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February 18, 2010
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The BudgetLA Journey Continues!

This Friday at 3pm, the BudgetLA community meets with Deputy Mayor Larry Frank for a presentation on the reorganization of the Neighborhood Council System. This meeting is the culmination of the tremendous work done by the hundreds of people who have participated in the BudgetLA journey, representing 75 of the 90 certified neighborhood councils.

There is a lot of ground to cover, from NC elections and NC funding to the core priorities of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we put all of our energy into being part of the solution as we take on the city's budget crisis and as we work together to position neighborhood councils as an asset in the journey to make Los Angeles a Great City.

Deputy Mayor Larry Frank hosts BudgetLA
Friday, February 19, 2010
3:00 pm
Mayor's Press Room
3rd Floor
200 Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Ride your bike and park out front next to mine, take the Metro and get some exercise, or grab some friends and carpool. (email to arrange parking)

The future of the Neighborhood Council System depends on your participation NOW and it is your hard work that will shape the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and establish the foundation for all that unfolds as we move forward.

Ken Draper of CityWatch will provide an overview of the BudgetLA Journey and Shawn Simons of Empowerment Congress North will present the collaborative plan for the Neighborhood Council System.

I hope you'll join us.

E & N Committee Recommendations
 Go to Full City Council
Thursday, February 18, 2010
City Council Special Meeting
10:00 am

Items 1 through 5 on the agenda for Thursday's City Council Special Meeting address neighborhood council issues and include:

1) the transfer of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment or the Neighborhood Council Funding Program.

2) eliminating the Neighborhood Council "rollover" policy and transferring all suspended "rollover" funds totaling $1.61 million to the Reserve Fund.

3) eliminating the Neighborhood Council bank card system and conversion to a demand warrant system.

4) Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, City Attorney and City Administrative Officer evaluating and redefining allowable expenditure categories for Neighborhood Council funds.

5) a proposed 50 percent reduction to the annual NC allocation amount for 2010-11.

On Tuesday, approximately 60 people representing 28 neighborhood councils participated in a robust Education and Neighborhoods Committee Meeting that lasted for almost four hours. Chairman Paul Krekorian and Councilman Dennis Zine took testimony on each of the five items listed above and the committe made recommendations that now go to the full City council.

Because a public hearing has been held on the five items, there will be no additional testimony from the public unless a member of the council calls the items "special" which may happen because of the controversial nature of the items and the potential need for discussion. If the items get pulled from the consent agenda, the public will have the opportunity to address the council.

The E & N Recommendations are:

1) Committee recommends a) that the city report back to the committee within two weeks of the feasibility of a non profit taking over NC funding, b) making BONC the managing commission and moving DONE staff under them. "We have to move forward and study this," Krekorian says. "We need to move. We are in a crisis." Report back in two weeks.

2) Krekorian said "It's clear to me this is a broken accounting system. This is a system that requires reform. Sweeping these funds into the reserve would not allow NCs what they need to meet their commitments. We need to move the funds into the unappropriated balance account, subject to certain claims. We also need a better verification process." Report back in two weeks.

3) Committee recommends that the NCs submit monthly accounting reports of bank cards to maintain the current procedure and improve transparency. Also moves that cash withdrawals from NCs be eliminated and that DONE report back with an enforcement policy. Report back in one week.

4) Committee recommends that DONE report back in 60 days.

5) Krekorian recommends total rejection of 50% cut the CAO had recommended citing partnership with NCs as basis on which to move forward, calling that the "sweet spot in this issue." Krekorian vows to continue the discussion with the city and NCs for better, more efficient and transparent ways to move forward.

As the City Council debates and investigates, ordering reports, studies, surveys, and recommendations, it is imperative that neighborhood councils are in the mix, as partners, not as spectators. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the public does not wait on the the City Council, the CAO, the CLA, the City Clerk, CDD, DONE, BONC, and the E & N Committee, but instead takes the lead on developing a plan for the future of the Neighborhood council System.
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In This Issue
The BudgetLA Journey Continues
E & N Committee Recommendations to City Council
City Council

  Thu. Feb. 18 @10am

200 Spring St.

Los Angeles 90012


BudgetLA at Mayor's Office

  Fri. Feb. 19 @3pm

200 Spring St.

Los Angeles 90012


City Council
Budget & Finance

Mon. Feb. 22 @6pm

Hamilton High School, 955 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles 90034



Sat. Feb 27 @10am

Location TBA
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