Here is a compliation of some comments from Mayor Sam's blog.
Why is it that Autry and Latham & Watkins refuse to acknowledge that the removal of the Southwest Museum's world-class collection to Griffith Park will have a negative effect on the National Register of Historic Places significance of the Southwest Museum? Could it be that Autry does not want City officials to understand that approving the expansion in Griffith Park will ENABLE and ASSIST the Autry in its effort to breach Merger Agreement promises to preserve the independence and separate identity of the Southwest Museum?
How much did Autry and Latham promise the Mayor for his help in screwing over his neighbors and friends from his old neighborhood? What was Huizar's price for going along and not fighting for the museum?
The potential and totally preventable loss of the Southwest Museum is about to become a visible symbol of the utter corruption of our City Hall.
Who is behind all of this? Jackie Autry’s ambition. She wants to be an empress and the Autry National Center to be her empire. She has erased her late husband’s name, is no more the Gene Autry Museum. Now she is erasing the name of The Southwest Museum, she needs the museum’s artifacts to give her empire credibility.
She is a millionaire so she has the strings to have politicians, lawyers and aspiring elites dance to her tune. I CAME TO ROB, ROB,AND ROB THE SOUTHWEST MUSEUM, BUT MAKE IT LOOK AS A FRIENDLY GESTURE I CAME TO HELP.
What will the "Society of Traitors" get for selling out "
POWER! Appointments to commissions -- Managing the Land Use groups in the neighborhood Neighborhood Councils for developers. Being invited to "special events"; to fundraise for the SW but will be used to support Villareagosa, Huizar, Reyes and the Democratic Party.
Bill Rumble president of the NE Democratic Club worked hard to support Yoli and Huizar; both selected by Villariagosa. Now Yoli is being primed by Av for Councilwoman. Carol Jacques (wife of Bill Rumble) appointed to run the El Pueblo, Huizar was originally selected at El Pueblo, then the School Board, then CD14. Huizar and AV put in Monica on the School Board. Are Carol,Yoli and Monica on the same fast tract when AV becomes Governor, Huizar becomes Mayor and the women become Councilwomen? Autry has supported all of these activities.
When they leave they will do nothing for the SW; as Villariagosa did, lie and run to the next "power' position.
There is no way to check all of the people who contributed to any councilman. The donate through their friends and family, their business, their attorney and the attorneys whole staff. They give their home for events (many in Mt. Washington, ask Eliot Sekuler), donate food, etc. Never counted as income. In addition, like the unions members, and LAUSD many people are asked to "support" the powers that be; the employees of the Autry, the City of Los Angeles, employees of CD14, members of the Neighborhood Councils and then " Selected Groups" who 'Support or Friends of Councilman, School Board, Mayor" etc.
Developers from all over the country send money to elections to support what they want. Do you think the developers from Miami want to contribute to CD14 and what CD14 wants.... they do. They dont care about the SW, but care about CD14 and what the Mayor and Councilman can do for them in development.
Follow the money:
1. The Mayor needs the support of Jackie and her friends on the west side in order to get elected Governor.
2. Jackie needs Lummis's collection to raise the $150-$200M in private capital she needs to build up the Autry Museum in Griffith Park.
3. The Mayor, Huizar, and the Secret Society have pledged to raise the necessary funds for the SWM from pubic sources. But does anyone really think they will find the $40-60M? Unlikely.
4. But they will find the $5M or so to fix up the building. And 5-6 years from now after this crew has long since moved on the Autry will turn the site over to city to use as a community center, or to a gaming tribe to use as a "conference" center, or sell it off for the value of the land to a developer.
Not bad, sounds like a win-win to me. As long as you aren't a tax payer or someone who cares about the legacy that Lummis left us or one who care about the fabric of the NELA community.
The issue here is mainly about how Mrs. Autry signed an agreement to maintain the independent integrity and identity of the Southwest Museum -- and now is trying to walk away from those promises.
The first inquiry was a Facilities Assessment prepared by Historic Preservation Architect Brenda Levin and a team of experts. Autry CEO John Gray tried to prevent this report from being made public but, ironically, during the period of time that Antonio Villaraigosa was Councilmember, he fought for the Southwest Museum by insisting that Autry release the report.
That report simply says that the Southwest Museum can be restored to meet museum standards. Additionally, it said that the average museum recovers between 30% and 50% of its costs with memberships, admissions, and store sales. The report projected the rehabilitated and refreshed exhibits at the Southwest Museum would attract attendance of 64,000 visitors per year.
Experts who reviewed the Levin report have concluded that attendance is more likely to hit about 100,000 but Autry supressed the attendance numbers. But even using Autry's supressed attendance projections, the museum would recover about 38% of its costs placing it squarely in the norm for a museum. If it hit something closer to 100,000 as projected by outside experts, the Southwest Museum location would operate far superior to the Autry location in Griffith Park.
Since it is likely attendance would be much higher than projected in Autry's own report, no one is buying Autry management's claims that the Museum is not economically feasible -- especially with a dedicated rail transit station, constructed with taxpayer dollars, at the front door of the Southwest.
The rail network is an important way for the millions of tourists who visit Los Angeles and stay in hotels near the rail system to see the City. Just look at the tourists who get off the subway at Universal City as an example of what is possible on a smaller scale at the Southwest Museum. Autry need only capture a fraction of tourists and local residents with proper marketing to make the Southwest Museum site a proud component of the Autry National Center.
