PUBLIC COMMENT: ALPR cameras, Laurel House and more

Highlights from the public comment periods of City Council’s meeting on Monday, April 3, 2023.

More license plate reading cameras in Sheriff’s hands is bad news

Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Brandon Blau, and I’m followed by David Nash. Today, I’d like to address item 2g, which concerns the approval of a contract with Flock group for the ALPR (automatic license plate reading) cameras. I understand that my time for public comment on the actual project itself has closed, but I still want to register my comments. My concern is not with the Contract Award to Flock group but with the utilization of the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s privacy policy for ALPR cameras.

Specifically, I’m worried about the data retention period of five years for all the data and logs covering the travel of West Hollywood residents and non-residents throughout the Santa Monica Boulevard area. Additionally, the interagency law enforcement data transfer allowances provided within that policy also raise concerns. In the past, there have been instances where the Pasadena and Long Beach Police Departments shared their ALPR data with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is something we need to consider carefully. Lastly, there is a lack of mandated external cybersecurity audits for this massive and comprehensive data trove of travel information for all of our citizens throughout West Hollywood.

I urge the Council to take action and review the privacy policy for our use of alpr cameras, our data retention policies, and the regulations around law enforcement sharing. Thank you for your time.


Laurel House belongs to Historic Preservation Commission, not Arts & Culture

Although Page & Turnbull is an excellent firm capable of providing proper historic renovation for the LINICK-WEISMAN House and outbuildings, I urge the City to keep an open mind about the future use and parameters of the property.

Rightfully, the future of the LINICK-WEISMAN HOUSE aka Laurel House should been considered under the purview of the Historic Preservation Commission with oversight of a suitably informed staff member not the Arts & Cultural Affairs who have an entirely different agenda not particularly in tune with Historic Preservation. With the current Arts &Cultural Affairs Commission and Director guiding the program, the City is unnecessarily limiting the property from reaching its full potential in scope and service to the community.

By failing to fully investigate the ongoing programs of other established Historic properties in residential neighborhoods with similar logistical challenges it is shortchanging the community of West Hollywood to whom the property was gifted.

Special reconsideration of the Artists in Residence Program is needed which as currently described, would unnecessarily limit the premises in activity and restoration/ configuration of the house particularly the second floor, a later conversion by owner thus altering the original floorpan and design. This is not YADDO in Saratoga Springs, world renowned for artists in residence but it could be a microcosm of ROBINSON GARDENS in Beverly Hills and similar landmarks. The era in West Hollywood should be observed in situ allowing visitors and scholars an accurate picture of historic and social events of the day. There is time during the restoration to work out all the details noted and would be the right thing to do.


It’s harder to participate in City Council meetings

Just wanted to comment tonight on my perception of how much more difficult it is for the community to participate. I’m struck by the fact that we had consultants just now on zoom, but the community can’t assume these meetings anymore.

The community has to be here in person if you want to call from home. You have to dial. You have to call 10 minutes before the meeting starts. You have to stay on the phone the entire time. You used to be able to call in per item. No offense to the proceedings this evening but I might have left after the historic study and called in. And what concerns me is that we pride ourselves on aging in place and aging in place right now for those who can no longer make it here. I’m not calling out any names but the front row is pretty empty. We know who can no longer make it here.

And it’s not just for council meetings, I think in this day and age, every single one of our public meetings. Every commission, every advisory board should have the ability for people to be able to stay an age in their home and still continue to participate. So that really concerns me. It also concerns me. Well, I want to give credit where credit is due. I was able to hear the meeting tonight because even though the batteries ran out on some of the, what we Lovingly refer to as the Dobermans, the headsets, they do work much better than they used to.

They’re not as positional, but you have to be in the room. I, there’s no ability for closed captioning if you know anymore. So I think we need to get back to that in the room. And we need to come up to this century and let everybody be able to participate.”


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About Brandon Garcia
Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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1 month ago

A bit of perspective here. The Arts & Cultural Affairs Division have a generous number of staff individuals, five or more. Unsure of what the qualification requirement is for a staff position other than Director. The Historic Preservation Commission is under the Community Development having no staff positions and only one consultant on a yearly or bi years contract. There is no resident authority within City Hall. Although several surveys have been conducted, they don’t represent policy or practices. The fact remains that there is an absence of knowledge about historic preservation, the inherent dynamics and the city’s cultural resources… Read more »

1 month ago

I use CC because the sound is too low on my laptop. For two consecutive meetings, it just stopped running.
And it needs to be updated…vastly.

I also consur with Mr Blau but expressed my concerns.

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