Letter-writer Steve Schlein recently complained (Times, Sept. 2) about the city of Los Angeles' bungled handling of permit applications for a project in his (and my) Venice beachfront neighborhood.
For the most part, he was right in his criticism of the way the city Planning Department and Department of Transportation processed the application too slowly, leading to the unconditional approval of a controversial proposal. But he reveals his true motive for writing with his parting shot at Councilwoman Ruth Galanter ("(She) has not shown any interest in finding out exactly why this happened"). This is a flat-out dishonest remark, particularly when considered in the context of your previous coverage of the story, which notes her concern with the situation.
I also know he's wrong because I'm her staff person assigned to work on the case in question.
Councilwoman Galanter has been very active in trying to get to the bottom of this annoying and perplexing case. At her direction, I've been exploring why and how it happened, how it can be prevented in the future, and how best to handle this case as it goes on.
Representatives of our office have spoken with the city attorney, several top executives in the Planning Department, no less than four zoning administrators and several other Planning Department staffers, a lawyer from the state attorney general's office, Coastal Commission staff members, numerous community residents, and the developer's attorney, who precipitated the crisis by invoking the state law in the first place.