Barriers

Editorial August 2009

by Dianne V. Lawrence

 

As many of you may be aware, the installation of Traffic Barriers in our community has caused a break within that community.

The installation of a full barrier next to our Fire Department preventing immediate emergency access to our neighborhood and others was a decision made by less than five people in the community and without the approval or knowledge of the larger community or the fire dept.

None of the legal requirements in the code used in a motion at City Hall to justify the installation, were followed and the community was unaware that the motion was being presented.

Our current Councilman Wesson continues to ignore the concerns of city agencies (in fact has instructed some of them to not talk to residents about the issue) and a petition of 94 signatures from the community to open up the barrier and allow unobstructed emergency access to their homes, has left him unmoved.

He has refused to address the issue of code violations despite efforts by the LAFD to have him readdress the issue or open up the barrier to allow them to get through.

He has refused to impose deadlines despite the fact that the permission for temporary barriers require renewals every 18 months. This has been ignored.

The community has been living with temporary barriers and without emergency access for 4 years and the people in charge of the project have been unable to move forward in a timely manner.

Councilman Wessons position? They have a motion. But the motion was, as Steven Colbert might say, “untruthy”. It implied compliance without complying. It appears as if Wesson’s position is…we can avoid legal requirements because we have a motion…which ignored legal requirements. Catch 22.

As annoying as this is, it brings up a larger and more important issue. No doubt Councilman Wesson is a busy man in our district…and despite the division it has created within our community, this is apparently a small blip on his screen.  He may have perfectly legal justifications for his actions but if he does, he isn’t sharing them with the community and the question is why not?

He won’t allow the barrier next to the LAFD  to become a partial barrier despite petitons from the neighborhoood, requests from LAFD and Fire Station 26 to reconsider the issue. Why not?

Phone calls or emails to Wesson’s office are then met with silence or his district director,  Sylvia Lacy’s persistent and dismissive response that  “Councilman Wesson has said all he is going to say about this issue.” Unfortunately it’s impossible to know what he has said..... he has refused to put his position or any answer to these concerns, in writing.   Why not?

 

(for an update refer to "Neighbor Reports" and "Letters)

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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