By Peter Lasky
The Northridge West Neighborhood Council (NWNC) currently has an At-Large seat open on the board and two additional At-Large seats will become available in July. If you’re interested in serving on the neighborhood council, please email me at or call 818-697-0639.
What Is a Neighborhood Council?
The neighborhood council is made up of volunteers who live, work or study within its boundaries. Board members are elected by their community members for the purpose of addressing community concerns. Members have the opportunity to weigh in with their opinions and get involved in how our budget of $42,000 is used for community purposes.
There are many issues that are important to those in our neighborhood. They include, to name a few, concern about crime, the conditions of our streets and sidewalks, homelessness, planning and land use. Perhaps you have an opinion about these subjects, or maybe you feel your neighborhood is being overlooked and your needs are not being addressed. Being on a neighborhood council is your chance to take part and have an opportunity to translate those concerns into meaningful action.
The last two years my passions have been to try and improve the condition of the Tampa medians and to hold town hall meetings on subjects of importance and concern to the community. Last year we held a meeting on sober living homes featuring our Councilmen Mitch Englander and other city officials; this year the focus was on the health effects of the SoCal Aliso Canyon Gas Leak. We were pleased to have Dr. Nordella, the Porter Ranch Doctor who paid for a study out of his pocket, as a speaker. The event was moderated by Patrick Healy from NBC News and Diane Gonzales, a doctoral candidate in Environmental Health Sciences.
Other board members’ passions have led us to support the Disaster Preparedness Fair which helps educate the public about how to prepare for and respond to our next big disaster, and holding CPR and first aid classes at no cost to our community. We have also supported our local police in crime prevention by paying for Neighborhood Watch Signs and their installation.
What Kind of People Serve on Neighborhood Councils?
There is no one type of person who chooses to serve on the neighborhood council. Some of our board members are somewhat shy and reserved, others very outgoing, but they all have a deep concern and love for their community and want to make it better. We ask, to fill a board position, to keep an open mind, listen to others’ ideas, and be willing to work with those whose opinions may differ from your own.
At the March meeting our guest speaker was Patrick Frank, President of the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight. Among the dangers cited by Mr. Frank are new proposals in a City Ordinance CF 11-1705 that would allow for large digital signs to be just 100’ from residential areas. Many of our city council members support these new proposals. Could it possibly be because the sign companies make free signs available to them?
The board will take action at the April Meeting to advise the City Council about our feelings on this subject. Whether you are for or against this proposal, you may want to come to the April Meeting and make your feelings known.
Use of Your Tax Dollars
In the matter of spending your tax dollars, the board voted to approve grants of $1000 to the Southern California Preparedness Foundation in support of the 2018 Disaster Preparedness Fair. A grant of $1000 was also approved for the YMCA for their Healthy Family Kids Day.
City Council Matters
The board voted approval of City Council proposed actions to expedite and lower the costs of projects dealing with trying to find homes for the ever-growing homeless population.
As always, I’m interested in your thoughts and suggestions.