by Scott Zwartz
Tuesday, April 25, 2016
with May 26, 2016 Addendum:
Maybe Ryu Merits Another Chance
David Ryu is the new Los Angeles City Councilmember for Council District #4. Starting July 1, 2015, Ryu replaced Councilmember Tom LaBonge who had been there since November 1, 2001. Football Tommy, as some called him, had one distinguishing feature — He LOVED Hollywood. (Oh, yeah, he also loved the camera.) The moniker Football Tommy refers to his high school days at Marshall High School and his general boosterism personality. While Tom loved Hollywood, not everyone loved Tom. They didn’t know how much they would miss him.
At the same time Tom took office in CD 4, the diminutive Eric Garcetti took office in Hollywood’s other Council District, CD #13. For some inexplicable reason, Tom LaBonge followed Garcetti’s lead. Whatever horrible nightmare project Garcetti wanted to cram into his council district #13, LaBonge agreed. Even after Garcetti had literally destroyed his own council district and had driven out so many people with his mixed-use construction mania that CD #13 no longer qualified as a council district, LaBonge let Garcetti dictate what LaBonge should think.
Not surprisingly when Football Tommy was termed out in 2015, CD #4 voters had no intention of reinstalling the old CD #4 regime by electing LaBonge’s Chief of Staff, Carolyn Ramsay. There was no doubt that her support for Garcetti’s developments in Hollywood’s CD #13 cost her the election and ushered in David Ryu, a neophyte to politics. He promised to take no developer money and to always consult with his constituents.
Ms. Ramsay’s fate was sealed when both Eric Garcetti and the LA Times endorsed her. The election battle in CD #4 was over one issue, the excessive development in CD #13.
Has Ryu Kept His Word?
David Ryu began his term by throwing CD #4 under the bus when he hired Sarah Dusseault, a Garcetti shill, as his Chief of Staff.
“Dusseault developed Mayor Garcetti’s campaign policy agenda for his 2013 mayoral race. Prior, Dusseault managed and guided the legislative agenda for then City Council President Garcetti from 2006-2012.” CD 4 webpage
People hoped it was not a bad omen, but it turned out to be the worst.
Ryu Votes The City Hall Agenda 99.9% of the Time
Like the other city councilmembers, Ryu does not represent his constituents when he is at city council. Each councilmember has only 14 constituents — the other councilmembers. They operate under a vote trading agreement where each councilmember will not vote “No” on any project in another council district, no matter how much his own constituents may oppose the project. [http://bit.ly/1WXLnsv March 3, 2016, Zwartz Talk, Mutual Bribery Is Alive and Well At L.A. City Council]
Since July 1, 2015, Ryu has voted “No” only seven (7) times and none of them were to vote “No” on a project in another council district. That means he votes “Yes” over 99.9% of the time. If the City Council were so wise and making great decisions all the time, then Los Angeles could be in such a mess. Ryu No Votes 7-1-2015 to 3-17-2016
Ryu Approves Development Projects
David Ryu approved the destruction of one of Marilyn Monroe’s former homes. As one of Hollywood’s councilmembers, he represents the part of town which has the biggest stake in legendary Hollywood, and Hollywood has no greater legend that Marilyn. Thus, when her former home in Valley Village had been needlessly demolish just three days before the hearing at the Cultural Heritage Commission, some people from Valley Village had asked Councilmember Ryu to cast at least a No Vote as a protest. He refused!
http://bit.ly/1KRzyNo August 27, 2015, CityWatch, Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti, by Richard Lee Abrams
Ryu Supports Hollywood Mega-Developers
One of the worst mega-projects threatening Hollywood is the gigantic Palladium Towers Development. Councilmember Ryu was elected to oppose this type of outlandish project. Hollywoodians Encouraging Logical Planning [HELP] had submitted extensive comments showing how this project was harmful to Hollywood. HELP & CCLA Objections to Palladium Towers
The most vocal opponent was AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and there was no one at City Council who did not know of the massive opposition to this project. The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative [NII], which had garnered widespread support among all of Ryu’s constituents, identified one of the key aspects of the Palladium Projects as one of the major villains, “Spot Zoning.”
