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SCNC Board Member speaks out on Electioneering and Sarkin/Weintraub Connection

SCNC Board Member speaks out on Electioneering and Sarkin/Weintraub Connection
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Below is a letter penned by Denise Welvang, SCNC Board Member in response to the electioneering challenge filed by Stu Miller against Candidates Eric Preven and Patrice Berlin.

” The fact that Lisa’s friend Richard Weintraub runs Sportsman Lodge was not lost on the stakeholders in the area.  I and a number of stakeholders questioned the impropriety of this Sportsman’s voting project.  Lisa was adamant last year, when the Sportsman Landing Project was pushed through without stakeholder input and the stakeholders tried to recall her, that she was not a friend of Richard Weintraub.  Yet on numerous occasions in the past Lisa has noted that her parents and Richard Weintraub’s parents were friends and she (Lisa) baby-sat for Richard Weintraub when their parents went out.  If Lisa is not a friend of Richard Weintraub why did he send his staff during working hours to vote specifically for Lisa?  This appears to be Lisa’s payoff for her handling of his Sportsman Landing Project.  Difficult for her to deny a friendship now. “

————–

Richard Weintraub public comments at the SCNC on June 6th 2015

“…I created a little list of fact and fiction. And the first fiction is that Lisa Sarkin and I are good friends. And the fact is that Lisa Sarkin and I have never ever once socialized together…as friends…with her spouse and my wife…I don’t know where she lives except that it’s in Studio City. and (unintelligible) just completely untrue…that we are friends.”…




 

From: denise welvang <xxxxxxxx@sbcglobal.net>

Subject: Re: Eric Previn and Patrice Berlin SCNC election disqualification

Date: April 27, 2016 at 12:15:48 PM PDT

To: Grayce Liu <grayce.liu@lacity.org>

Cc: “jay@empowerla.org” <jay@empowerla.org>, “stephen.box@lacity.org” <stephen.box@lacity.org>, “mayor.garcetti@lacity.org” <mayor.garcetti@lacity.org>, “jinny.pak@lacity.org” <jinny.pak@lacity.org>, “mike.feuer@lacity.org” <mike.feuer@lacity.org>, “leela.kapur@lacity.org” <leela.kapur@lacity.org>, “holly.wolcott@lacity.org” <holly.wolcott@lacity.org>, “tom@empowerla.org” <tom@empowerla.org>, Thomas Soong <thomas.soong@lacity.org>

Hi Grayce,

My thoughts are on the attached document.  I have included pictures regarding the Sportsman Lodge voting project by Richard Weintraub.  It is rather clear who was electioneering.  As someone who was at the election and talked to individuals arriving to vote and those who had voted.  I find the disqualification of legally elected stakeholders by a group of small group of Lisa Sarkin’s best friends (one not above prevarication and one not above swearing at individuals) to be unheard of.  This is a major black eye for the entire group of NC’s, DONE and the City.

Thanks,

Denise Welvang

Stakeholder

SCNC Board Member

SCNC Board Member Elect




Hi Grayce,

This is to add my views to those of Alex Izbicki, Susan Goldberg Switzer and Eric Previn on the election itself and the disgraceful misuse of the grievance system by a band of Lisa Sarkin’s friends, mentors and their family members.

First and foremost the election was in my view not well planned and a poor attempt to provide on line voting.  Numerous businesses provide online voting for their stockholders and Board Members.  This is not rocket science.  The City Clerk’s office did no one a favor by making the ability to vote so restrictive.  The SCNC understood our bylaws would be used to vet stakeholder voting rights.  This is not the way the voting process was designed.  The City Clerk made a one size fits all vetting process which disenfranchised a number of stakeholders from both running for office and voting for a category they were eligible for.  The paperwork required by the City Clerk was beyond should have been required and a constant moving target.  Or was the confusion due to the SCNC President, Lisa Sarkin’s, constant email blast to the stakeholders?  Signing up for online voting was both aggravating and gave the feeling that the City Clerk and DONE did not want stakeholders to utilize the online process.

I myself applied online, added my information as requested and received an acknowledgement of same.  When I did not receive my access and PIN from DONE within the appropriate time frame, I tried to log into my account to verify all the requested documentation was available, only to find out I did not have an account.  My information was obviously deleted.  For my subsequent try to apply I just built an account with my basic ID information.  A day later I accessed the account and added all of the requested documents, received an acknowledgement and waited for my access and PIN.  This time I was a successful.  Secondary to my success I informed the SCNC Outreach Chair of my improved process for use at the SC Farmers Market booth or at other opportunities to help stakeholders apply online to vote.

