Archive for January, 2012

City of Calabasas Conducting Class Warfare?

Monday, January 16th, 2012

The City of Calabasas has struck again, this time against homeowner Robert Hahn, in the Old Topanga area.  The City used an alleged septic tank violation to inspect the entire property of a resident in gestapo fashion for code violations.  (See the article in the LA Times.)  It then applied the information learned through legal action against the homeowner.  The fact that the City can’t prove a septic tank violation hasn’t stopped it from its heinous activities.

There isn’t a home in Calabasas that, under scrutiny, would stand up to the City’s lethal building code.  Simply replacing a light switch without a permit is a violation.  Following the aggressive manner that characterized earlier actions of this kind, the City hired litigator Dapeer, Rosenblit & Litvak, LLP, to file a 270+ page injunction that gives Mr. Hahn 30 days to vacate his property.  No contact was made beforehand with Mr. Hahn to discuss a more socially responsible approach towards resolving violations.  According to City documents, the only way Mr. Hahn will be able to return to his property is to tear down the structures that exist, and to rebuild.  Mr. Hahn is not financially able to properly defend himself in court, let alone counter-sue the City.

To prepare and file a document of this magnitude, and to gain the personal services of Mr. Rosenblit in inspecting the property, would have cost the City in the range of $30,000 to $50,000.  What a waste.  If Mr. Hahn’s property is such a danger to the residents of Calabasas, think of the ways that money could have been put to work in a more responsible manner.

This is not good news.  This action demonstrates how little Mr. Bozajian has accomplished in his term as mayor.  And it highlights that City Manager Mr. Coroalles, along with cohorts Ms. Tamuri and Mr. Cohen, continue to engage in class warfare, treating the non-millionaire sector of Calabasas with contempt.  The City discriminates by taking strong measures only against those who can least afford to defend themselves and/or counter-sue the City.  Let’s see the City take similar measures against a homeowner in the Oaks.  Surely, it can find a DIY light switch to litigate over.

Calabasas City Manager Mr. Coroalles should be ashamed of himself.  In addition to his poor judgement in the application of City legal resources, he continues to spend twice as much as the City receives in revenues.  It’s time to replace Mr. Coroalles and his pals with a city manager that is socially responsible and can balance a budget.  With the salaries that we pay, Calabasas can afford much better talent.

City Council To Conduct Private Election

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Calabasas council member Jonathan Wolfson resigned from his publicly-elected post last month.  With one year left on his term, the City Council decided to ignore the results of the public election from 9 months earlier, and privately elect Mr. Wolfson’s replacement.  It’s a bad idea, for a few reasons.

First, there are now 22 applicants for the post, from which the 4 remaining members of the City Council must choose.  To select fairly among the 22 requires the establishment of criteria, which is new and dangerous territory for the City to move in.

Second, the Brown Act stipulates, with only 4 members, that no two City Council members can discuss any issues outside of a public meeting that are material to the business of the Council.  That now includes this election.  If any of the 22 applicants feels that two members of the City Council collaborated against them, they could sue the City.

Perhaps its time to review the results of the election held 9 months ago in March 2011.  Voters were asked to select two new Council members, of which 3339 voters responded.  The results below:

candidate votes %
Fred Gaines 1387 42%
Lucy Martin 1361 41%
Bob Sibilia 1161 35%
Martha Fritz 946 28%
Alicia Weintraub 695 21%
Roxsana Sepanlou 241 7%
Terry Stobie 216 6%

Of course, Mr. Gaines and Ms. Martin were elected and are now in office.  But each of the remaining candidates are among the 22 applicants.  Wouldn’t there be a lot less risk of litigation if the City simply accepted the next most popular candidate, backed by the votes of its citizens?

May the best candidate win.