With 13 board members who choose to join the council there may be a variety of reasons, but it usually comes down to some form of this basic answer a desire to serve their community.
Some board members may be considered about quality of life issues like, crime, sober living homes and noise, to some it may be issues of beautification or sustainability and other board members may be concerned about disaster preparedness. While there are other issues that are sometimes gathering attention, like homelessness, land use planning policy, immigration policy, business development, etc. these have not been hot button issues this year for us. Anything that the Los Angeles City Council touches is fair game for Neighborhood Council.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say this but I suspect that not all who join do so altruistically. There are others who see this as a way of padding a resume, advancing their business career or as a first step to launch a political office. There is nothing wrong with these reasons either as long as they are working to serve our stakeholders at the same time.
Here are my dreams of what I hope we can do.
The Beautification Committee, Operation Clean Sweep for the first was able to clean all of our major thoroughfares, Tampa, Devonshire, Chatsworth, Corbin, Plummer and Reseda. The Beautification Committee and all of the new volunteers who recently joined have managed to knock down all of the weeds, unclog all gutters, trim all over hanging shrubs and trees and pick up all of the pine needles that impede walkers and cyclists making our side walks more manageable and safer than they’ve been in years.
The Public Safety Committee through their work with the Devonshire Departments Senior Lead Officers (SLO’s) has been so successful with inspiring the formation of more Neighborhood Watch groups. Because of the active work of Neighborhood Watch Groups some break in’s were stopped and the perpetrators caught. The effect of more Neighborhood Watch groups has resulted in the decrease in crime resulting in the lowest crime rate that we have seen in years.
Sidewalks & Streets
Also due to the efforts of the Public Safety Committee there has been a vast improvement in the condition of our sidewalks and streets. This success has come through the use (SAR) small asphalt repair program, which the committee has used to get this program to repair all the holes, large cracks, and raised sidewalks. The net result of this is a cost savings to the city in terms of damages paid out to citizens for car damage and trip and fall injures to walkers.
The stakeholder’s reaction to the Beautifications Committee efforts has been remarkable. Now that the topiary project on the Tampa Avenue Medians is filling in people are delighted at the whimsical and creative designs. It is not uncommon now to see families walking up and down Tampa Avenue admiring these works. Favorable press and television coverage of this unique achievement has increased traffic to the mall and to local restaurants.
The sad thing is that this doesn’t have to be a dream; much of the dream is doable. All it takes is for the community to dream together, come together, and to work together to make things happen.
This may be my dream, this may not be anyone else’s dream, and the more important truth is that much more is doable, but it takes more than us. Next year we will have 7 seats that are expiring, we hope that we will have many candidates who are interested in filling them.
July 1st marks the beginning of a new fiscal year the board and I are interested in hearing your dreams and visions of what we can and should be doing.