Back to home page
Contribute to Mozena

The Mozena Story



A Pain in the Grass!

When you think of Venice Beach, do you think of grass?
(Steve holds up baggie with Oregano, looks like grass, pot) Probably you think of this, but, at least tonight, we aren't interested in this grass.

Some of you might snicker and quip that I am on grass, and maybe you are right. I have stood on grass in Venice Beach.
A Lot of people have stood on the grass in Venice Beach. There was no sign telling us to "Keep off the Grass!"

By the way, relax it's not pot in the baggie, it's oregano!

But, all jokes aside, I'm speaking about the grass growing along the Venice Boardwalk, that stuff that is supposed to be lush and green, pleasing on the eye and soft on the behinds of the tired tourists.

I say "supposed to be", because the City of Los Angeles has made the reality far different from my vision of golf course, or for that matter cemetery, greens.

My vision began in December of last year, as I looked out the window of my Venice Beach apartment.

After years of improper maintenance, the rich, green grassy areas outside my window and all along the Venice Boardwalk had been reduced to ugly brown grass and bald spots.

I looked out at the sad scene and thought of the coming tourists. I so much wanted to beautify Venice Beach before the crowds came into my backyard for their summer vacations.

So I went to the City's Recreation and Park Department and urged them to plant grass seed to restore the bald areas.

The city was agreeable to the idea, but could not budget the grass seed money until July 1999.

In order to resolve the problem in time for the summer tourist season, I made an agreement with the City that I would pay for the seed if the city would plant and culture the grass.

I did my part, buying $276.04 worth of grass seed on March 9th of this year and had it was delivered to the Rec. and Park substation in the Venice Pavilion.

BUT the City failed to complete its side of the bargain. They:

  • didn't plant the seed in a timely manner.
  • didn't plant all of the seed, leaving many bald spots untouched.
  • didn't properly border off the new seedlings.
  • didn't care for the grass that did grow, like not watering it on a regular basis.

The result is embarrassing.

Today, the bald spots are worse than ever. Through their negligence, the city managed to lose almost $600 worth of grass seed, my $300 plus another $300 that they had invested.

On November 5th, I decided to take the City to court.

It wasn't so much for the money, but for the idea that they had failed to keep their end of the bargain, that they disrespected me and my honest attempt to help out, and, most of all, that the tourists came and the tourists saw a Venice Beach uglier than ever.

Unfortunately, the trial for the claim was postponed because the court had not received proof of service from the city.

Apparently, no one from City Attorney's office had signed for the service. This was despite the fact that a city investigator had called me twice about the case since I filed it.

So, obviously, the City Attorney's office did receive the paperwork.

In court, the city investigator refused to waive his right to service, so the dispute was postponed, wasting additional time and taxpayer money.

Is this standard procedure? Do our representatives regularly shirk their duties and responsibilities just by ignoring them?

Did you know that honest citizens who try to help the city around its budget constraints would get shafted in such a game of legal wits?

If this is the City's idea of gratitude, then I regretfully urge city residents to neither assist nor trust the City in local affairs.

In the meantime, the city's evasive stall tactics will not stop me. Many others may have been successfully thwarted by these measures, but I will endure in my quest to bring the city to justice.

I plan to subpoena city employees who know the facts about the case. I want to make the city realize that it cannot blatantly disregard justice or disrespect its citizens as it has in the past.

As they always claim they are, this time I will make my representatives accountable to me. I'll see them on December 15th.

After that, I may pursue this grass right down to its roots and pledge my intentions to run for mayor, a mayor that will respond to the citizens rather than ignore them.

But, for now city, just KEEP OFF MY GRASS!

Top of the page

© 2000 Mayor Mozena Committee
Paid by the Mayor Mozena Committee