The lack of foresight of the Autry is likely driven by Mrs. Autry who has a largely ego-driven desire to take ALL the Southwest Museum away from its home and use it to build up the prestige of the Autry Museum in Griffith Park. This is a misuse of the assets of the Southwest Museum and contradictory to her merger agreement promises. It is sad that she will spend millions on Latham & Watkins and other consultants to walk away from a set of simple promises SHE signed as part of the merger when that money could be invested in doing something else so positive for Los Angeles.
Who on the "Blue Ribbon Panel"?
Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Council President Eric Garcetti
Councilmember José Huizar
Tony Scudellari -
Obviously the 'Friends of the Southwest" do.
Do they care about the Mayor being the Governor? Who cares.
Do they care that Jackie needs Lummis's collection to raise the $150-$200M in private capital she needs to build up the Autry Museum in Griffith Park? Who cares?
Do they care that he Mayor, Huizar, have a "Secret Society"
Does anyone think that the "Secret Society" has pledged to raise the necessary funds for the SWM from pubic sources?
Does anyone really think they will find the $40-60M? Unlikely.
Will they will find the $5M or so to fix up the building. YES, the Mayor has that now! And 5-6 years from now (When the Mayor is Govenor)this crew ? is long gone?
The Friends have been around a long time.
Yes,Autry will turn the site over to City to use as a community center. That has already been decided. The MECha tribes have asked for it as a school. Then the school will sell it off for the value of the land to a developer. But the appraisor and the developer will know that value is far less than what its worth.
AND THEN EVERYONE MAKES MONEY! THE GOVENOR, THE MAYOR, THE COUNCILMEN, THE DEVELOPERS, THE COMMUNITY CONSULTANTS AND THE SECRET SOCIETY
Its sucks! No a win-win to me. As both a tax payer and someone who cares about the legacy that Lummis left us. We also care about the fabric of the NELA community.
If we know that we are going to be raped why do they think we will enjoy it.
They are not paying US enough to enjoy it.
People in Los Angeles of good conscience are beginning to see behind the curtain at City Hall on this one. It is not a pretty sight.
Villaraigosa and Huizar remained silent or pretended that they were working to support the Southwest Museum as a museum to avoid having their constituents up in arms until just before the dirty deal, orchestrated by Latham & Watkins attorneys, goes down. Autry has been lying to the people of Los Angeles that its request to expand the museum on taxpayer land in Griffith Park will not come before City decision makers until the new year. But the more likely plan is the "tried and true" developer technique to suppress public turn out: schedule the public hearings during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you see this unfold, then you know that City Hall officials are helping the Autry pull it off.
They expect that once the pain of granting the permits is over it will all die down before the next election. Well, not this one. This is the central iconic institution of Northeast Los Angeles. And all the evidence suggests it can easily remain as a wonderful full museum. The outrage in the community is palpable.
I attended a fundraiser for Antonio Villaraigosa when he told his CD 14 constitutents that he really wanted to stay their Councilmember, but the corruption scandals at City Hall had resulted in many people asking him to again run for Mayor to put an end to "pay to play." So he used the claims of scandal (when he was not parading his wife and children around as a good "family man") in a successful run at Mayor.
If the loss of the Southwest Museum occurs at the hands of Villaraigosa and Huizar, it will be because of "pay to play" on a much grander scale than the Hahn administration.
A growing Los Angeles group of people is in outrage at this blatantly deceptive scheme: the Southwest Society is packed with political hacks of the Mayor and some others who appear to have been misled into thinking this group will save the Southwest Museum. Instead, at the upcoming public hearings on the Autry's proposal to expand in Griffith Park, this sham of an organization will be prominently displayed by Autry and Latham & Watkins as "evidence" that the Autry has a concrete, written plan for the future of the Southwest Museum.
But it is a sham because in the OFFICIAL City documents, the Draft EIR, the discussion of the Arroyo Campus (the current site of the Southwest Museum), the City Department of Park and Recreation (read Autry and Latham) states that the Autry Board has no definite plan for the reuse of the Southwest Museum site. They are claiming this in the EIR to avoid being forced to discuss the extremely negative environmental impact of separating the Southwest Collection from the stunning building and location Charles Lummis designed for its exhibition. They deny the Griffith Park expansion will have a negative impact on the Southwest Museum.
If the plan to save and preserve the Southwest Museum is as strong as claimed by the Mayor and Huizar at their recent press conference, why won't they put the "wonderful" plan in the EIR? Reason: there is a plan but it is NOT a cultural center, an education center, or any other "viable public destination" bullshit that Autry CEO John Gray has been talking to the press about. They won't put it in a City document because it would official document their fraud on the City if after getting Griffith Park permits they don't carry out the "wonderful" plan jsut touted by the Mayor and Huizar.
Here is the real plan: The plan is to sell the Museum site, because Autry is unable to get sufficient money from donors to build in Griffith Park. They need the money and selling the site to the highest bidder can be done without ANY public process. It will simply be announced and they will be done.
People in Los Angeles are waking up to this outrage. The question is: did the Mayor and Huizar come out of the closet on the Museum too soon or just right to prevent the community from educating the public. We will see...
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