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City Buzz: MPMA reacts to controversy and complaints

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 8, 2014

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 8, 2014

The embattled Magnolia  Park Merchants Association responded  today to a letter from an irate merchant on Magnolia Boulevard, posted here on Media City Groove, which has drawn more than two dozen comments and fired-up a smoldering controversy in that business area of trendy shops, eateries, and retro stores in Burbank. Last summer, a dispute among merchants over parking on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard blew-up into a major issue.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G-- Romancing the Bean 3413 West Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 7, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G– Romancing the Bean 3413 West Magnolia Boulevard Burbank August 7, 2014

At the center of the controversy Romancing the Bean , a coffeehouse and cafe at 3413 Magnolia Boulevard. The majority of its neighbors fought for and won a change of the two-hour street parking to one-hour. Despite a period of peace, the controversy erupted again with more complaints and nasty charges of bullying and harassment.

Here’s part of the response from the MPMA:

“The newly elected Board of Directors of the Magnolia Park Merchants Association (MPMA) would like to address the frustrations recently aired in a letter to the Media City Groove blog by a merchant on the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd.

In short, the letter was concerning MPMA’s handling of parking disputes on the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd. Last year, both MPMA and non-MPMA members on the block began noticing a change in customers’ parking habits that neighbors believed were due to activity at Romancing the Bean. At the time the dispute started, parking on the block was two hour and the impacted merchants on the block were seeking one-hour restricted parking. In support of the merchants on that block, the MPMA Board voted to take a survey of the businesses on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd. 11 out of the 13 businesses surveyed on that block voted in favor of one hour parking. The MPMA Board recommended to the Traffic Commission and the City Council that parking be limited to one hour. The MPMA Board still supports the one hour parking and believe that it should be enforced.

In light of the allegations listed on this blog, the MPMA Board believes that all merchants should behave in a professional manner, and that bullying has no place in Magnolia Park. The MPMA Board would also like to communicate that it’s main interest trying to resolve the parking issue was to try and bring peace to the block. We are hoping that the newly elected Board can make a fresh start and move forward in a positive direction.

MPMA will continue to listen to all of the merchants on the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd. The new Board has used these recent events as a catalyst to establish an agenda to review board member guidelines, to clearly define its role in parking and other inter-merchant issues.Most importantly, the board intends to keep the focus on our most valued constituency: Magnolia Park merchants and their valued customers.

The New MPMA Board would like to apologize to the merchants of the 3400 Block of Magnolia Blvd for any missteps of the past.”

Read the full statement here.

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8 Responses to City Buzz: MPMA reacts to controversy and complaints

  1. Kim Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    Fronnie

    Just to let you know that we were told some of the issues mentioned on this blog would be discussed at the next meeting and we should attend. After the M.P.M.A. stated that they “will continue to listen to all the merchants on the 3400 block of W. Magnolia Blvd.”. A few of us went. As usual, nothing was brought up.They had A closed agenda and stuck to it. there was no open forum. Months ago, Ashley put online that the dispute between Kerry Krull and one member of the association would be disscussed at the next meeting. (It was actually the entire blocks dispute). But, I guess only one member paid her dues, so she was “singled out”. This merchant brought her lawyer and of course, it was not brought up at the meeting.That alone is A good reason not to be A member.

    At this last meeting they discussed the x-mas party and ladies night out. In my opinion , that’s their focus and it’s not going to change.

    It’s time for a new organization to bloom that focuses on camaraderie, respect and increasing anyone’s businesses. We are in the beginning stages of establishing A group that is more business friendly to all of us.

  2. Fronnie Monday, May 11, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    Kim,

    Keep me posted on the progress of your new organization.

  3. the idler Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    Hello Kim and Fronnie,
    Fronnie, thank you for the forum you have created!

    Kim, I too was at the meeting. I noticed you were there as well.

    If you wanted to say something, why didn’t you just raise your hand? The president asked if there were any questions, and you didn’t say anything.

