Allison B. Cohen

Allison B. Cohen

It appears the issue of tourists inundating the Hollywood Hills and Beachwood areas of the district to take a selfie with the Hollywood Sign has taken front stage during newly elected Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu’s first days in office.

According to Ryu’s communications deputy, Ryu and his staff have been in over 40 meetings on the subject since taking office in July.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a lot of meetings on a subject that some say should be fairly simple to solve.

While Ryu has had his eye on that issue, he’s neglected two others that are currently in active litigation.

Friends of Griffith Park, a small non-profit, has sued the city over its approval to construct a performance stage at Griffith Park’s Old Zoo and over its approval of two youth baseball fields at the park’s Crystal Springs location.

What strikes me as very odd is on two of Ryu’s advisory panels—his transition team and his newly formed Discretionary Task Force—there are three members of Friends of Griffith Park represented. Meanwhile, there is no one from Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, which represents thousands, on either of Ryu’s boards. And that group isn’t very happy about that either.

What this means currently is, a very small advocacy group suing the city, has unfettered access to Ryu and his staff and I think that presents a conflict of interest.

The bicycle coalition may be pleased to hear another person involved with litigation against the city, Jim O’Sullivan of the advocacy group “Fix the City,” resigned his position with Ryu’s transition team. But not because of a lawsuit that group has filed against the city’s recently adopted Mobility Plan, as Ryu’s Chief of Staff Sarah Dusseault told me, but because O’Sullivan felt Ryu’s bloated transition team with over 40 members was unwieldy.

I am also troubled that Ryu never reached out to those who support the stage at the Old Zoo, which would be used for free concerts and performances by Symphony in the Glen and the Independent Shakespeare Co., nor to those who support the baseball fields, including area families and neighborhood councils.

We now know that when Tom LaBonge exited City Hall for the last time, he took every scrap of paper with him (or shredded them), leaving Ryu and his staff in a tremendous void. But I am troubled at what it seems to take to get a meeting with Ryu so far. You either have to be a squeaky wheel and bother the council office until they agree or maybe more simply, it appears you just have to file a lawsuit.

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