Monday, May 20, 2013

Nina Royal: Why I'm not Voting for Wendy Greuel

Editor's Note: Nina Royal is a longtime Sunland-Tujunga activist who has served for many years on the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council where she currently holds the position of treasurer. She is involved with many citywide committees which seek to hold local government accountable. She has worked with local law enforcement and was the founder of the movement that blocked a controversial plan to locate a Home Depot in Sunland. She is involved with the Sunland-Tujunga Chamber of Commerce and many local charitable efforts. For many years, she has been the publisher and editor of the North Valley Reporter, one of the most distinguished local papers in Los Angeles, though Nina makes clear she is speaking personally and not on behalf of the paper. Here Nina tells us why she is not supporting Wendy Greuel for Mayor and will be voting for Eric Garcetti.

I am not voting for Wendy because…
by Nina Royal

I am a 25 year community activist, a member of the DWP Advocacy Committee and a Sub on the MOU Committee. I fought hard, along with our committee and community members against Measure B and its outrageous plan to rip off L.A. ratepayers. Especially heinous is the fact that they were going to purchase material outside our country and hire labors from outside our city. And…all solar systems could only be purchased and installed by the DWP! To my chagrin, Wendy supported it, but Garcetti stood up against D’Arcy’s demands. If their rates keep going up, our utilities will cost more than our mortgages.

As Controller, Wendy has never audited the DWP for their “above and beyond reasonable” salaries that far surpass the private sector. Why not? Could that be why she has received large amounts of money from D’Arcy and the SEIU, who is bragging they are going to get raises when she takes office. She received money not only from that union, but all the other major unions as well, who she will be also indebted to if elected. Particularly distressing, she received over a million dollars from the Police Protective League, when our neighborhood councils, who have very limited funds, are asked to give our local police stations money from their accounts to buy things such as personal equipment lockers, etc., to be used by their officers. She should be encouraging them to use that money to support their own people instead of using NC money! Why should they need to buy her support?? She should give it willingly.

Wendy purchased additional land to add to the Verdugo Mountain Park in Sun Valley with Prop K funds that belonged in Sunland-Tujunga. She also purchased passive parks in Sunland and one at the top of Tujunga, where dense population would not benefit from them. That shows she has poor judgement. When she was campaigning to be our council rep., Wendy promised us a park on Samoa Ave., between Valmont and Tujunga Cyn Blvd, which is the densest area in Sunland-Tujunga with loads of children playing in the streets. It is 3 miles to Sunland Park and too far for them to travel. This area is park poor and that property was vacant for years and perfect for a park. Supposedly, for as long as she was our rep., six years, there was no money for our much-needed park, but she managed to buy those I just mentioned above. A church on the corner was even willing to help purchase that land in order to keep our kids off the street, but, they were turned down and told a religious organization and the city couldn’t work together because they may try to convert the kids! She should have spent the funds for that park. Now the property has been purchased with the help of the city and they are going to put in a huge SB 1818 affordable housing project. It will be 3 and 4 bedrooms with limited parking on a sub-standard width street, no yard for kids, no street parking, much higher than the other buildings and look like an albatross in our neighborhood and increase its density. She should have put in our park as she promised.

Instead she also purchased additional land for the Verdugo Mountain Park, which is no where near Sunland-Tujunga. It is land-locked with only a driveway wide entrance in the hills off of Glenoaks Blvd., which is the only way in and out because residents surround it. It is mostly used by people from Burbank and Glendale, who hike over to it from the hills in their city. She claimed she saved it from development, but it couldn’t be developed anyway because it is land locked! It’s nowhere as useful as the promised park in S-T would be. You can look it up on Google.

I started the No Home Depot Campaign in Sunland-Tujunga because those poor Kmart employees, many who had worked there for 25 years, kept coming to our Neighborhood Council crying that their company was shutting down and Home Depot was coming in. They said they couldn’t get any answers from the council office or anyone and they would lose their jobs. Every time we contacted Ms. Greuel, she said she heard nothing about it and her hands were tied. So, after a year of hearing this and nothing being done, I formed the “No Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga” committee and staged a rally at the Glendale Bakery during one of her “Coffee’s” which was not even for S-T residents, but for Shadow Hills residents. I gave her notice the day before and only then did she show up with what she called her “Home Depot Letter” chastising Chairman Abate for not coming to the Neighborhood Council. We fought for 4 years, holding rummage sales to raise money, holding town hall meeting and rallies and trekking to hearings across the city before she finally did a “Chapter 245” asking the City Council to take charge of the Home Depot “Project.” I believe she only did this because she decided to run for Controller. I don’t believe, as she said, that Home Depot never contacted her about their intentions, because they appeared to be desperate to come into her district. Neither did she anticipate the ire of our community against Home Depot due to their disrespect and their determination to come into our town at any cost and ignore our laws to boot! There are several other reasons that I won’t go into at this time.

And…I am not saying that Wendy didn’t do some things right, such as supporting Sunland-Tujunga’s McMansion Ordinance, however, it appears to me that she picks and chooses her support for projects based on what, or who, is going to support her in return. The fact that she is focused on being the “First Woman Mayor” instead of the issues also has me concerned and I don’t trust her to keep her word.

I did support Kevin James in this election because of his fresh ideas and I agreed with his proposals and philosophy. Therefore, I really resent Ms. Greuel’s misleading politics and her treatment of him after he chose to endorse her opponent.

These are my personal opinions and not that of my North Valley Reporter. Please take the time to vote regardless of your choice, so those who died for your right to do so didn’t die in vain.


Abby said...

WTF? I can't even believe the crap in this piece. Nina, you are living in a fantasy world. You DID NOT start the NHDC. I can't even believe you have the nerve to say this shit. And Higby, you shouldn't print this stuff. It makes you look bad, too.

Abby said...

Nina, you are full of crap. You didn't start the NHDC. This opinion piece is full of lies and fantasies. And Higby, you are just as irresponsible as Ms. Royal by printing this hit piece. Shame on you both.

Michael Higby said...

My name is Michael.

Abby said...

Nina, you don't even know what you're talking about. Time for a reality check. It's not Chapter 245. Haha. You crack me up with your lack of knowledge.

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