Lisa Sarkin ran the SCNC election outreach from behind the scene from the start of the election cycle.  She was and is a control freak.  The poor Outreach Chair was highly stressed and beside herself with the constant demands from Lisa.  She fortunately had to travel home to Alabama for a family wedding before the election.  Lisa officially fired the Election Chair, he was not allowed to participate anyway, and officially took over on 3/29/2016 with the following:

Sarkin Takes over the Ellection

Between Lisa’s bad attitude at SCNC meetings, constant self-aggrandizing updates and screaming fits, SC Farmers Market, she did not win any friends as seen at the polls.  The grievance process was a farce.  The only poll workers, other than the City Clerk’s Office, were Lisa Sarkin’s cronies.  Everyone asked to be a poll watcher by the independent candidates turned down the request saying Lisa’s cronies would cause trouble and they would be ejected or worse.  That is a sad but true fact.

Lisa’s cronies at the polls were her mentors and protectors, Stu Miller and Judy Price.  Both have guided, educated her to Land Use Issues and/or promoted Lisa with the powers in LA Government.  James Kellem is Stu’s colleague, Heidi Hollicker is Stu’s daughter, and Barry Weiss is part of the Studio City Residents Association and a trusted lieutenant of the Dymond’s.  All know and are known to Lisa.  Then there was Lisa’s friend Beth Schiffman whose obvious tasks included yelling, swearing and generally causing trouble.  The fact that Beth Schiffman was not ejected from the polls for swearing at Eric Previn is beyond wrong.  Nice mouth that woman has.  I was under the impression that verbalizing what Beth Schiffman did was an automatic ejection.  Surprisingly she was not expelled.  The after the fact statement by Jay Handel that he should have ejected her was too little too late.

It is sad that stakeholders came out of the polls complaining that the poll workers were clueless, gave out incorrect ballots and changed the requested documents for voting depending on the individual.  Husbands and wives submitted the same documents to vote, the wives documents were accepted yet the husbands were not and visa versa.  Why?  No one could answer that question.  The poll workers did what they did for their own reasons.

Has anyone from DONE studied your election manual?  You might want to go back and read the section on electioneering at the polls.  None of the grievance prevarications by the Sarkin poll workers fit the definition.  Talking to friends regarding Harvard Westlake or asking a friend who had been ill how they were feeling is not electioneering.  Yet Beth Schiffman yelled at people for doing so and then grieved their discussions to you at DONE as electioneering.  After Beth screamed at Eric Previn and swore at him Eric was visibly upset.  She continued her rant and tried to have him disqualified at the polls.  That did not work so she grieved their interaction.  Eric Previn was still visibly upset by his interaction with Beth Schiffman after he exited the polls.  If there was actual electioneering why were the individuals not disqualified on the spot?

More than one stakeholder exited the polls asking who the man with the mustache and officious attitude was.  Stu gave more than one stakeholder a verbal dressing down and told them to get out of the polling area.  These people were out of control.

The only individuals who were electioneering were the handlers of the staff members the Sportsman’s Lodge sent over to vote for Lisa Sarkin. The staff members were in their work attire and most likely on the clock.  The Sportsman’s bus would pull up and the staff members would be met by the handlers, who would then explain to the staff what to do and who to vote for.  The man in charge would walk the group up to the polling area answering questions along the way, all the time reminding them who they were expected to vote for.  The man in charge would then stand at the administration entrance and wait for the Sportsman’s staff to exit from voting.  The handler even took one group off to the side of the administration building entrance to have another discussion with them.  See pictures attached.  Barry Weiss was stationed at the Administration entrance to watch for electioneering yet did nothing to remove the man in charge of the Sportsman staff or dissuade the individual from electioneering within the 100 foot exclusion area.  It was as if Lisa’s team was expecting the Sportsman’s staff.

(UPDATE 8-8-16 – Barry Weiss wrote to OurStudio City to correct the record from his perspective :“I am named in the story charged with the job of monitoring for electioneering. That was NOT my job. I was merely there to greet folks and steer them inside to the next stations of the voting process. When I observed candidates coming inside the prescribed boundary that had been measured out prior to the election, I notified the DONE officials. I observed the DONE officials going to talk to those I thought were breaching the boundary.”)