Spot Zoning is when a project is so out of proportion to its location, that the entire Zone Classification has to be changed. Back in 2006, Director of Planning Gail Goldberg had warned that allowing developers to set zoning laws rather than have their projects conform to the zoning laws was leading to disaster. What does Ryu do? He votes to Spot Zone the Palladium Project. The council vote 2016-3-22 Council Vote for Palladium and spot zoning Zone Change for Palladium Towers Ordinance Only
Let’s remember Ryu was elected to oppose projects like these mega towers in Hollywood. He was not elected to participate in an unlawful vote trading scam to aggrandize the profits of real estate developers. However, Garcetti wants the Towers, and thus, Ryu votes in favor of the Towers. There can be no denying the extent to which his constituents opposed the Palladium Project.
Ryu Goes out of His way to Deceive His Constituents:
The Runyon Canyon Basketball Court Debacle
The worst had yet to come. For years, residents in CD 4 had fought against the commercialization of the parks. One reason they so actively opposed all commercialization is the proximity of Griffith Park where various business interests have been trying to buy a piece of the action. CD #4 has been in the vanguard in opposing park commercialization.
A couple years ago, the residents of CD#4 thought that they had won the battle to stop corporate logos from proliferating in Griffith and other parks. Once one corporation puts its logo on one facility, then the city has to allow other businesses to sponsor other facilities.
David Ryu knew about the anti-commericalization controversy. When he took office, David Ryu discovered that CD #4 was trying to commercialize Runyon Park which is just west of Griffith Park. Because the water pipes in Runyon Canyon are antiquated, the DWP and Ryu announced that all of Runyon Canyon would be closed for four (4) months while the water pipes were being replaced.
People thought it was strange that the entire Runyon Canyon Park would be closed since the water pipes take up such a small amount of park space. It seemed that it would be easy enough to close off the park in sections. Ryu said that by closing the park, the water pipe repairs could be made much faster. So, people trusted Ryu and people did not dig further as to why no one would be allowed into the park.
Ryu was concealing from the park users the real reason he was closing the park. He did not want anyone to see that he was installing a professional grade basketball court with the corporate logo for Pink Dolphin, a street wear clothier.
Ryu Pulls The Dishonest Cover-Up Ploy
Councilmember Ryu then engages in a cover-up by denying that he knew about it — it was all Tom LaBonge’s idea and happened when Tom LaBonge was councilmember. Yeah, right! LaBonge has been gone since July 1, 2015 and Ryu has been there for all the planning for the water pipes and the installation of the basketball court.
Guess who else had been there at Ryu’s side. Renee Weitzer, LaBonge’s former Planning deputy. Ms. Weitzer has been at CD 4 for 28 years. Is there anyone naive enough to believe that Ms. Weitzer did not tell Councilmember Ryu all about the basket ball court, about the corporate logo, and about how CD 4 voters are adamantly opposed to any park commercialization and opposed to a basketball court in Runyon Canyon?
When politicos bring good things to their constituents, they brag. They convene press conferences, they award plaques to people who helped, they tell everyone they encounter what a thing they are doing. Why who Ryu keep this basketball court a secret?
We know why Ryu snuck around like a thief in the dark. He wanted the basketball court with its corporate logo to be finished before anyone knew what was happening. This is a form of Garcettism. You say one thing in public, but do the opposite behind their backs. (see, http://bit.ly/1r05XPe April 20, 2016, Zwartz Talk, The Great L.A. Housing Scam)
Three Strikes and You’re Out
We now know that Ryu supports the destruction of historic places like Marilyn Monroe’s old home in Valley Village, we know he supports massive densification of Hollywood, and we know that he creeps around behind our backs to deceive us. How many more strikes before CD #4 throws Ryu out of the game?
May 26, 2016 Addendum:
Zwartz Talk is thinking that David Ryu may have earned a second chance. Maybe he is sincere about rectifying the commercial intrusion into the wilderness Runyon Canyon. He did scale back the too-large development in Cahuenga Pass, and he did go on record as opposing an R-1 Zone change which would have demolished 5 homes in Sherman Oaks. So, for now Zwartz Talk thinks Ryu merits a do-over.