It is my understanding that the LA City Council is considering absconding with Neighborhood Council Rollover Funds, suspending use of petty cash and credit cards and dramatically reducing the funds available to each Neighborhood Council next year.
On behalf of the Northridge West Neighborhood Council, I hereby request that members of the City Council and the Mayor stand up for Neighborhood Councils across the city and vote against these ill conceived measures.
I have spent the past four years as a Board Member of my local NC and have spent countless hours at meetings, events, etc. in my community as a volunteer. Ditto for about 1,800 other folks throughout the City. If this attempt to gut the Neighborhood Council’s is successful, I promise I will resign and step away from the one area of the City Government that is actually functioning and effective.
As you know, the funding for Neighborhood Councils is just a very small fraction of the City Budget. According to the Mayor’s budget, the allotment for Neighborhood Empowerment for 2009-2010 is $3.3 million out of a total budget of $3,280,268,515. The NC’s budgeted amount is about .001% of the total budget. If Wendy Gruels’ numbers are correct regarding the amount spent on unused telephones throughout the city, then just by shutting off those phone lines would save the City $250,000 per month or $3 million per year – almost exactly the same spent on Neighborhood Empowerment. Just think how much the City would save if they embraced the new technology and used the internet (VOIP) for telephone calls like most companies do now !
This attempt to financially disembowel the Neighborhood Councils is ill-advised and short sighted. I believe strongly that our next crop of leaders will originate from the Neighborhood Councils. This attack on the Neighborhood Councils will likely result in further infuriating your stakeholders and constituents.
I believe that actions like those currently in consideration at the City Council will likely restoke the fire for another vote for Valley secession. I would strongly recommend that the City Council consider supporting the Neighborhood Councils instead of eviscerating them.
Thanks for your consideration,
President, Northridge West Neighborhood Council