one thing today doesn't mean that we're doing a certain thing else. Separate the parts, look for the best interest of the city.

12:20 -- Cardenas: receive and file flawed process. Start over from there.

12:22 -- Parks: There are issues with the financials of all theatres in the city. There isn't much money in the next budget. Need to put this chapter aside. Need clearly open process.

12:23 -- 14-0 to receive and file.

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