Garcetti office clarifies river governance issues…

Mitch O’Farrell of Garcetti’s office (aka CD13) made a presentation at the Atwater Village Residents Association (AVRA) meeting Thursday night (Mar 13) in which he  acknowledged that the River is an absolute mess in terms of governance — there are at least three levels of government (and their agencies) with competing, and/or overlapping, claims of authority to make and enforce rules with regards to practically everything having to do with the River.

Mitch reported that there are inter-governmental (and extra-governemental) efforts underway to form a River Authority, a River Foundation and a River Corporation that would together resolve the situation. He anticipates a River Authority in place as early as this fall, its board make-up being similar to the one of the current River Management and Maintenance task force. This seems to me to be overly optimistic, but that’s what I understood him to be saying.

Mitch reported that in the interim, the actual governing authority for the portion of the L.A. River that runs through Atwater Village is the Army Corps of Engineers. Not CD13.

CD13 staff then handed out a sheet of “helpful phone numbers for River related services that are Atwater Village specific.”

None of the contacts are for CD13, all of them are Army Corps of Engineers — that’s who you’re supposed to call to request “repairs, vegetation, trash pick up, other concerns.” And for “problems that are environmental in nature, not maintenance related,” there’s another ACE number. Finally, for graffiti on the DWP Switching Station’s green tarp, you’re supposed to call the DWP.

In other words, in affirming that the A.C.E. is in charge here, and in providing contacts and numbers, CD13 <i>seems to be</i> backing off from working to ban use of the River in the Atwater Village area. We should be able to sit by the river in peace, again. Yippie!

So: I would encourage anyone encountering problems/intimidation from marauding Park Rangers to be in contact with Friends of the L.A. River, and/or with this blog. The River is yours: use it responsibly and respectfully!

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