On the agenda at the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners’ April 21st meeting were several policy issues to address neighborhood council boundaries, posting and improper conduct by council members.
Stakeholders Can Be Members of Both NCs that Share Major Transportation Corridor as Boundary
There has been some concern within the system that people who live on either side of a major thoroughfare that defines an NC boundary should be a member of both neighborhood councils as there are issues that are relevant for these constituents as part of both. Empower LA General Manager Grayce Liu confirmed at the meeting that in fact the current plan allows for common boundaries in this case if both Neighborhood Councils agree.
New Posting Policy Approved
The Commission’s Ad-hoc Implementation Committee, headed by Vice Chair Len Shaffer, has been working to finalize a new posting policy with enforceable consequences for violations. Although there was some concern that passing a policy prior to the completion of activities of the soon to be seated Outreach Task Force was premature, the majority of members, including Ad-hoc Outreach Committee chair Joy Atkinson, felt the need to establish a baseline now. This action affirms the work of the Plan Review Working Groups and lays a foundation for the task force to build upon. The Commission unanimously passed the policy which requires: 1) posting agendas at one Brown Act compliant location; 2) posting agendas on website or EmpowerLA website; and 3) a copy of the agendas be sent to Empower LA within Brown Act time limits for posting on the Early Notification System. In addition to the required postings, the Commission encourages putting agendas in additional locations as well as distribution via email based on what works locally. If the posting policy is not followed, NCs face being asked by Empower LA staff to repost or if this is not possible, to cancel the meeting. More serious penalties will ensue after 3 posting violations in one fiscal year including required training and exhaustive efforts. See (click here) for the policy as discussed at the meeting. It will be finalized at the May 6 meeting upon final review by the City Attorney’s office.
Commission and City Attorney’s Office Collaborating on Policy and Training to address “Bad Behavior”
Following meetings with Councilwoman Nury Martinez and City Attorney Mike Feuer, the Commission is working collaboratively with the City Attorney’s office to put in place training and policies to support NCs in addressing poor conduct by board members in their interactions with each other and their stakeholders. Through the leadership of the Ad-hoc Implementation Committee, the goal is to complete work on this issue by the end of the fiscal year.
Councilmember Joe Buscaino, the next Leadership LA speaker on May 6 in Wilmington
Last month, the Commission initiated our Leadership LA series with a talk by the President of the Board of Public Works, Kevin James. These presentations at our monthly meeting in the field are designed to stimulate ideas and dialogue to inspire high standards among NC members and other public officials in their leadership roles. At our next meeting in the Harbor, thanks to the efforts of Commissioner Victor Medina, we are excited to announce that Councilmember Joe Buscaino will join us to provide his take on what it means to be a public leader and how he envisions partnering with NCs to reach the goals of his office. Please join us to be part of this inspiring conversation!