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121 - 02-04-2012, 11:44
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Westwood merchants and property owners are upset at Councilman Jack Weiss’ possible preparation of another Business Improvement District, less than four months after the Village’s original BID was ended amid controversy.
The agenda for Friday’s L.A. City Council meeting includes an item proposed by Weiss that would allocate $25,000 in city money to the BID consulting services of Keyser Marston Associates to help develop plans for a new BID.
Weiss, whose fifth district includes Westwood, had a meeting with community members on Jan. 9 and failed to give any indication then of his plans to create a new BID.
The last BID was cited by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office for violating the Ralph M. Brown Act, a state law prohibiting secret legislation by public bodies. The perceived secrecy surrounding current plans, while in no way illegal, has many up in arms.
“I’m pretty positive that he knew about this motion long before our meeting,” said Philip Gabriel, owner of Scrubs Unlimited.
Weiss’ projection of a new BID will be a property-based organization, like the previous one – where property owners, not business managers or merchants wield decision-making power, even though merchants sometimes end up bearing the financial burden.
Weiss acknowledged the failure of the property-based BID during the last meeting, saying he wanted the next one to be merchant-based.
“This whole thing is underhanded and wrong,” said Jay Handal, president of the West L.A. Chamber of Commerce.
“It is a real lapse in credibility,” said Jeff Abell, owner of Sarah Leonard’s Fine Jewelers.
Though Weiss hasn’t officially appointed anyone to run the new BID, Doug Brown has been one of the prime movers behind the new BID, according to Handal and others. Brown was the treasurer of the old BID for two years, during which $750,000 of its capital improvement fund went unaccounted for.
As treasurer, Brown had the fiduciary duty to ensure the BID was being audited annually, but the BID was never audited during his time.
There are currently two separate auditors trying to account for the large sum of missing money. A meeting has been set for Jan. 30 for a resolution to this matter.
Several phone calls to Weiss went unanswered. According to his press aide Lisa Hansen, Friday’s agenda item is “the first step in a lengthy process in assisting the Westwood businesses to create their own BID.”

The Daily Bruin :: Weiss to propose new Village BID
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122 - 02-04-2012, 11:55
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ahh very interesting scumbruin

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123 - 02-11-2012, 14:43
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And if a buck or two from it goes to the site's upkeep then I'm more than happy to share that possibility around.
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124 - 03-04-2012, 10:31
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you need some kindle formats
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