The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa meets tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Westchester Municipal Building Community Room. The agenda includes two items up for board action on their consent calendar. One is a motion to support changing a recreation room designation to a living unit in an apartment building at 7139 Flight Avenue and the other is a motion to approve up to $500 in funding to the LAPD/Pacific Area Boosters for 2011 Winter Wonderland.
The board at its Oct. 4 meeting approved a letter of support for development plans for a McDonald's restaurant at the southwest corner of Manchester Avenue and Airport Boulevard with conditions. The board also approved funding of up to $2,000 for the rental of a main stage and equipment for the Westchester Park Columbus Day Sports Festival that was held on Oct. 8-9.
Chald Molnar, the community liaision to Los Angeles International Airport, also told the board that Los Angeles World Airports will host an LAX Northisde Community plan Nov. 15 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Orville Wright Middle School
In addition, the board also recognized the superior play of the Westchester Del Rey Little League Girls' Softball teams. The girls' team ages 9-10 were the Southern California State Champions; the Major Team for girls ages 11-12 were Western Regional Champions and won the Southern California State Champions and the Big Team for ages 15-18 were the Western Regional Champions and the Southern California State Champions.
The board and the public also heard from 2013 mayoral candidate Austin Beutner, a former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the former General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Beutner, 51, told the crowd that he was not a career politician and that much of his story reflects what hard work will get you.
He said his parents were immigrants and his mother was a public school teacher and the family's focus stressed equal parts education and "get a job." He drove a delivery truck, washed dishes in a restaurant and labored in a printing plant to help pay for college. He went into the finance industry in the 80s and it was good fortune. He moved in to the public sector in the 90s in the Clinton administration where he helped Russia transition into a market economy and decommission nuclear weapons.
He then returned to the private sector about the time his wife became pregnant with their first child of four, who is now 15.
"For me this campaign is about finding a way to create that same opportunity that I found for an education and a good paying job when I'm finished," Beutner said. "I started my own business and that business today is public on the New York Stock Exchange and by most measures I've lived a pretty charmed life."
Beutner said he broke his neck a few years ago when he fell off his bike while mountain biking in the Santa Monica Mountains and it was six months before he was back on his feet and nine months before he was back to normal.
"During that time I had plenty of time to reflect and upon reflection I decided that I wanted to spend the next chapter of my life helping to create for others that same opportunity for an education and job that have benefitted me so much," Beutner said.
He went on to work for the city for a $1 salary and spent 15 months working within the city, with responsibilities ranging from the homeless, to the port, the airport, the city's utility and matters in between.
The city has lost touch with its constituents and has forgotten that its primary purpose is to serve the needs of its constituents, Beutner said.
He cited a reform effort within the city's permitting process that in six months drastically reduced the amount of time for a restaurant to get a permit that had been lagging for two years until he took over.
"Every Angeleno should have access to that level of service," Beutner said.
He said he helped shepherd a business tax holiday that gained City Council approval in 42 days due to the gross receipts tax that has been a deterrent to business. The city takes in about $430 million in gross receipt taxes, which is about the same amount to operate the fire department.
He found a bridge under the tax holiday idea and checked with experts at USC and UCLA and then pitched it to the most progressive and conservative City Council members.
"That's what's brought 800 Google jobs to Venice," Beutner said, along with 250 jobs downtown, 110 software jobs in Woodland Hills and the city's first new car dealership in 25 years.