Voters Group to Supervise Election for Project Panel

Times Staff Writer

Brought in after charges of improprieties during previous elections, the League of Women Voters will supervise an election on Monday night to choose new members of an advisory committee for Hollywood's redevelopment project.

"The last election was very hotly contested, but I have confidence in the ability of the League of Women Voters to conduct a fair election," said Councilman Michael Woo, whose district includes Hollywood.

Felita Waxman of the league said: "There's a lot of controversy left over from before. We're just going ahead."

After the last election, activists complained that some voters cast more ballots than they were entitled to and that runoff elections were held late at night and without proper notification.

Thirty-two individuals and 12 organizations have signed up as candidates for the election, which will be held at Le Conte Junior High School, 1316 N. Bronson Ave., at 6 p.m. Registration begins an hour earlier.

Thirteen seats on the 25-member board are up for election, including two for residential property owners, three for residential tenants, three for business owners or operators, two for the manufacturing, industrial or warehousing sectors and three for community organizations.

Known as the Hollywood PAC, the Project Area Committee is intended to ensure that local interests have a voice during the redevelopment process.

"They (committee members) don't have official veto power, but I will be respecting their purpose, which is to advise me and the Community Redevelopment Agency board on the direction of the redevelopment program," Woo said.

Divided Area

The complex rules that govern the election divide the 1,100-acre Hollywood Redevelopment Project Area, home to a population estimated at 35,000, into four quadrants around Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

Voters will be required to prove their identities and that they live or conduct business within the project area. They will vote for the representatives in the various categories and also take part in the overall polling to choose the community organizations that will be seated on the committee.

While most individual candidates are keeping a low profile, Bill Welsh of the Chamber of Commerce recently sent a letter to chamber members declaring, "We're under the gun! We've got one week to make certain nobody puts up a roadblock that would derail our efforts to redevelop Hollywood."

"We're not crying wolf," Welsh continued. "On the night of the 16th, you'll see a determined effort by opponents of redevelopment to take over the Project Area Committee. We fought too hard to bring redevelopment to Hollywood. Let's not lose it!"

Opponents of the way redevelopment has been managed in Hollywood since the process began in 1983 say the Chamber of Commerce has played too strong a role in the deliberations of the committee.

'Opposed to Scorched Earth'

"The people have never been opposed to revitalization. They have been opposed to scorched earth, however," said Sue Nelson, president of a residents group known as Save Hollywood Our Town. The group has filed lawsuits to reduce the density of buildings in the redevelopment area and to increase residents' participation.

"This means a chance to equalize the balance of power between the downtown business interests and the residents," she said.

According to Bill Kellar, Hollywood Project manager for the city's redevelopment agency, a large turnout would give the committee more credibility in the planning process.

"When I go in with my staff and meet with them every week, I'd like to feel that the group is not sitting there because just a handful of people voted for them," he said.

Organizations declared eligible for committee membership by the Community Redevelopment Agency include the Hollywood YMCA, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Neighborhood Action Group, the Hollywood High School Community Advisory Council, Options House, Hollywood Heritage Inc., Hollywood Senior Citizen Multi-Purpose Center, Keep Old Los Angeles, Hollywood Hilltoppers, Wilcox and Vicinity Enhancement, Hollywood Rotary Club and Save Hollywood Our Town.

Candidates running in the residential property owners category include Lynn Walter Johnson, Elaine Koenig, John K. Ehretz, Harold Lindsay and Norton Halper.

Residential tenant candidates include Ray Keating, Martin A. Rogers, Philip Chamberlin, John J. Walsh, Patricia Villalvaza and J. H. McQuiston.

Other tenant candidates are Mark L. Adams, Scott Halper, Edward D. Gibson, David I. Mailhot, John Bassett and Paul Michael Schell.

In the business category, the candidates are John H. Wilke, D. Delmar Watson, Joe Yore, Stoney I. Ishimizu, Harry Tizabgar, Doreet Rotman, Nyla Arslanian, Robert Marks, Dennis De Pietro, Tex (Stephen) Von Oppenheim and the development firm of Kornwasser and Friedman, represented by Michael C. Dubin.

Candidates in the manufacturing category are Herbert A. Beck, Albert Markoff, Jack V. Goodman and Jay Kaufman.

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