I hope our newsletter finds you well and that you are able to stay cool during this heat wave!
I would like to start this short article by thanking our Field Operations team, comprised of our Neighborhood Empowerment Advocates and our support staff for carrying out a total of 83 board orientations! Great job guys!!!! Out of the 95 NCs, we did not get to 12 of you, for various reasons. At the moment, we are trying to reschedule 2 board orientations; 3 of you were not able to make time for the board orientation and 7 of you had and/or are having selections and will be trained at a later time. Thanks to all of you for making this a priority; as I’ve stated earlier, it is critical to your success that you learn the basic rules in order to be an effective voice for your community. Given our severe understaffing, we were also hoping that having the information at your fingertips by bringing it to you individually, will assist in some of the problem solving that needs to happen before, during and after your meetings.
Now that you have the nuts and bolts of training under your belt, the next step is a board retreat. A board retreat, conducted by our Department field staff may include the following: a survey asking the board to identify specific and immediate needs; interactive meeting facilitation; review of roles and responsibilities; review of your bylaws and standing rules; strategic planning; goal setting and visioning and anything else that the board may request.
As I communicated previously, our Bylaws moratorium was lifted July 1, 2014. Please submit your bylaw adjustments applications as early as possible to NCSupport@lacity.org, you can request an application by e-mailing us there as well. If you need assistance in resolving bylaws issues and/or have specific questions about your bylaws, please let us know. Remember that changes to your bylaws are never automatic; the Department has to review them and in some cases, specifically where board structure changes are involved, we have to involve the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. So please plan accordingly and anticipate on any changes that need to be scheduled with our Commission.
Please be reminded to save the date, August 9, 2014, for the next Open Government and Ethics training which will be held in the Harbor Area. More information with be coming shortly from our division. On a different note, the City Attorney’s Office Advice Division, will be offering their round tables in the upcoming weeks. The roundtable will focus on agenda writing, the Brown Act, the rules applicable to NCs, bylaws, and lastly a general discussion of concerns facing the board. This would also be an opportunity to chat with the City Attorney’s Office on the issues and challenges facing the board and learn some best practices.
As always should you have any questions, comments, concerns, please let us know by contacting our Department’s Help Line at (213) 978-1551 or via e-mail to: NCSupport@lacity.org.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Director of Field Operations