A group of Hollywood residents who contend that a recent advisory-group election on Hollywood redevelopment was improperly run will attempt Monday to have the results invalidated and a new election held.
They will make their case at a meeting of the Hollywood Project Area Committee, a 25-member group that advises the Community Redevelopment Agency on the $922-million redevelopment program. The meeting will convene at 6 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, 1760 Gower St.
Doreet Rotman, a member of the committee, said she and others are contesting the June 23 election that was held to fill 12 seats on the committee.
"We believe there are enough questions about the way the election was held and the eligibility of candidates to justify holding another election," Rotman said.
Her group's main complaint, Rotman said, is that voters were not informed before the election that runoffs might be necessary, which meant voters had to wait until the ballots were tabulated before they could vote in the runoffs. Three runoff elections were required, but many in her group had already left the hall, Rotman said.
"The result was that many people who were unfamiliar with voting procedures because they are relatively new arrivals in the United States were disenfranchised," Rotman said.
Rotman tried the night of the election to delay voting on the runoffs, but failed to get anyone on the committee to support her request. She said Wednesday that some members of the committee have informed her that they now support her call for a new election on the three disputed seats.
"I doubt that we have a majority who share my views, but we will find out Monday," Rotman said.
Marshall Caskey, chairman of the Project Area Committee, said that opponents of the election procedures have a technical point. "Certainly, there should have been an announcement of the possibility of runoffs before the elections," he said.
But although he said that the committee would discuss complaints about election procedures, Caskey doubted that a majority of the committee would support a new vote. He added that he was not certain that the committee could force a new election, which was conducted by the Community Redevelopment Agency.
"After all," Caskey said, "people were elected in what everyone agrees was not a fraudulent election. There was a procedural mistake, but I doubt that it was crucial. You have to understand that some people, including Doreet, oppose redevelopment and would be unhappy with anything short of scrapping redevelopment altogether."
But Rotman said she does support redevelopment of Hollywood, although she objects to what she said were high-handed methods to implement it.
Caskey said--and Rotman agreed--that the only way to hold a new election would be for City Councilman Michael Woo to support it.
Shortly after the election, Woo said that he would consider doing so if the facts indicated a valid objection to elections procedures.
Since then, however, Woo has been fighting a proposed councilmanic redistricting plan that would take Hollywood out of his council district. Woo aide Rebecca Love said that the councilman has not had time to take a position on the election dispute.
"A lot of issues are not being addressed because he is devoting full time to the redistricting plan," Love said. "He may have some time to consider the matter later this week."
Rotman said she hopes Woo will find time to help those upset with the recent election.
"I sympathize with him," she said. "But redevelopment is the most important issue in the Hollywood community. Without his help, there is not much we can do."