Thursday, February 20, 2014

Final Tally: How Did the VNC Boad Members Vote On The Abbot Kinney Hotel Complex?

Meet the 9 VNC Board members who voted for "Entrepreneur"Dan Abrams™Hotel megaplex

Since no formal roll-call vote was taken on Tuesday night, it's taken a bit of detective work to find out which board members voted for and against "Entrepreneur"Dan Abrams™Hotel megaplex, but after a bit of crowd-sourcing elbow grease, we have the results.

Jake Kaufman (LUPC Chair)
Matt Kline (Outreach)
Tom Elliott
Marisa Solomon
Sevan Gerard
Scot Kramarich
Erin Sullivan-Ward
Max Sloan
Cynthia Rogers

 Ira Koslow
Helen Stotler (Communication)
Eduardo Manilla
Hugh Harrison (Treasurer)
Tommy Walker
Bud Jacobs
Abigail Myers

 Marc Saltzberg (Vice-President)
Linda Lucks (President)
Sylvia Aroth

Interesting to note that all three members who abstained from voting would have voted against  "Entrepreneur"Dan Abrams™Hotel had they voted, but Lucks and Aroth recused themselves because Abrams had donated money to a non-profit they were associated with and Saltzberg would have only voted in the case of a tie.

Couple of other relevant side notes about the board members who voted in favor of the hotel:
  • Tom Elliot (he of "the days of parking your car in front of your home are over" fame) owns two restaurants in Venice and would certainly profit off of any uptick in the tourist business.
  • Marisa Solomon ("if you weren't informed about the hotel it's because you didn't want to be informed") is the wife of LUPC member John Reed, who wrote the faulty staff report on the hotel on which the Board based their vote.
  • Matt Kline was not legally entitled to vote since he was not current on ethics training. No, I'm not being snarky, this is a real thing. Neighborhood Council members are required to complete and be current on LA City-certified ethics training in order vote on anything. Kline's Ethics Training certification expired last November. Thomas Soong at DONE just got back to us about Kline's lapse in ethics training: "I just checked and Matt Kline did take the Ethics Training on February 10, 2014. We have not updated our website to reflect the new change. Thanks for your patience."
  •  Jake Kaufman (LUPC Chair) refused a FOIA request prior to the vote for emails between himself and "Entrepreneur"Dan Abrams™Hotel development team. At issue were allegations of improper and undisclosed communications between the two parties prior to the December LUPC hearing.
And so it goes.


  1. Your retraction (sort of) of your charges against Matt Kline (and your earlier need to retract your false information about investors in the project, which you did) all make me wonder about how many other conclusions you've jumped to, how much other information you've misinterpreted, in your dogged quest against this hotel. Causes can sometimes lead one down paths they might prefer not to have taken.

    1. Hi Corbin! BTW, really enjoyed the post-meeting email you sent out to your list yesterday. Impressive who's-who of real estate developers! I must say, you had quite a bone to pick against the Oakwood community, who collectively voiced their unhappiness at being shut out of public comment on the hotel.

      "A large and vocal number of those opposed often boo-ed and cheered and verbally challenged the procedures," you wrote. "At times, I wanted to ask the most (to me) offensive of them whether this is the way they're teaching their kids (or want teachers teaching their kids) to engage in public discourse. It seemed to me, at least, that there's little respect either for process, or the law."

      Careful there, Corbin, old boy. Your white privilege is showing.

    2. Wow, Marta. I stand by what I wrote. And my comments were about everyone who shouted and yelled and was otherwise disrespectful of the process. Interesting that you should think I was singling out the Oakwood community, whoever that is.

      I fail to grasp how an almost 18 month review process and a large number of open meetings and significant local press (of all sorts) coverage leads you and others to feel that someone's been shut out of the public comment. Was there enough time for everyone who wanted to speak on Tuesday? No. Was there a fair representation of pro and con comment allowed? Seems to me that there was, but that's probably just my old white boy showing through again.

      I'm curious to know how you came to have my email which you quote so accurately. I didn't think I sent it to you directly, but maybe I did. I'm also curious to know how you know who it went to (hardly a bunch of real-estate developers, but everything is in the eye of the beholder); the addresses were masked.

      In an earlier set of comments (which you've apparently removed), you justified your reporting on the motives for a couple of the pro votes by saying that it's totally fair to scrutinize the actions of publicly-elected persons. I'd agree with you. Why didn't you extend that scrutiny to the rest of the pro votes? And I have to say that your cheap shot at why Tom Elliot voted as he did hardly qualifies as scrutiny: it's your assumption, it's personal attack, and it's unfair. (And besides that, it's wrong on the evidence: another small number of hotel rooms in Venice is hardly likely to result in an uptick for local businesses in the face of some 16 million visitors a year who come anyway.)

      I'm no longer surprised that you take down blog comments that don't agree with you, so I won't expect this to stay up for long. As I've said before, it must be draining to have to be so aggressively defensive all the time.


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