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VALLEY FOCUS | North Hollywood

Community Panel Assails CRA Actions

July 03, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

Members of the North Hollywood Project Area Committee have sent a letter to the city attorney's office asking for help in dealing with "offensive and totally uncooperative" practices by officials at the area's Community Redevelopment Agency.

The complaints in the letter, sent to Deputy City Atty. Marcia Gonzalez Kimbro on June 30, stem from the cancellation of a June 23 joint meeting with the panel's arts, development and rehabilitation subcommittees.

Committee members claim the CRA office unilaterally canceled the meeting without consulting the members of the elected community committee.

Although committee officials did meet on the scheduled day, they did not have a chance to question CRA officials on agenda issues, chiefly the name of the developer who has proposed a 42-acre project in the commercial core of the redevelopment area.

"They are treating us like distant relatives and they don't have a right to cancel a meeting on us," said arts subcommittee Chairwoman Mildred Weller, who co-signed the letter with development subcommittee Chairman James Albright. "I think they are trying to avoid us on some of the things they were doing."

Officials at the CRA said there was no hidden agenda in canceling the meeting, saying there was simply no one at the agency available to go.

"Quite frankly, we didn't have any staff to cover the meeting because everybody was either out due to illness or vacation," said Walter Beaumont, assistant project manager for the CRA in North Hollywood. "It was clearly within their right to hold the meeting anyway. The funny thing is I never got a call that they were upset."

The committee's motive in sending the letter to the city attorney's office, Beaumont said, is simply "ax grinding and an attempt to embarrass the agency."

In the June 30 letter, Weller and Albright asked the deputy city attorney to help reschedule the meeting for next Tuesday or Thursday. Beaumont said either date would be acceptable.

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