I hope you are well. I'm sending you this special bulletin because we have some time-sensitive issues coming up as well as a Mayoral Town Hall and the EmpowerLA Awards in City Council.
Before I do that, however, I want to thank you for all the wonderful feedback I've seen from Neighborhood Councils to the City on important issues, such as the Budget, Neighborhood Council elections, EDD, waste franchise, etc. I've seen more Neighborhood Council input in the last 4 months, than in my last 5 years at the Department. So thank you for doing your part in making government more responsive to your local needs!
To make it easier to offer feedback, you can email CityHall@EmpowerLA.org, and your message will be sent to the Mayor, the City Council, and the City Clerk. If you want your comments included in the Council File, you must put the Council File # in the Subject line.
This week, there are several "Hot Topics" that I wanted to bring to your attention so that you can act decisively and participate with confidence.
Mayor's Proposed Budget - Mayor Villaraigosa has released his 2013-2014 Budget under Council File # 13-0600. On April 30th, the Budget and Finance Committee will begin the review of the Mayor's Proposed Budget, and I hope that Neighborhood Councils leaders will weigh take the time to weigh in on the budget. Here is a summary of the Department's Proposed Budget and the Neighborhood Council Fund:
Neighborhood Council yearly allocation - maintained at $37,000 next fiscal year with elections being held in spring of 2014 - a big thank you to the Mayor's Office and City Clerk, who along with the Department, absorbed the costs of the elections so Neighborhood Councils would not have to take a cut. Much appreciation to the Neighborhood Councils who weighed in on this issue as well.
Department positions - 2 positions were cut (Senior Accountant II and a Neighborhood Empowerment Analyst) and 2 positions were added (Accountant I and a Senior Project Coordinator). These positions were separate from the positions authorized for elections next year.
Other Department funding requests - Out of the $250k requested for additional funding as needed positions to assist with the transition and set up of the new funding checking account system, $40k was provided. Of the $20k requested, there was no additional funding provided for support of the Congress of Neighborhoods or Budget Advocates.
I want to thank the Mayor and his Mayor's Budget team, led by Monique Earl and Neil Gugleilmo, as well as CAO Miguel Santana and his team, especially Ray Ciranna, Robin Engel, Terry Sauer and Delilah Puche, for all of their hard work on the budget in these difficult times and for helping me understand the process my first time around. Deputy Mayor Torie Osborn and Associate Director Yolanda Fuentes were also key in assisting me with the budget.
I will be writing a response letter to the Budget and Finance Committee with suggestions on transferring any salary savings from this year and the $162k left from the unused election outreach encumbrance to next fiscal year to invest in the proper setup of the new funding program and in other Neighborhood Council programs. I'll include a copy in our newsletter on Friday.
If your Neighborhood Council wants to weigh in, simply email CityHall@EmpowerLA.org. Put the File # in the subject line so that your comments become part of the official record.
- Mayor's Town Hall - On Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will conducting a Town Hall Meeting in the Valley, talking about public safety, transportation, and economic development - issues that impact us all.
Valley Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Doors open at 5:15 p.m.
Van Nuys City Hall
14410 Sylvan Street
Van Nuys, CA 91401
Seating is limited. Please R.S.V.P. to Yolanda.Fuentes@LACity.org
Join me on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall in Council Chambers to support:
Silver Lake Neighborhood Council
Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council
North Hills East Neighborhood Council
Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council
Mid-City Neighborhood Council
Mar Vista Community Council
Park Mesa Heights Community Council
After the presentation in Council Chambers, the Department will be hosting a Celebration Reception in our offices on the 20th Floor.
I hope you'll join us on Friday, in Council Chambers, to support the Neighborhood Councils being honored and to celebrate National Volunteer Week with us.
For more information or to R.S.V.P. or to reserve parking, call 213-978-1551 or email Stephen.Box@LACity.org.
- Council File # 10-1797-S15 - "Exclusive Commercial and Multifamily Solid Waste Franchise Hauling System" is scheduled for City Council on Wednesday, April 24, 1013 at 10:00 am.
This item has stirred lots of comments from Business Improvement orgs, Chambers of Commerce, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Hospitals, Schools, Restaurants, Health orgs, and others.
But not one Neighborhood Council has weighed in on Council File # 10-1797-S15.
If you have an opinion, email CityHall@EmpowerLA.org and share it. Put the File # in the subject line so that your comments become part of the File Packet.
Thank you again for all your time and energies
to Empower LA!