From the Publisher Clif Smith
When the Beverly Hills City Council rejected the applications of the Metropolitan Transit Authority for permits to dig up Beverly Hills and block Wilshire Boulevard, the council–led by Vice Mayor Lili Bosse with strong questioning by Mayor John Mirisch and Councilmember Nancy Krasne–asked some pretty straight-forward questions. All the questions can be summarized as “What’s going to happen to our people, their homes, their businesses and our streets?”
Neither Metro’s representatives nor the City staff could or did answer any of them. In the face of no answers, the council properly rejected the permits.
To keep matters moving, the council asked Metro and the City staff to hold public sessions for residents and affected businesses to learn their concerns and give answers. Some of the specific questions asked by the council, and which Metro and City staff were supposed to answer, are set forth below. Also below are the “answers” Metro and City staff gave at the public sessions last week.
Metro and the City staff held the meetings. The people came and asked. These are the “answers” they heard:
•Electricity: If you lose electricity, call Southern California Edison. This is not our problem.
•Natural Gas: If you lose your natural gas, call the Gas Company. This is not our problem.
•Telephone and Internet: If you lose your telephone and Internet, call the phone company. This is not our problem.
•Water: If you lose your water, call the water department. This is not our problem.
•Parking: Not our problem. You’re on your own.
•Who Will Do This Work: We don’t know; hasn’t been decided yet.
•What Happens if the Contractors Mess Up: Don’t call us, call them. Won’t be our fault – it will be their fault if there is a fault.
•Whom Do We Call: Don’t know.
•Traffic Disruption and Congestion: It will happen. Tough.
•Police, Fire, Paramedic Access: No answer.
•How Long Will This Last: Up to eight years or more.
•How Do We Know What Will Happen: Read your notices from Metro. You’ll get them 3 days ahead of time (maybe).
When the City staff was asked about these non-answers, our vaunted City of Beverly Hills staff simply responded, “You’ll be better off with the subway.”
So, what answers will the council have when the Metro permits come before them again?
Same as they had before – none.
The notion that Beverly Hills would allow anyone to tear up our streets, cut off utilities, block traffic and obstruct access for police, fire and paramedics is ludicrous, not to mention dangerous. The fact that Metro proposes to do all of this with no answers or plans for our people is unreasonable. So far, there is no reason for our council to grant Metro any permits, even if our City staff wants to roll over. We hope the council continues to demand real answers before granting any permits.