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Settling Differences Over Hollywood

February 04, 1990

Regarding an article on the Project Area Committee in Hollywood (Times, Jan. 18):

Councilman (Michael) Woo's declaration that his "community representatives" are there to "serve at his discretion" and "whose views" on redevelopment "are compatible with my (Woo's) own," is the problem in a nutshell. They are Woo's representatives, not the community's, as the elected PAC has stated all along. Recent events in Eastern Europe have shown the fallacy of such claims that appointed community representation is better than elected representation. Unless, of course, you have something to hide.

The PAC took on immediate issues of concern, challenging projects presented by large campaign contributors because of their impact on the community. We didn't, and still don't, bury our heads in the sand dreaming about "plans" for 10 to 20 years from now when the real issues in Hollywood are being decided now. Long-term goals and plans are needed, but rarely followed. Hollywood has been studied to death, while implementation and action has either been with smoke and mirrors, or a sledgehammer.

The PAC made over 130 specific recommendations for the plan, but discussion and implementation has been stifled by the Community Redevelopment Agency, which prefers to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil of redevelopment. I've attended over 250 public meetings in the past four years regarding "cleaning up Hollywood," listening to the same problems and the same officials pointing fingers.

What is Councilman Woo's "vision" for Hollywood? More studies that are almost two years late and hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget?

I am encouraged by Woo's comments to The Times that he would like the two advisory groups to "make amends somehow." Our conflict is not between the two groups, but in his attempts to silence elected community representatives when they oppose him. For the record, we have always been open to "make amends" if the councilman is willing to talk to us about it (as I have told him).

Let's quit the petty politics in Hollywood and get on with restoring the world's most famous community in a fair and open manner benefiting everyone.


chairman, Project Area Committee

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