Steve’s VNC Philosophy

My philosophy as a member of the VNC will be defined as a “thoughtful pragmatist.” It does not serve our collective interests to automatically apply one pre-determined or uniform POV to every action item or issue – never say never. There can be unique circumstances that might impact the reason to support one action or another. There could be longer-term ramifications as a trade-off for shorter-term benefits…or not.

For example, change can be viewed as a necessary shift away from something that is no longer working or it can be seen as an excuse to alter the status quo. Progress is sometimes embraced and other times challenged. Which path makes thoughtful sense for the benefit of more stakeholders or at the expense of fewer stakeholders? At the end of the day (as in business negotiations), a win is defined as everyone getting something, while nobody gets everything.

It’s Time For a Fresh Point of View

Working with the city can be challenging. I’ve had recent first-hand experience as one of the community organizers dealing with the proposed VAPP project at the end of Hurricane St. The Venice Auxilliary Pumping Plant will be a new large structure designed to upgrade sewage pumping to the Hyperion treatment plant in El Segundo. We have been “discussing” many issues with the city including:

  • Why did it have to be located at the end of a residential street? The current VPP at this location was built in the 1950s when this area was comprised of oil derricks.
  • Why does the city need a separate parking lot to support occasional VAPP inspector visits? This will become the only non-jetty public parking lot on the MDR peninsula and a potential homeless haven. BTW, the city is using its eminent domain power to acquire the land.
  • How will the city mitigate adverse multi-year construction impacts on residents living near this major project?
  • When will the city properly address environmental and maintenance concerns?
Change Can Happen

We’ve made progress on the VAPP project despite the tone-deafness that is typical of how city agencies operate. LADWP has been directed to listen to the community as a requirement for approval by the LA Planning Commission. The existing pumping plant has been painted for the first time in many years. That said, there are still more questions than answers.

The Future

What does this mean for the future? Hopefully, meaningful steps can be taken to resolve longstanding issues in a productive manner, and, new issues can be addressed in a more timely fashion. As a result, our quality of life improves. In the future, people are motivated to get involved.

It’s time for a fresh POV. With your vote, there will be a new voice on the VNC. Thank you.