LADWP representatives address SSMHOA Board
In response to demands from Fred Karlsen, President of SSMHOA, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sent sent four representatives to the Board meeting to answer questions about the numerous power outages in the Silver Strand over the last three years. We are not alone, the Silver Triangle north of Venice Boulevard and east of the Canals, the Venice Peninsula and apartment buildings on the east side of Via Marina have experienced similar problems. The DWP representatives were:Andrew Kendall (Electric Service Manager), Duke Thompson(Electric Service Manager), Jack Waizenegger (Power Engineering Manager) and David Rahinin (Government Affairs Liaison).
Mark Antonio Grant of Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s Office
Mark Antonio Grant, Special Assistant to 11th District Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has helped with many of our neighborhood concerns, was also present. Fred presented a log of the outages over the last 3 years, one of which lasted for 17 hours. According to the LADWP, the major problem concerns the salt air and low water table in our neighborhood [editor’s note: the Silver Strand sits on a former wetland and much of it is built on landfill]. Salt water seeps into the underground vaults containing the transformers, conductors and wiring causing corrosive damage which eventually results in power failures. The LADWP is attempting to seal the vaults and replace the critical elements, now metal, with plastic. Equipment in the Silver Strand is inspected once a year. The work will take about a year. They said that the problem is not budgetary, but rather a labor force shortage. A dozen years of lower down times will follow. A homeowner remarked that long-term reliability will not improve significantly until vaults themselves are sealed against water ingress and that this is a problem that the LADWP apparently has not figured out how to handle. The LADWP said that they will give homeowners 40 hour notice of any power shutdown necessitated by repairs to the infrastructure.
SSMHOA Board Meeting
Nora Nicosia, Chair of the Landscape Committee, reported that the fall planting of annuals was successful, but there are still problems with dog owners allowing their pets to damage the grass and the flowers. Board member, Maritza Rodriguez, said that she has inspected all the sprinklers on the 4′ strips in front of homes on the Malls and completed most of the necessary repairs to or replacement of broken or defective sprinkler heads. There was a discussion of ground sinkeage in two of the Malls and the necessity of removing two dead trees on Outrigger and Reef.
Nora, Chair of the Block Captain Committee, reported that preparations for the mini-Block parties to be held over the course of the year are underway. Fred Karlsen said that he will be discussing the next sponsor for the 3rd Annual Block Party in August at the Block Captain meeting on January 30.
Michael Greenberg, Chair of The Street Committee presented a detailed report compiled by co-Chair John Conner on the condition of the concrete sidewalks and brick interstices in the Silver Strand. Some of the necessary repairs are the responsibility of SSMHOA and others are the responsibility of homeowners whose trees, plantings and overwatering have impacted these common areas.
Fred brought up the issue of Cumulative Voting an alternate method of voting currently allowed in the Annual SSMHOA Board Election. He said that Sterling-Davis [the “bible” of Homeowners’ Asssociations] recommends that it be eliminated in favor of conventional voting whereby homeowners would cast one vote for each of the nine candidates of their choice, rather than casting several of their nine votes for only one or two candidates. This would require a change in the By-Laws by a majority of homeowners and discussion will continue at the next Board meeting.
Thanks to Marilee Karlsen for all photographs in this post.