I hardly know where to start!
It’s been a busy few weeks since Home Depot and the City Attorney signed that Stipulation to stay the lawsuit. We immediately began asking questions. And immediately received few, if any, answers. After many phone calls and emails to the City Attorney, the Council Office, the City Mediation Program Department we are finally getting some information.
I spoke with Avis Ridley-Thomas on the phone earlier this week and we had a very nice conversation. Actually, two phone conversations, because I had more questions after we hung up the first time. But I digress. She explained to me that we will be using the Study Circles Process. The intent of the “dialogue” is not to settle the legal case, but to promote communication and the participants can bring any concerns we have. We’ve embarked on a crash course about mediation; feverishly reading the books she recommended. Where are the Cliff Notes when you need them? Also, she said anyone can attend.
Everyone I talk to has the same concern that “anyone can attend and participate.” What? You mean even people who don’t live around here, people who won’t suffer the impacts of the traffic, the pollution and the noise? Even people who have a local shopping opportunity for general merchandise in their neighborhood can come up here and have a say in what happens in our neighborhood? Even if they live in, say, Atlanta?
As our friend, Karen Z. points out, the Stipulation states very clearly that the mediation will be between Home Depot and Sunland-Tujunga community leaders. Many thanks, Karen. It’s good to have many eyes and ears out there. Heres the exact wording:
“THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED…..
(5) the City shall facilitate discussions between Home Depot and Sunland-Tujunga community
leaders under the auspices of the City Attorney’s community mediation program to act as a
forum for constructive discussion as the settlement process moves forward.”
Let’s see. Who are the community leaders? The STA is a group that I hope would be considered “community leaders” – hey we filed the appeals, right?
Joe and I both repeatedly called the City Attorney and attempted to have input into the design of the process. We were repeatedly told we could have no say in the matter.
The STNC President, Cindy Cleghorn, also spoke with the City Attorney many times and she was told that there was nothing she could contribute either.
Instead of ranting here, I will be calling Avis tomorrow.
Oh yeah, the Stipulation is being ignored in item 4, too. Home Depot said they would file their Project Permit Compliance Review application in March. It’s now April 10. No application has been filed.
Everyone is urged to attend the “Sunland-Tujunga Dialogue”. You can find all the info on the home page of this website or our other website – http://www.no2homedepot.com
Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be more excitement as we approach Dialogue-Day!