This article was posted on Saturday, Aug 01, 2020

In a Nutshell …

They missed talking about Soviet Monica-ism. 

You have two cows.

Your milk sales are priced controlled to less than it takes to feed them.

You convert your cows into beef cattle.

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The city complains that there is a shortage of milk cows.

                                    Rosario Perry

Open letter to L.A. City Councilman Marqueece HarrisDawson:

Dear Sir:

Your district and constituency want their homes and businesses protected from looting and vandalism.  Our Constitution promotes free assembly and protest but not sanctioning groups to organize to criminally trespass into our stores and businesses to steal.  Support the police.  Get more National Guard to protect our businesses.  Our police are afraid to do their jobs because every person on the street has a camera?  Make the arrest and allow the courts to handle the punishment.  Help set new standards for police and their actions with citizens.

We do not need to march in the street to obtain criminal justice.  Your team needs to investigate looting apps.  These criminal enterprises are organized.

I take exception to and challenge your recent remarks.  Misconduct can be anticipated and deterred.  Placing National Guard units at strategic locations would have prevented the massive and aggressive looting and vandalism along Van Nuys Boulevard, Fairfax, Third Street and of course, Santa Monica.

They are not looting in Koreatown as they fully understand that that community is well armed and will use firearms to protect stores and businesses.

There were a few stores in Santa Monica where the owners and their neighbors stood in front of the stores with rifles and guns and the looters ran away.

Now, you need to have a deterrent.  This could be signage, cameras, well-posted security guards and/or the National Guard.  No one needs to be injured or hurt, but you need to send the proper message.  The looters came with a plan.  They were well organized; they had their colleagues in motor vehicles.  They came with hammers, crowbars and other devices, including wire cutters.  Their design was not to protest against inappropriate law enforcement misconduct.  No one sanctions what happened to the gentleman in Minnesota – no one.

Everyone believes that all citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin and/or skin color should be respected.  However, if you are a law enforcement officer standing lawfully in the street and a protester throws a brick at you, please explain your position.

In any event, please don’t misconstrue my remarks.  Police should always respect the rights of citizens.  I am not an advocate of guns.  In fact, I believe guns probably present more problems than benefits.  However, I do believe that the City’s decision to utilize National Guards and not deploy airport and/or school police was proper.  The National Guard takes extensive and special training in crowd control and civil disobedience.  Remember, the looters are well organized and they coordinated their efforts.

Be well, healthy and safe.      Michael Millman


Gov. Newsom:

How can you continue to keep this state in lockdown when you are okay with asking business owners and out of work employees to volunteer at food banks where there are more people congregating then there are in a regular business?

You are destroying CA only to make a point that you will not do anything that the President tells you to do – at the cost of the people.

You are the one making this a political battle.  The people are starting to see what you are doing which is why there are so many protests.  This has got to stop.  You are causing more financial problems, homelessness, hunger, suicides and death than any destruction the virus could ever cause. How can you sleep at night knowing what you have done to CA?     Sincerely, Melissa


Dear Santa Monica Rent Control Board Members:

My husband and I have owned two four-plex apartments in Santa Monica since 1994 and before that, we had a retail business downtown on 4th Street. We have been invested in the community for quite some time and share in the pandemic hardship along with our tenants and community members.  Please read and consider my comments during the public portion of the next board meeting.

I have read one of the other public comments and I concur:  Please maintain the proposed 1.4% AGA / $32 ceiling and add virus hardship postponement to the increase form.

Santa Monica landlords are already under the strictest rent control regulations in the state and are currently under an eviction moratorium.  Many of our tenants have already stopped paying rent. While I can appreciate guard rails for the renter, the landlord has been offered nothing except having to unfairly shoulder the burden of COVID-19 without any help from the city, state or federal government.  Why is this so?  Why is this a one-sided approach?

During this time, landlord expenses don’t go down; utilities don’t go down; maintenance costs don’t go down and yet, we are under an extended eviction moratorium and with AB 828 looming, we will almost surely be mandated to reduce rents an additional 25% without a mechanism to ever recover those losses.  Why is the Santa Monica Rent Control Board continuing to punish the landlord?  For goodness sakes, without us, there wouldn’t be any housing.  We are hurting, too.

You have made it so that our tenants have a safety net and we are told that even a nuisance tenant can’t be evicted during the moratorium and that even an unauthorized pet can be brought into a unit with no repercussions.  And … if we even reach out to our tenants to ask questions or correspond about their hardship we will be fined $15,000 and up to six months in jail.  The Santa Monica Rent Control Board, along with the state of California has essentially co-opted my properties, suspended my ability to collect rents and threatened me with hefty punitive damages if you deem my correspondence with my tenants intrusive?   How dare you!  And no you want to make it so there will be no yearly increase to even cover the cost of living and business as usual?

Year over year, the rent control board has allowed an increase tied to certain indices, and your body is now considering freezing an increase when landlords are hurting the most?  Why are you even considering this?  Because you are so afraid of additional homelessness?  

We are all worried about the most severe consequences of this pandemic.  The Rent Control Board doesn’t have a monopoly on compassion and equity.  My husband and I have been A+ landlords for decades who have always taken good care of our buildings and tenants.  This authoritative and heavy handed – not to mention economically derelict, approach is transparently unfair and unwise both in the long and short term.  

Without allowing landlords to receive the usual paltry rent increase, you will surely re-create the unforgotten time of slum landlords who couldn’t afford to maintain their buildings.  I can’t imagine that is the objective of the Board.

Landlords are already being unfairly burdened with your sweeping pandemic inequities therefore; please be responsible and ethical city officials and allow for the usual indices-tied increase and add virus hardship postponement to the increase form.  Please don’t continue to punish the landlord; rather, allow us to survive.  

                                       Regards, Nikki Leeds – a Santa Monica Mom & Pop landlord