Once again I am delighted to have a forum where both sides of community issues can be discussed. I am also more than happy to answer questions to the best of my ability in order to further clarity and discussion.
First of all I would like to thank Bella for correcting my spelling. Always open to correction. Now on to the other questions...
"Did you have a financial relationship with Save Our Future/Youthbuild, in which you accepted money in exchange for advertising?"
Yes. They took out an ad between Aug 2009 and Aug 2010
"If you had a financial relationship with Save Our Future, did you disclose this as a possible conflict of interest when writing about your consistently positive articles about them,"
Please publish the dates and locations of these “consistently positive articles”. The only time I have written anything, is in this current issue. I did not write any articles about them positive or negative during or after their advertising period other than this issue. So it would be helpful to know which articles you are referring to. Please answer.
"or at any point when you were criticizing the actions of CD 10 officials? "
I have been shining a light on Councilman Wesson’s activities for 2 ½ years. It is not a pleasant job but somebody has to do it and I'm the only publication willing to do so and you may be surprised to know the amount of community support I get for doing so. Once again, I have only written this one article about the school and they have not had an ad with me since last Aug.
"Were you personally given information and supporting documents, over a year ago, to show that Save Our Future had previously operated a school in Council District 9 on un-permitted premises, and had been issued an order to comply at this school address in CD 9 by the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety? "
I was given some documents awhile back but honestly can’t remember the contents. I do remember wondering what relevance they had to the current issues. I’m curious….You don’t say if your research showed whether or not they complied in CD9. Do you know?
"If you got this information, did you ever mention it in any of your writings about Save Our Future?"
"Did you speak to anybody in any organization in West Adams, such as the West Adams Avenues Association, so that your writings might reflect more than one point of view? "
I spoke to two people familiar with the concerns of the community but as you will notice, this article was not an investigation into this issue, it was meant to shine a light on Councilman Wesson and his office CD10. They not only did not take a leadership position and work with both groups in the community to come to clarity (and I disagree that it is not their job to do this) but they interfered (once again) with city agencies. Two people, Staci Edwards, Chair of the Church Board of Trustees and Charlotte Jordan were told by a Building and Safety employee that CD10 had contacted him and told him to stop assisting the Church in their effort to get the variances and permits CD10 had insisted the Permit office ask for and which the church was willing to get. Because two people witnessed this I felt very comfortable including this info in the article. This kind of interference on the part of CD10 is not untypical.
"Did you familiarize yourself with any of the code regulations or zoning regulations before making allegations that city officials had behaved improperly?"
No. Did you ever get together with the church to familiarize yourself with the documentation and information they had that allowed them to move forward? Never mind…you will be given the information shortly.
"When you said that CD 10 officials had never made any attempt to resolve the issues with the parties involved, did you make even one phone call to or ask one question of anyone at CD 10 to find out whether your assertion was correct? (It was not, incidentally). "
No. Unfortunately, as many of the current candidates mentioned at our Forum and as many people in the community will tell you, CD10 is not the most accessible council office. Especially if it has to do with an issue they’d rather not discuss. They will either ignore or redirect or misinform. This has been documented. Frankly because of several past experiences where they gave out misinformation, I don’t trust information that comes from that office. Sad to say but I’m not the only one in this community with this experience. There are some very nice people in that office and then again…..
Information will be coming your way that will clarify your concerns about what is goin on. Hope this has been helpful.