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Lost! Special Edition: Gail "GPS" Goldberg


One needed a map to get there, 1.17.08


Nuestro pueblo's Planning jefe, Gail "GPS" Goldberg was in Los Feliz last night, with Ken Bernstein in tow.

She warmed up the crowd by telling them mobility was a problem in LA. She said it took her forty-five minutes to get from downtown to Los Feliz last night.

She also said her mapping program said it was eight miles (btw---it's not, it's more like 4.5).

So what did she do---take Wilshire? But more intriguingly:

Why does THE PLANNING DIRECTOR of the CITY OF LOS ANGELES need DIRECTIONS to get from Downtown to the corner of Hillhurst and Franklin?

A concerned citizen asked GPS Goldberg what the City is doing about density.

It's doing nothing but increasing it and rearranging the increases around transit hubs. Which we already knew.

Then the citizen asked her why her answer presumed that growth was inevitable, even though LA was already more dense than New York City.

We've heard the same answer since she arrived from San Diego: that there are three contributors to growth---immigration, copulation, and relocation---and that you can't really control any of them at the Planning level.

She added somewhat snippily that people come here for jobs, and she didn't know of a single person who was for cutting back jobs or the economy.

A delicious non sequitur, that. The people coming here for jobs---sure, some slip into million-one-five condos, some into Taco Bell Tuscan lofts, but mostly---aren't they the ones who largely stand out in front of Home Depots or on street corners with fruit at their feet? Surely this is the largest segment of people who come here for jobs?

Yet the City isn't permitting a damn thing for these kinds of job seekers. Even so, the message is always the same: growth is inevitable, that's why we've got to build more units for people from Seoul, Madison, and Irvine (rather than for renters of every ethnicity who are already here, but who can't afford flipped houses and milion-one-five condos and would rather not live in Taco Bell Tuscans).

° ° ° ° °

More interesting stuff: the Planning Department since GPS Goldberg arrived has dedicated two planners to handle rewriting the community master plans. And she seemed proud of the number.

You know how many people she's put in the Historic Resources Division? Six.

Repeating: Planning has six Historic Resources staffers, but only two dedicated to those among us writing new community plans. And despite the fact that the City already has a Cultural Heritage Commission, and there is an allegedly not-for-profit LA Conservancy that earlier this month got four million dollars richer at the expense of the LAUSD.

Sudden thought: couldn't the Conservancy volunteer with the extorted Ambassador largesse to do some of the survey work that Gail GPS Goldberg's Planning Department is doing? Or would that detract too much from its mandate to squander resources on shaking down orgs like the LAUSD and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, so that it can continue its litigious efforts for another largely fruitless and stationery decade?