By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter
The Pacific Palisades Community Council hosted Councilmember Mike Bonin at its June 27 meeting in the Palisades Branch Library meeting room to update community members on the progress of various issues.
Drawing an above average crowd, the councilman for the 11th Congressional District gave the latest news from multiple projects he has been involved with, including new funding for first responders, the city’s formation of an Urban Wildland Interface Taskforce whose work will affect the Palisades and his implementation of new standards for hillside development.
Dog park advocates were given a much-needed update on their years-long effort to bring a park to Temescal Canyon.
“The dog park remains a priority for me,” Bonin said. “It is going to be an expensive project, and we’re going to have to get creative and use some multiple pots of money to do it.”
Bonin said the Department of Recreation and Parks will be “taking another look” at funds received from Measure A in August along with other state funds to try to allocate money for the $800,000 dog park.
The councilmember further pledged to work on a growing issue of racial incidents in the Palisades and throughout Los Angeles, and is planning to host community outreach events along with discourse dinners to bring light to the issues and further strengthen the bond among neighbors.
When his update was finished, the elected official took over an hour’s worth of questions from outspoken residents hailing from the rim of Potrero to the brush of The Highlands with questions concerning their respective neighborhoods.
When asked what could be done to stop the proliferation of billboards advertising cannabis products, specifically from entering the Palisades, Bonin, who advocated for regulated medicinal marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, mentioned that several of his “colleagues have been looking at that,” but that it would not be him taking the lead on such an initiative, as there are only so many issues he could take on.
Chair George Wolfberg read a question on the regulation of dockless scooters and what could be done to ensure the cooperation of these companies in the event of a crime or accident, like the one that sent a local priest to the hospital back in April. Bonin reminded the crowd that while the city attorney is “looking into it,” there must a presumption of innocence before anyone begins prosecution for an alleged assault with a scooter.
The back and forth between Wolfberg and Bonin broke decorum when the controversial border fence along the new Potrero Canyon park was brought up.
Bonin’s claim that “a bunch of competing objections and a bunch of different factors” were involved in the implementation of a fence was quickly refuted by residents in attendance.
“Actually no, we got a petition signed from the majority of people who live on the canyon, so I think that [consensus against it] is what needs to be in place because we’re the present people who live on the canyon,” said an audience member who lives along the fence. “We’re being caged in on our own properties.”
Bonin promised to ask Rec and Parks to hold a community meeting on the issue, reminding everyone that it simply will not be a show of hands vote on whether there should be a fence or not, as the city will weigh opinions with safety and liability concerns.
“As we’ve just seen, there’s more than one opinion on this but Rec and Parks will make the ultimate decision,” Bonin said.