 

The fact that Lisa’s friend Richard Weintraub runs Sportsman Lodge was not lost on the stakeholders in the area.  I and a number of stakeholders questioned the impropriety of this Sportsman’s voting project.  Lisa was adamant last year, when the Sportsman Landing Project was pushed through without stakeholder input and the stakeholders tried to recall her, that she was not a friend of Richard Weintraub.  Yet on numerous occasions in the past Lisa has noted that her parents and Richard Weintraub’s parents were friends and she (Lisa) baby-sat for Richard Weintraub when their parents went out.  If Lisa is not a friend of Richard Weintraub why did he send his staff during working hours to vote specifically for Lisa?  This appears to be Lisa’s payoff for her handling of his Sportsman Landing Project.  Difficult for her to a deny friendship now.

Mike Syzmanski and the word Journalist are mutually exclusive.  Mr. Syzmanski writes a blog that is neither based on facts nor vetted for accuracy.  His characterization of Officer Lewis’s views have been denied by Officer Lewis.  Officer Lewis is in contact with DONE regarding the inaccuracy of Mr Syzmanski’s post.  Mr. Syzmanski backtracked alleging the information was what Stu Miller presented at his grievance, which was that Officer Lewis had informed Mr. Miller that Patrice Berlin and Eric Previn were electioneering in the polling area.

Mr. Syzmanski sent his own grievance in to negate the election.  He cited his difficulties in voting.  Mr. Syzmanski does not live in Studio City, he only blogs about his close friends in Studio City.  I know more than one stakeholder who was denied the opportunity to vote as an at-large stakeholder when they did not offer up the correct documentation showing the lived within the SCNC boundaries.  I will not ask how Mr. Syzmanski accomplished this requirement.  Rather suspect if you ask me.

Eric Previn has noted in an email to DONE, the City Attorney and etc. that the timing of Stu Millers grievance did not adhere to the required filing time constraints and that no witness statement were attached to the grievance(s).  Mr. Previn raises a very good point, if the witness statements were not attached as required at the time of filing how were these witness statements delivered to the individuals hearing the grievance?  This is highly irregular and illegal.  If these individuals were actually electioneering why were they not disqualified on the spot.  Why did Lisa’s cronies wait until all the votes were counted and Lisa lost the election to become upset with the process and file grievances?  Sorry but this is just too convenient.  Why are the major grievances filed by only by Lisa’s cronies?  Why was Mr. Millers grievance accepted after the filing cut off and without witness statements?  How were Mr. Millers witness statements delivered to the grievance panel?  Why did DONE choose only NC Presidents to hear this grievances?  These individuals do not know each other and won’t vote for each other.  Really?

Why did DONE wait until 5:30 PM on Friday to post the grievance hearing on the following Monday.  One business days notice?  Think Brown act.  This meeting was not listed as a special or emergency meeting.  To add another layer of problems to this,  the meeting was being held 20 miles from Studio City and those attending would need to navigate rush hour traffic to arrive at the 6:30 PM hearing.

Why did DONE forget to notify all the stakeholders of Studio City that the grievance hearing was being held.  Did the stakeholders not have a stake in this process.  These stakeholders voted Lisa Sarkin out of office by a significant number of votes.  Look at the overall vote count, the Sarkin slate was voted down and out of office.  The only candidates on the Sarkin slate who won were the business stakeholders who ran unopposed, all other seats were won by independent candidates.  That is a referendum against the Lisa Sarkin and her slate.

Sorry there are just too many inconsistencies in this whole process.  This appears to be a overt try to add Lisa Sarkin to the SCNC Board at all cost.  Which then begs the question, who is pulling those strings?  The entire grievance process is beyond flawed and must be dismissed.  Uphold the stakeholder’s votes.

Magic BusSportsmen's Handler_Walter Reed_1-3774
The man with the beard and sport coat was in charge of the Sportsman staff voting project.  The Ladies are handlers who were helping corral the Sportsman staff members and answer questions.  The bearded gentleman then took charge and gave the final instructions and walked the groups to the Administration entrance.  As you can see in the second picture on group was taken to the side of the Administration entrance for further instructions and clarifications.  He even walked one group into the administration building.



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Comments to SCNC Board Member speaks out on Electioneering and Sarkin/Weintraub Connection

  • I am named in the story charged with the job of monitoring for electioneering. That was NOT my job. I was merely there to greet folks and steer them inside to the next stations of the voting process.

    When I observed candidates coming inside the prescribed boundary that had been measured out prior to the election, I notified the DONE officials. I observed the DONE officials going to talk to those I thought were breaching the boundary.

    Barry Weiss August 5, 2016 10:57 am Reply

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