“[Goldsman] seems to be assured there seems to be sufficient volunteerism,” Ayers said.
Goldsman is not opposed to opening the cemetery as often as possible as long as security is present, Baum said.
“We look forward to the next series of openings,” he said.
The cemetery’s troubles began in October 2005 when state investigators found the remains of 4,000 people who had not been properly buried or disposed.
In November 2005, the state removed then-operator Marsha Lee Howard and prohibited it from conducting any new business. Goldsman, who took over as operator, closed the cemetery less than a year later due to financial difficulties.
The city stepped in for many months and opened the cemetery for four hours a week, until financial and fire-hazard issues became costly.
In August 2007, the city obtained a public nuisance abatement order against the property that allowed it to bypass legal hurdles and do the cleanup work itself.
It remained closed as Goldsman fixed the irrigation system and made other improvements.
Visitation to the cemetery has been limited. It reopened on March 30, May 25, June 19, July 13 and 27, Aug. 10 and 24, and Sept. 14.
Multiple individual lawsuits and a class-action lawsuit have been filed against the cemetery by family members of people buried at the cemetery.
Ayers requested that Mohr allow cemetery openings twice a month, which Mohr allowed on trial basis during a July 29 court conference. The cemetery opened twice in August and once in September. The second opening for this month will be Sept. 28.
The cemetery openings are generally staffed by volunteers who help families find their loved ones’ graves.
Today’s status conference hearing will be at 2:30 p.m. in Department 309 at the Central Civil West Court, 600 S. Commonwealth Ave. in Los Angeles.
VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.