May 17th, 2019
Here is an update since our last email on December 12, 2018. A lot has happened.
Comprehensive Settlement Signed on Both CEPC/Parklands Case and ROBE/PVHA Quorum Case
On January 9th, PVHA, PVE City Council, CEPC, ROBE and Lugliani all signed and executed a comprehensive settlement agreement which ends both the CEPC/Parklands litigation and the ROBE Quorum litigation against PVHA. This agreement requires the removal of all encroachments on the portion of the Panorama Parklands visible from the street and returns it as parkland, confirms that PVHA and the City of PVE will respect the deed restrictions that prevent any future sale of parkland, and increases the acreage of deed restricted parklands by 2.6 acres by applying “parkland forever” deed restrictions on over 4 acres of open space in Bluff Cove. It also protects the PVHA and the City of PVE (if we had pursued this to trial and won against the City) from about $2 M of potential liability — $500k for reversed sale, $1 M for Lugliani’s legal costs after relying on the PVHA’s warranty that it had the power to sell parkland (which the Courts concluded it didn’t), and legal costs moving forward. Finally, it requires the PVHA to actively ask the court to lower the quorum for Director Elections from 50% to 35%, places two ROBE candidates on the Board, and makes certain other election process reforms that will promote democratic elections. For the settlement, click here. For an explanation of the benefits to the public, click here.For a presentation with the photos of the subject properties, click here.
We’d like to thank all of you who have supported the effort through donations, by signing petitions or just voting for the ROBE candidates. In all, over 500 people were in one or more of these categories, and we’d like to express our greatest appreciation for your contribution. We could not have done this alone!
Change in Leadership at PVHA and Prospect for Lower Quorum
ROBE was formed to bring democracy back to our HOA. It’s been 9 years since a valid election, and the incumbents remained ensconced in their positions of power despite some terrible decisions they made by selling parkland and the fact that all four of ROBE’s candidates received more votes than any PVHA incumbent director in the 2018 election. As part of the Settlement, we insisted there be change. Phil Frengs has now resigned, and the opening from his resignation and Carolbeth Cozen (who is now on the Art Jury) will be filled per the Settlement by two of the three ROBE candidates that are still interested in serving – Marlene Breene, Dick Fay and Ried Schott. PVHA has until January 31, 2019 to interview those three and select two of them. We look forward to a strong Board at our HOA.
Press on the Comprehensive Settlement
- Peninsula News “Palos Verdes Estates resolves longstanding debate with family who built on parkland“ (1/15/19) – click here
- Daily Breeze “Palos Verdes Estates resolves longstanding debate with family that built on parkland” (1/11/19 and updated with corrections 1/15/19)– click here
Refunds Coming for Donors That Made Cash Contributions To CEPC and ROBE
Since 2013, many of you have been generous in your financial support of our legal battles to protect parklands and bring democracy to the PVHA, and have donated to one of both of those causes. A portion of those donations went to pay court filing fees. The Superior Court ruled in favor of CEPC and awarded legal fees to be paid for by the defendants. As part of the Settlement, $396k has been paid by the PVHA (and their insurance company) to Jeffrey Lewis, Attorney at Law, who valiantly prosecuted the case for us, and this amount covered his time, the time of another lawyer who helped with the appeal, as well as these court filing fees.
Therefore, in the coming month I will be contacting each of you who made donations to either CEPC or ROBE to explain what % is being refunded, and explain some options which may include:
- Receive a cash refund
- Direct funds to the PVHA for the express purpose of digitizing the PVHA Board minutes and financial records, and perhaps the Peninsula Library to digitize the PV News records, so that these historical documents can be made available to members who have need to search through them. The lack of digitizing led to several weeks’ worth of tedious work for us as we prepared the case; this work was needed to counter many false assertions that the PVHA made about precedents or lack thereof. Consequently, we had to go back and prove these assertions were in error by citing PVHA’s own Board minutes and contemporary news articles. Hopefully this digitizing will help PVHA members in the future as well as protect those records in the event of a fire, earthquake or other catastrophe. We are going to get an estimate to complete this.
- Directing funds to the current project to landscape the traffic triangle where the flags are near the PVE entrance at Malaga Cove
PVE City Council Election on March 5th
Palos Verdes Estates is holding a Municipal Election on March 5th, 2019. There are seven candidates running for three seats (in alphabetical order):
- Jeff Groves
- Michael Kemps
- Jennifer King (incumbent)
- Victoria Lozzi
- Kevin McCarthy
- David McGowan
- Betty Lin Peterson (incumbent)
Palos Verdes Residents for Responsible Government is providing information on their website to help inform the public on each candidate’s positions of issue of interest to the public. This will include such information as:
- Statements from each Candidate describing why they’d like you to consider voting for them (as well as photo, bio and link to their website) — click here
- Responses from each candidate to specific questions about recent issues that have been controversial — click here
PVE City Council Candidate Forums on February 6thand February 11th
- PVrrg is hosting a Candidate Forum at PVE City Hall Council Chambers in Malaga Cove from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm on Wednesday February 6thand you are invited to attend; all candidates confirmed their availability for the date before the date was finalized. If you have questions, you can submit them in advance to info@PVrrg.org. The event will be videotaped and the video will be posted on PVrrg.org for those who cannot be there. For the flyer to send to your friends, click here.
- The League of Women’s Voters is hosting a PVE Candidate Forum on February 11th also in City Hall Council Chambers
Opportunities to Meet the Candidates for PVE City Council
- John and Renata Harbison are hosting a Coffee/Tea – Beer/Wine and sundries gathering at their home at 916 Via Panorama in PVE from 3-5pm on Saturday February 2 to introduce you to the three candidates they will be supporting for City Council in the March 5 Election. Join us and talk with Victoria Lozzi, Michael Kemps and David McGowan.
- Former Mayor Jim Nyman and his wife Alice will be hosting a Wine & Cheese Party at their home at 2529 Via Olivera in PVE from 7-9pm on Friday February 8, 2019. Please come visit and talk with Victoria Lozzi, Michael Kemps and David McGowan.
Thank you for your interest and support.
All the best,