A Little Drama at the Oversight Meeting. Very Little.By Ari L. Noonan @ 11:00 AM May 04, 2012
If it had not been for former City Councilman Gary Silbiger’s sally to the podium at the outset of yesterday afternoon’s inaugural Oversight Board meeting, the sparse audience would have begun snoring three minutes earlier.
With nearby lips moving in harmony during his oldies-but-goodies revival, the stolid Mr. Silbiger resurrected a half-dozen of his most familiar longstanding grievances against humans and against City Hall and its perceived legal violations.
Among the bromides:
• He complained of insufficient notice.
• He complained about the 2 o’clock start time that deprived “working people and students” of being present for the 105-minute tribute to arcanity.
• Since an anticipated seventh member has not yet been appointed to the Oversight Board, members presumably should have ignored state-mandated financial deadlines and not met until there was a full Board.
• He complained about the selection of Mayor Andy Weissman, an old rival, to the Board.
• He complained about the selection of Chamber of Commerce President Steve Rose, a former adversary in Council days, to the Board.
To be certain his anger was officially and unmistakably noted, Mr. Silbiger had prepared copies of his remarks distributed to board members.
For the record, Mr. Silbiger did not have comment moments later when Mr. Weissman was selected to chair the slightly mystifying Oversight Board.
Shortly afterward, he departed Council Chambers.
He left behind an agog gathering trying to interpret Opening Day for the Oversight Board. Ostensibly, the board is assigned to clean up the partially completed spending and building assignments remaining after Sacramento dissolved the state’s 400 Redevelopment Agencies last winter.
What transpired could most succinctly be paralleled to a Broadway play that closed down midway through the first act. If it had been more interesting, it could have risen to the level of dullness.
This was a meeting that would not have appealed to public consumption, whether they had met at 12 noon or midnight – better the latter.
“Can you imagine this being repeated 400 times around the state?” a City Hall type asked afterward as he was tempted to roam through Chambers and awaken slumbering audience members. For a taste, here was the opening business item:
“Adoption of a resolution approving the Successor Agency’s administrative budgets and approving a cooperative agreement for advance and reimbursement of administrative, overhead and other expenses by and between the Successor Agency and taking certain other actions.”
The wisdom in the selection of certain Board members may have shown through when the two non-Culver City board members, especially, pressed repeatedly for specificity in agreements.
Not only did Richard Bruckner, County Regional Planning Director, and Cindy Starrett, land use attorney, aggressively pursued relatively remote but crucial details, but so did another newcomer, Sean Kearney, Director of Fiscal Services for the School District.
Arcanity aside, “how this ultimately ends has huge significance to the community,” Mr. Weissman said later.
“The things we talked about at the meeting were more routine, less controversial items. Then there are projects that have yet to be ruled on, such as Parcel B and the Transit Oriented District site.
“The ultimate outcome will have a huge effect on the city,” Mr. Weissman said. “We either will be able to control the nature of development or we will become a sales agent for the state where we wind up selling off property without any real control over what gets built except for what we can do about zoning.”
The Oversight Board next meets on Thursday, June 14, at 2.