|(April 13, 2021, 10:45 a.m.) -- City Clerk records show that all public speakers for an April 13 public hearing on tonight's Riverpark agenda item signed up within a less than three minute period in the 7 a.m. hour on Wednesday April 7.
Between 7:30:59 and 7:33:08, twenty speakers signed up. By 7:34 a.m. April 7, all 20 public speaker slots for the hearing agenda item were filled,.
The City Council agenda with the hearing item went online in the 5 p.m. hour on Monday April 5 (standard 8 day public notice of April 13 agenda items.) At that point, anyone could have signed up for the 20 available public speaker slots.
The names of those who successfully signed up aren't immediately recogizable to us (our apologies). We don't know what positions they'll take on the hearing appeal by the Riverpark Coalition and others to require a full EIR on the proposed commercial project at 3701 Pacific Place (instead of Planning Commission-approved city staff-recommended approval of a mitigated negative declaration on EIR/CEQA issues.)
Parties to the appeal (who paid sums and filed appeals: Riverpark Coalition, Ann Cantrell and Anna Christensen representing the Sierra Club Los Cerritos Wetlands Task Force; Corliss Lee representing Citizens About Responsible Planning; Juan Ovalle representing the Riverpark Coalition; Renee Lawler representing the Historic Equestrian Trail Association of So Cal; and Robert Gill representing the Los Cerritos Neighborhood Association).will have an opportunity to speak as paries to the hearing, but public telephone comments are filled. The public is now left with :"e-comments" and email to Council offices to be heard.
At an April 12 Zoom meeting by the Riverpark Coalition, several speakers complained about the 20-person limit on telephoned Council public testimony speakers (a policy in effect for most of the COVID-19 pandemic.) A number of supporters indicated that when they sought to sign to speak, they received the following City Clerk email: "Thank you for your request to the speak at the April 13, 2021 City Council Meeting. You were not among the first 20 members of the community to sign-up for Agenda Item No. 8. Even though you were not among the first 20 to sign-up, you can still submit your comment via eComment or by email to email@example.com..."
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AZs LBREPORT.com first reported last week<.a>, supporters of the Mayor/City Mgm't position to use the Convention Center to temporarily house migrant minors swiftly filled available public spanker slots on April 5-6 for the April 6 item, leaving few and then no slots for others with different viewpoints. (One progressive speaker opposed to aspects of the policy signed up quickly.)
Some Riverpark supporters blamed Mayor Garcia for manipulating the process (there's no visible evidence he did so on the Riverpark hearing item.). Others said the artificial 20 person limit, set by the City Clerk's office (which has cited digital technical grounds for the 20 person limit) is fewer than other government bodies allow. Riverpark supporters alleged the 20 person limit violates the Brown Act and lets partries manipulate public testimony.
The policy-setting City Council (to whom the City Clerk ultimately answers) has never weighed in on the current practice, effectivky accepting it.
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