    I am sure you remember, there was one person who was not in the association, and she did raise her hand numerous times and asked questions regarding just about anything ; ladies night out, planning events, etc, etc.

    In Adrian Danescu’s response to the “Letter from an irate merchant “ in the comments section, he wrote: “ I was recently elected to the Board of Directors and I must say that the new board is fully committed to address the above issues in our next meeting.” I read it to say that when the BOARD, had their next BOARD meeting, they would talk about the “Letter from an irate merchant”

    Then the letter from the MPMA came out and was posted on Media City Groove. So they must have talked about the initial “irate” post. They said what they did for the parking situation, getting involved, taking a survey, going to the city blah blah blah. And they also said that bullying has no place in Magnolia Park.

    I can see the confusion. Adrian Danescu used the word “meeting” one too many times in a paragraph without specifying Board Meeting or Merchant Meeting. So you went to the big merchant meeting expecting someone to talk about your concerns, when it sounds like (according to the letter the MPMA Board wrote), talked about it in their Board meeting, not the merchant meeting, then they wrote that letter.

    So, from what I read in that letter, the MPMA:

    1. Helped in getting the 1 hour parking signs posted permanently for everyone’s sake on that block
    2. Is willing to meet with any merchants before the board meeting to discuss whatever issues may arise.

    Also at the meeting, the President said if anyone wants to come to the board to talk to them before their board meeting, that they are willing to listen. It also said that in the letter that was posted in Media City Groove that they are willing to talk to merchants, either in the association or not.

    In regards to a member bringing their lawyer to that last meeting, not sure what you are talking about there. I did not see anyone singled out for anything, and if there was a lawyer there, they did not make their presence known.

    I recently joined the Association and it seems like a decent group. People from all types of businesses getting together to work together and do stuff.

    Why don’t you go talk to the board, or attend another meeting and bring up whatever is on your mind. Seemed like they were open to questions, but you did not ask any. If I have questions or concerns, you can be sure I will bring them up at a merchant meeting. So far, so good ( but then again it’s only been 3 months  )

    Also, if you are starting another merchant association, I would like to join that one as well. I belong to a lot of community organizations, and I like to be involved. So maybe when you launch the new group, you can post it here and invite all the businesses in Magnolia Park!

    Involvement is good, so I am glad you are starting a new group, it shows you care. And I am sure businesses that are currently in the MPMA would also like to be in your association as well.

    Good luck!

  4. Ralph P. Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    Fronnie
    The letter from the Idler all sounds reasonable however, this person is apparently new to the system. In all fairness this group has been out for their own needs as well as having allegiances to parties that fit into their group and alienate others.

    Idler:
    You sound like you kind of want to be fair to both sides. I hope that you will have some influence to turn this around. It’s not just a small group of merchants who are turned off by your organization. At this point it’s important to remember most merchants are afraid of retaliation from you guys and won’t speak up.

    This matter should have been on the agenda and you all know it. Kim should not have had to raise her hand to bring it up. She didn’t want to interrupt discussions on ladies night out, etc.

    You seem to be very knowledgeable of the goings on of this organization. Why don’t you identify yourself? We’ve all gone on record with our names not an alias! You might be new to the board but, you fit in perfectly. Why are you hiding behind an alias? I know who you are. Step up and stand behind your critique.

  5. Adrian Danescu Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    Contrary to what some people think, I am not the “Idler” nor I am trying to hide my name when it comes to replies or commenting to some posts. I stand by what I said before being elected to the Board as well as in my “To Do’s List” when I applied for the Board position:
    1. we will have a budget which will be shared with all members – the budget was completed and will be shared with the members during the next members meeting.
    2. we are working to complete the Mission statement, the Strategic Plan, the Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Directors and the Marketing Plan.
    3. The Board worked to help merchants located beyond Ontario street to bring a food truck for the one year celebration and is looking to expand the exposure of members and non-members by allowing outside merchants to display/sell their merchandise west of Ontario street.
    4. The old and new members of the Board are working together as a team in trying to promote MPMA and grow the membership by at least 10% this year.
    5. The Board and MPMA are not policing the stores nor do they want to act as “mediators” between members and non-members. However, the Board is committed to help mediate issues amongst its members.
    6. Finally, the Board of Directors is fully committed to provide transparency to all activities, fees, budget, marketing and any Conflict of Interests.
    7. I write on behalf of myself and not on behalf of the Board since I am replying to certain accusations which are totally inaccurate and reflect total lack of understanding of how the Board and MPMA work.

