After City Councilman Bill Rosendahl gave a brief talk at the Pacific Palisades Residents Association annual meeting Tuesday night, he asked for questions and Jon Tower quickly raised his hand. “How can Pacific Palisades get a dog park?” Tower wanted to know. Rosendahl answered, “First, find several locations that make sense and then talk to the neighbors around these areas and get a sense of what they think. See if you get positive reaction. If you do, meet with the nearest homeowner associations’and then bring your proposal to the Community Council. Once you do that, and you get favorable response, I will listen to the proposal and try to work on your behalf. But first, I want to see that you’ve had a dialogue with neighbors and the Community Council.” The councilman said he has two German shepherds, Rosie and Lulu, who get a good run on his double-lot Mar Vista property. “I appreciate the value of dogs exercising and socializing with other dogs and owners socializing with one another, so my disposition is towards a dog park. But community comes first.” Sensing that dog owners in the audience will obviously have trouble finding a compromise location somewhere in the Palisades, Rosendahl tried to sound encouraging. “Don’t give up. If I can mediate, or help in some way, bring me in.” Community Council member Patti Post spoke up, telling Rosendahl “We’re continually dismayed at the inability or unwillingness of city bureaucrats to adequately perform their jobs and respond to citizens.” He answered, “That’s the hardest job I have’to get city departments to do what the people want them to do. One of the things I learned in my earlier life, when I worked with a general in the Army, is that you have to find a way to get close to the bureaucrats, let them know where you’re coming from, get their confidence, and get them to work with you.” Rosendahl said he was working hard on making these connections. In that vein, somebody asked him: “What don’t you like about your job?” Trying to cope with traffic, he replied. “When I used to drive to work [at Adelphia], my office was only five or 10 minutes away. Now I have three offices (in West L.A., in Westchester, and at City Hall) and when I go downtown I’m in gridlock, when I come home I’m in gridlock, and when I travel around the district I have to deal with traffic. I’m in constant gridlock.” He reiterated his campaign promise to work on regional solutions to the transportation nightmare, including his emphasis on expanding operations at Palmdale, Ontario, Burbank, Long Beach and Orange County airports to relieve pressure on LAX, and pushing for completion of the Metro light-rail system from downtown to Santa Monica “within 10 years.” True to nearly every community gathering attended by a City Councilperson or LAPD captain, Rosendahl was asked “How do we get the leafblower ordinance enforced?” This time the questioner was longtime activist Shirley Haggstrom. He answered, “When I talk to police officials, I hear the same answer you have heard for years, that because of budget constraints and not enough manpower and in the priority of issues the police must deal with, leafblower enforcement doesn’t get on their radar screen. I’m not happy with that answer, but right now I have to accept it.”‘
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