June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: Council Fills Vacancies, Seats Eight New Team Members on Lupc

Community Officer Erica Moore Becomes New Outreach Chair, Jason Sugars Returns as Community Officer.

 By Nick Antonicello

 The Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) filled the position of Outreach Chair with Community Officer Erica Moore Tuesday evening creating a new vacancy, while Jason Sugars returned again in his previous role as community officer after losing his bid for reelection last March.

Moore, who ran unsuccessfully for secretary two years ago was elected last March as a community officer and quickly shifted to the position of outreach chairperson when longtime member Sima Kostovetsky suddenly resigned after coasting to a third term in the spring VNC  elections. In the case of Sugars who lost a close contest for reelection, was appointed to the unexpired term of Chie Lunn, who relocated from the community. Sugars, a lifelong resident, edged out Venetians Scott Mayers and Christopher Lee.

Dr. Mayers is the iconic owner of the Lantern House on Millwood where he regularly host parties for various charitable and community-based events. Lee, who has served on the Outreach Committee of the VNC is also a member of the Rules & Selections Committee and was an unsuccessful candidate for the VNC in the March contests.

The board now has twenty members with just one vacancy with Moore as the new Outreach Officer. Moore’s community officer vacancy will probably be filled with another selection process by the VNC come its September meeting.

The Land Use and Planning Committee, otherwise known as LUPC has eight members plus the chairperson for a nine-member board. Seventeen stakeholders filed applications for consideration with one candidate, Margaret Molloy, being disqualified for consideration as announced by President Brian Averill.

The new LUPC for this term will be headed by local attorney Michael Jensen, who was previously appointed to serve as chairperson last term and was elected to a full term in a close contest with Gabe Smith, who ironically was selected to serve alongside his former adversary.

In addition to Smith, the board selected Steve Williams, Richard Stanger, Robin Rudisill, Andreas Ramani, Mark Mack, Todd Lorber and Corinna Baginsky.

Robin Rudisill, a former LUPC chair and unsuccessful candidate for the Los Angeles City Council in 2017 makes her return to LUPC after being defeated for VNC treasurer two years ago.  

Baginsky was selected for a second term while Mehrnoosh Mojallali, a long-time board member, missed reappointment by a single vote. Harvard-educated, Mojallali has been concentrating on building support for new infrastructure improvements at the Venice Pier, Dog Park and Circle and has been gathering signatures seeking support for these improvement projects in an effort to beautify the neighborhood.

Her projects have gained the attention of CD-11 Councilwoman Traci Park.

In other board business, the VNC voted to endorse a petition submitted by the residents of Flower Avenue seeking the reinstallation of fencing around the parkways where encampments had engulfed the streets and sidewalks for several years. Only board member Lisa Redmond, a longtime Venice homeless advocate voted “no” stating the fencing was not a permanent solution for the encampment crisis here in Dogtown.

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year resident of Venice who covers the VNC. A member of the Outreach and Oceanfront Walk Committees, he can be reached via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

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