The election for the board of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) will be held on Sunday, June 2, 2019. A big voter turnout is expected and much controversy will surely follow. For the past three years, the VNC members have been the subject of many articles in the Free Venice Beachhead, and this round should be no different.
The Council is mainly an advisory body that makes recommendations to the real politicians and officials in L.A. City government. But their influence is felt on the ground level here in Venice. When you see a demolition notice on a lovely old house, and the house disappears and gets replaced with a Big Ugly Box made of concrete and glass, know that the current VNC had everything to do with it. When a mom ‘n’ pop business shuts down due to a rent increase, be sure that the VNC was involved. When another alcohol license gets granted to a restaurant next door to you, look for the VNC’s fingerprints.
Here is some helpful information about a few of the candidates on the 2019 ballot. Let’s start with the good guys. Joslyn Williams was the only African-American person on the previous board and she consistently voted against the bad stuff that the bad guys promoted. She is now running for the position of Outreach Officer.
Jim Robb, Alix Gucovsky, and Matt Fisher have all showed solidarity with the Save Venice team’s efforts to keep the First Baptist Church of Venice from becoming a private mega-mansion. Saving this historical Black church is the most important issue facing Venice today, and Venice voters should take notice of who is on the good side.
Furthermore, Alix Gucovsky is running to be the Chair of the Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) of the VNC. LUPC is one of the most influential committees because it’s the first to recommend or deny those demolitions that mar the face of Venice every month. Alix Gucovsky is running against Daffodil Tyminski. Tyminski (or Daffy, as her friends call her) has been a member of LUPC for years and was the sign holder for Andy Layman at his get-acquainted party on the roof of his illegally converted hotel on Ocean Front Walk. Layman’s illegally converted hotel was eventually un-converted by the L.A. City Attorney, and Layman cried himself out of Venice. Now Tyminski wants to be the LUPC Chair. Vote for Alix Gucovsky to get rid of Tyminski.
Incumbent President Ira Koslow is running against VNC member Hollie Stenson. Koslow hasn’t really been either good or bad for the past three years because he usually only acted as a tie breaker. Since the bad guys outnumbered the good guys on the board, he rarely had any effect on the outcome of votes. Hollie Stenson, on the other hand, always voted with the bad guy platform. And her Valley Girl speaking voice is… fingernails, chalkboard, etc., etc.
The Kill-the-Homeless Party has put their worst demons on the ballot. Mark Ryavec aka Beelzebub is running, along with the other two lizards Travis Binen and Christian Wrede. Christian Wrede is the main hate-bucket behind the Fight Back Venice website. Fight Back Venice works to Fight Back Against Venice by thwarting any plans to house un-housed human beings in housing. Christian Wrede is also the official sucky cartoonist for Fight Back Venice. His cartoon illustrations are expected to win First Prize in the Sucky Sucking Sucker Cartoon Contest. And bringing up the rear is C.J. Cole. She’s the female member of the Felonious Four. Her job is to hiss and spit during the VNC Homeless Committee meetings.
John Reed, Matthew Royce, and Robert Thibodeau are all current VNC members and they are all Evil Architects. They’re running again. John Reed is the Rodent of Rose Avenue who makes the ugly glass buildings that contaminate Venice. Matthew Royce has been the Chair of LUPC for three years. If you hate what’s being done to Venice architecturally, then you hate Matthew Royce. Robert Thibodeau is the architect behind the desecration of the First Baptist Church of Venice. Maybe that’s why, at each VNC meeting, he looks more and more like the devil.
Jim Murez has not died of Pickle-Face disease, and he is on the ballot again. He was the Chair of the Transportation and Safety Committee of the VNC. He was the one who tried to put Pacific Avenue on a road diet so that Venice could have worse traffic jams. Actually, he needs more parking spaces because his venue on Main Street doesn’t have the required adequate parking. So he wants to make everybody else drive so slowly down Pacific that it will become… a great big parking lot!
Evil business owners want to represent you on the VNC this term. Michael Greco, the owner of the Whaler was partly responsible for closing down the beloved neighborhood bar, the Sports Harbour. He saw happy people having a good time and vowed to put a stop to it. Sam Trude runs that Great White thing that’s spilling out onto the sidewalk on Pacific and Windward. He boasted of having got rid of the non-rich people who were eating at the Subway that used to be there. He believes that blocking the sidewalk is only against the law for homeless people.
Melissa “24/7” Diner is running for Secretary unopposed. The middle name/number in quotation marks is her idea. She called herself that on the last ballot. What it means is anybody’s guess. She has served as a minion for Carl Lambert, the most evil reptile in Venice. She’s tried to get other good VNC members off the board. And she’s an expert at coming up with pointless proposals like topless sunbathing, and lights on the beach at night to scare away the native bird species.
Sunny Bak is back too. She’s mainly known for being the creature that follows Vice-President George Francisco around.
And speaking of Vice President George Francisco. He’s the transplant from Chicago who’s been number two on the VNC for the last three years. He’s also the President of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, which is considering changing its name to the Venice Chamber of Conflict of Interest. He’s been a friend to Carl “Lucifer” Lambert, and posed with him in numerous group-grope photo opportunities. He’s best buddies with developer/destroyer Jason Teague. He’s spoken on behalf of the Penskes when they’ve appeared before city commissions to advance their plans to turn the First Baptist Church of Venice into their own private plantation house. And he’s voted for every ugly development, every hateful law, and every anti-Venice proposal that the VNC can devise.
George Francisco is running for Vice President again. This time, he’s running against Grant Turck, the head of Venice Pride. Recently, Francisco and the Chamber of Commerce played a double-dealing trick on Venice Pride and attempted to prevent Venice Pride from having their annual Venice sign lighting event. Maybe this will get the voters to flush George Francisco once and for all.
So don’t forget. Venice Neighborhood Council election day is Sunday, June 2, 2019. Vote while it’s still free.