Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education President Lisa Korbatov has never been one to mince words. At community meetings for the Westside subway extension through Beverly Hills, Korbatov has spoken often (and often over people) about the BHUSD's opposition to a central Century City station at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars--which would require a tunnel under Bev Hills high school--basically saying it'll happen over her dead body. The Beverly Hills Patch reports that her tone has led to some fractured relationships with Beverly Hills politicians, some of whom have tried a more political/delicate tact with Metro regarding placement of the station. At a recent City Council meeting, Korbatov lashed out at politicians including Mayor Barry Brucker and Councilman Julian Gold, specifically criticizing the BH officials for taking meetings with Metro officials and giving them a tour of the BHHS campus to discuss potential placement of the tunnel. Korbatov told Brucker that rather than acting on the issue, "you have pursued an uninterrupted course of meddling, holding clandestine, covert meetings with MTA decision-makers and you have even ridiculed some [school] board members."
At the meeting, BH Vice Mayor William Brien said there had been no secret meetings with Metro and that the officials weren't obligated "to check with the school board every time we meet with another elected official." Brien said Metro is not necessarily keen to work with BHUSD since the school board has trashed the transit agency in meetings and in the media (BHUSD also said at first that they opposed a tunnel under the high school because of potential terrorism and school collapse, but now say they don't want it because it will hinder new construction).
Nevertheless, Korbatov's views were greeted with applause at the Council meeting, and she added that she would bring up the actions, or inactions, of BH politicians at a BHUSD board meeting today.
But Brucker had this to say to Korbatov's accusations: "Please don't think for a moment that simply because this council isn't throwing grenades ... at the Metro board that our resolve and determination isn't as potent as ... yours," he said, according to Patch. "We're trying to see if we can succeed by drowning them in honey versus throwing vinegar in their face."
Metro plans to have their final environmental impact report--with placement of a Century City station--sometime this Fall.
· BHUSD President Clashes With Council Over Subway Fight [BH Patch]
· Purple Line Extension Archives [Curbed LA]