Pain in the Grass!
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.
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!"
the way, relax it's not pot in the baggie, it's oregano!
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.
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.
vision began in December of last year, as I looked out the
window of my Venice Beach apartment.
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.
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.
I went to the City's Recreation and Park Department and urged
them to plant grass seed to restore the bald areas.
city was agreeable to the idea, but could not budget the grass
seed money until July 1999.
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.
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.
the City failed to complete its side of the bargain. They:
plant the seed in a timely manner.
plant all of the seed, leaving many bald spots untouched.
properly border off the new seedlings.
care for the grass that did grow, like not watering it on
a regular basis.
result is embarrassing.
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.
November 5th, I decided to take the City to court.
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
the trial for the claim was postponed because the court had
not received proof of service from the city.
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.
obviously, the City Attorney's office did receive the paperwork.
court, the city investigator refused to waive his right to
service, so the dispute was postponed, wasting additional
time and taxpayer money.
this standard procedure? Do our representatives regularly
shirk their duties and responsibilities just by ignoring them?
you know that honest citizens who try to help the city around
its budget constraints would get shafted in such a game of
this is the City's idea of gratitude, then I regretfully urge
city residents to neither assist nor trust the City in local
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
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
they always claim they are, this time I will make my representatives
accountable to me. I'll see them on December 15th.
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.
for now city, just KEEP OFF MY GRASS!