Friday, Feb 19
A meeting hosted by Ken Draper from City Watch between the members of LANCC (Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition, a group of Neighborhood Council members organized to address issues relevant to NC's) and Deputy Mayor Larry Frank, took place at City Hall this week. In attendance were Mr. BongHwan Kim, Director of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) and about 10 or more NC Chairs and members. The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate a discussion between the Mayors office and LANCC's ideas for the inevitable restructuring of DONE which had come under fire recently for ineffectual management of the department.
DONE oversees the organization of over 90 Neighborhood Councils and Mr. Frank admitted that part of the fault lay with City Council for not providing the resources DONE needed to do an effective job. That being said it was clear that DONE was in for a restructuring. There was no discussion to eliminate Neighborhood Councils. The decision to continue with this valuable connection between government and communities had already been made in Council. The discussion brought up the likelihood of DONE being overseen by the Community Development Department (CDD), LANCC’s proposed idea to outsource the financial management to relevant Non profits that are set up to manage the funds of other community organizations and the reduction of staff positions in DONE, identified by Mr. Bong, to about 14. Discussion turned to the idea of turning the elections back to the NC's. The savings to the City, if the City Clerk stopped overseeing the Neighborhoood Council elections, was substantial. There was clear consensus among the NC attendants that this was something that should not happen now. There were too many elections coming up and people were itching to leave or itching to get elected. There was general agreement that it would have disastrous consequence and Mr. Frank did not seem to be inclined to support this. There did seem to be general agreement that it was an option for the next election cycle.
Stay tuned for updates.