  6. Fronnie Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    Adrian,

    Well said. Thank you for your comments and this update on the MPMA, its function, and its goals.

  7. the idler Monday, June 8, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Hello Ralph, and Fronnie, and Adrian,
    As far as identifying myself I will say this :

    I am a woman and survivor of domestic violence. Your last sentence containing “ I know who you are,” “ why are you hiding?” “ you fit right in” etc etc.

    Those words terrify me. Period. It reminded me of when I was at a shelter for women and my ex kept calling my cell phone leaving me threatening messages saying things like “ I know where you are. “ and “ Why are you hiding, you can’t hide from me.” And its not just me, I showed your comment to my business partner, and they said that they can see why I might feel afraid. I also suffer from a Traumatic Brain Injury from the abuse I received.

    I am anonymous because I don’t want my ex to find me. I don’t know where he is, and I hope he never does find me. I don’t do facebook, or twitter, and I have a zero presence on social media. I also do it so that people don’t make assumptions or judgements about me, when they don’t really know me at all. So when it comes to online activity I keep my identity private.

    I also don’t want you to label me as an enemy, because I have nothing against you or anyone and I would prefer if everyone just get along. There is far too much anger and bitterness in the world. We as humans have a choice everyday whether or not we want to bring more anger to the world, or whether we want to work towards a more peaceful planet. I personally want to make the world a better place. Everyday I try to think to myself “ What can I do today to make the world better for everyone, not just myself?” This has helped me with anger and pain that I felt from my abusive relationship.
    Keep that in mind for the future, because the MAJORITY of the business owners in the Magnolia Park Merchants Assocation are WOMEN.

    I am new to the organization, and I do consider myself fair and unbiased. I don’t have anything against anyone. So yes I do want to be fair to both sides. And if I can influence an organization to be more positive you can bet I will do that!

    Also, just to be clear, I am not on the board, I am just a merchant in the association.
    Reading through your comments and your original post I can see how you would be upset with some things that have happened. That’s understandable.

    But I do have to ask a few questions if I may. You said :

    “ In all fairness this group has been out for their own needs as well as having allegiances that fit into their group and alienate others.”

    As I mentioned in my last post, and what the board wrote in their letter :

    1. They are willing to meet with ANY merchants, in the organization or not.

    2. They took a survey of all the merchants on the block to see if all the merchants wanted the 1 hour parking.

    3. They went to city council saying that they supported the one hour parking

    4. The survey was given to the traffic people ( whoever is in charge of that)

    5. They agree with you that nobody should be harassed or bullied.

    If they did all this, and came out against bullying, and took the survey, and went before the city council supporting it, in order to support ALL of the merchants on the block, including you, then I have a question for you:

    How can you say that they are only out for themselves, only have allegiance to certain parties, etc, when they did all these things to support you, and the other businesses on that block whether they were in the association or not? I have to admit, I don’t understand your conclusion.

    Best of luck to you and your business.

  8. Kim Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    Hello Idler ,

    If you are a victim of domestic violence, why aren’t You responding to the way I was spoken to on the sidewalk in front of my store? I was called an ugly old bitch and the block will party when l die. Of all people, where were you?

    I’ve read your nice nice words. I never received a support phone call from anyone who has been in this organization for three months or more

    Why do you keep mentioning that you are not on the board? You of all people should understand Bad Behavior & Bullying.

    Domestic abuse is never alright.The abuse on our block is just as unacceptable

Comments are closed.