Patch Blog: On Residency Requirements for Neighborhood Council Candidates

ASNC Meeting Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 - Can Hypocrisy be Born of Ignorance?

My name is David Lyttle and I am running for one of the two Monterey Hills geographic representative seats to the ASNC and I am part of the Back to Business Slate of candidates.

Last night, I attended the final meeting of the ASNC prior to the upcoming elections to be held on October 13. I wanted to hear about the “Discussion and review of ASNC Financial Audit, for the period for July 2010 to June 2011, conducted by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment” which was listed as agenda item number 6 and secondly I wanted to support the Back to Business Slate to which I belong.

After the initial welcome the General Public Comment began with a statement read by Eliot Sekuler. Mr. Sekuler seemed to be very agitated with Joe Riser. Mr. Sekuler took the public forum to express his concerns about Mr. Riser running for a Sycamore Grove seat although his residence is within the Hermon community. At the very close of Mr. Sekuler’s statement current board member Ariel Van Zandweghye applauded loudly in what appeared to be an outward approval of the concern stated by Mr. Sekuler. Apparently, Mr. Van Zandweghye feels the same way as Mr. Sekuler, i.e. geographic representatives should in fact reside within the neighborhoods that they represent. Being an ASNC board member Mr. Van Zandweghye should be well aware of the qualifications for claiming a stake in a community which includes “factual basis."

If Mr. Van Zandweghye feels this way he may want to ask each of the five candidates of the Preserve Arroyo Seco Slate (which he is part of), who are running for geographic seats to state for the record if they live within the boundaries of the neighborhoods they claim to represent, he may find that one of the Preserve Arroyo Seco Slate geographic candidates does not reside within the community for which they they are running.

For my own peace of mind I left the meeting shortly after it began.

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Mark Legassie September 27, 2012 at 07:10 PM
The bottom line is that because ASNC (and all other NCs) have "factual basis" allowances, this is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. I've seen too many geographic reps that *live* in their own neighborhoods do absolutely *nothing* for it. The winner should be who you think will make the biggest impact on Sycamore Grove, not who lives the closest to you. Respectully submitted, Mark
Mark Legassie September 27, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Regarding the results of the ASNC Financial Audit, the DONE Rep (Mr. Brill) reported *no* findings except for a few hundred dollars mistake in the Animal Welfare category. This is exactly what I've said all along, and I'm glad the truth finally was revealed. I harbor no ill-feelings against anyone who presumed I was guilty until proven innocent. I just want to make peace with everyone, continue repairing my reputation, and get back to volunteering as ASNC Public Safety Chair (and possibly Board member again soon) -- with a goal to help our NELA communities be the safest and best prepared neighborhoods in the City.
nonoise November 24, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Mark, I agree that sometimes outsiders do more than the community. However, there is always the reverse too when outsiders come from other places just to place a vote. Any religious organization or outside group, can come into any neighborhood and claim to be a "factual basis" voter. The city never checks to see if you really are one or not. There is too much opportunity for abuse with "factual basis" allowances. And, religious organizations can not be trusted either.
Alex S Bowman November 28, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I do believe the definition of "factual basis" should be changed and ballets marked "factual basis" should investigated, but I also believe there are people who would fall under the factual basis definition that truly care about the community they registered under. Also, not all religious organizations should be looked upon negatively. The Free Methodist church populated the Hermon community. They are the reason the Bushnell Way school was build, why we have a high school, the Christmas Tree lighting, Harvest Festival, the Saturday Clean Up (done in honor of a long time member of the Hermon Church), and more positive impacts. I am not saying churches and their congregants should be trusted all of the time, but when the impact they have on a community is positive and evident to many, they should be. They have become members of the community and should not be treated as outsiders.


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