Blog: Farewell Facts from the Former HHPNC

As there has been some confusion in these pages about what a Neighborhood Council may do, and as to what the last Board did

All 95 Neighborhood Councils of Los Angeles City operate entirely under the jurisdiction of the City Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), which strictly dictates all operating rules. The Board was elected in April 2010 and was not seated until August 2010 due to an election challenge by the previous Board President. Three-and-a-half months were lost.

Population of Highland Park in 2010 Census: 50,000

HHPNC Election in 2010: 354 registrations

HHPNC Election in 2012: 347 registrations


Average HHPNC Meeting Audience Attendance:

Sept 2010 – April 2011 9.4 people/meeting

May 2011 – Dec 2011  8.9 people/meeting

Jan 2012 – Sept 2012  7.8 people/meeting

Three attendance exceptions in 2012 were due to extensive leafleting and other outreach:

July 19, Graffiti Report: 53 people

August 2, Public Safety Police Report and 710 Freeway extension: 90 people

September 6, City Attorney Special Report Abatement: 82 people

Totals of Board members absences, August 19, 2010 through Oct 4, 2012:


Months on Board


Teri Bonsell

26 Full term


Janet Dodson



Rick Marquez



Trisha Gossett



Stan Moore



Chris Smith



Steve Crouch



Ofelia Zuniga



Erik Duarte



Mauro Garcia



Miriam Escobar



Leave of absences, or recent appointments

David Kekone



Luis Antezana



Joan Potter



David Baird



Cathi Milligan



Ruben Del Portillo



Monica Alcaraz



Hector Huezo




No Neighborhood Council may receive funding other than from LA City. Accounting rules are rigid. Financial restrictions determine how the City funds are used. Grants to organizations may only be to 501(c)(3) organizations, or LAUSD schools with preference given to those within the borders of the Neighborhood Council. No religious institutions of any kind, or religious schools, may receive funding.

The 2010 Board began three-and-a-half months late, and in “Exhaustive Efforts” i.e. no funding available due to previous Board activities. Funding was restored to the 2010 Board Oct 21, 2010. Accumulated funding was large, therefore the Board was able to sequester $50,000 for cameras which have yet to be installed.

Activities/Organizations/Outreach Expenses--not operating expenses--funded:


One-day events/festivals/community activities: 60% of Budget

More permanent projects: 34% of Budget

Outreach supplies: 6% of Budget


One-day events/festivals/community activities: 24% of Budget

Sports: 30% of Budget

More permanent projects: 32% of Budget

Outreach supplies: 14% of Budget


One-day events/festivals/community activities: 24% of Budget

Sports one-day: 10% of Budget

More permanent projects: 56% of Budget

Outreach supplies: 10% of Budget

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David Lyttle October 23, 2012 at 05:53 PM
90042 I’m confused ……………. That is my zip and I live in Monterey Hills however I also receive mail that says Highland Park and Los Angeles. So where do I live Los Angeles, Highland Park or Monterey Hills ?
JosephR October 23, 2012 at 05:55 PM
This is an excellent service of reporting to the community at-large, Thank you for all the time it took to research and prepare.
Jason October 23, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Wow, Miriam Escobar, Erik Duarte, and Mauro Garcia really led the way, huh? Why even bother running for election if you're never going to show up?
The MOG October 23, 2012 at 05:58 PM
You are in Northeast L.A.
The MOG October 23, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Miriam has a ligitimate excuse, & often arrives late, but she's there.
Jason October 23, 2012 at 06:02 PM
David, you might even be in Eagle Rock, as I am...
David Fonseca (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 06:06 PM
The 90042 zip code includes Highland Park, Hermon and Monterey Hills, as well as some fringes of Eagle Rock. I used to lived in Monterey Hills, too, David. It is its own neighborhood, though sometimes lumped in with Montecito Heights by mappers.
David Lyttle October 23, 2012 at 06:31 PM
90042…….. Where do I live ? According to the LA Times: http://projects.latimes.com/mapping-la/neighborhoods/ There is no “Neighborhood” called Monterey Hills. How did Monterey Hills become part of the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council ? Why isn’t it part of Highland Park?
David Fonseca (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM
David--Monterey Hils is not contiguous with Highland Park, that's why it cannot be included in the HHPNC. It's separated geographically by Hermon. And, as I found when I lived in that neighborhood, the LATimes considers Monterey Hills to be a part of Montecito Heights.
JosephR October 23, 2012 at 06:56 PM
ZIP codes were added in the mid-1960s by the federal government as a means to expedite mail delivery. They don't have a lot to do with individual community boundaries, identity, or history, but more where the mail is delivered from to that area. E.g., if you pop in 90065 at a Radio Shack cash register, etc. they're likely to say you live in "Glassell Park" because that's where the P.O. is and it's the largest of the several communities that particular ZIP code covers. But 90065 also covers Mt. Washington, Cypress Park, and pieces of a couple other communities. There are other similar examples in Northeast L.A. such as 90032 & 90031.
El Cid October 23, 2012 at 07:10 PM
MOG - “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.” I've been around the HHPNC long enough to know - you really do not know! It is falsely believed that criticism is something that can be avoided easily by saying nothing and doing nothing! Miriam has the say & do nothing down to a perfection! Janet- Thanks for reporting on the HHPNC.
JosephR October 23, 2012 at 07:12 PM
When these NCs were being formed, back in 2001-02, the Arroyo Seco NC "Boundaries" committee chair, Louis Quirarte, told me that the leaders of "Historic" Highland Park NC didn't want Hermon and Monterey Hills included in their neighborhood council. Althiough they share a ZIP code, HHPNC didn't consider those two communities across the freeway to be part of Highland Park. There was talk (briefly) of trying to include Garvanza in the ASNC, as well, but both HP and Garvanza felt like their histories were much more intertwined. For some other adjoining or related areas -- such as "5 points" (?) in Mt. Washington, and later Cypress Park -- there was a lot more contention and eventually much more outreach done in the area to see where the stakeholders in those areas wanted to end up. The former stayed in ASNC; the latter didn't.
David Lyttle October 23, 2012 at 07:26 PM
HerMonterey Hills NC................ With all of this talk about Hermon leaving the ASNC perhaps through Outreach folks in Monterey Hills would want to join.
Culturevator October 24, 2012 at 04:04 PM
@Jason, Right on! How about the one with the worst attendance record appearing on the slate that won? Whose idea was that, to have a deadbeat as part of your team? That person should resign, and the board should replace with a team player.
Ewan Whatarmy October 25, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Seems both Highland Park NC, as well as Eagle Rock NC had an excellent turnout, as well as pretty contentious issues, internally. How about residents (losing candidates included) on both towns show up to the meetings and start checking on NC's. Become and engaged citizen and keep your political representative, local, state and even national on check like that. If more of us try it, more can be accomplished.
ChickenBoyFan October 25, 2012 at 04:17 PM
These stats are a great outreach tool ,and should appear on the HHPNC website, on a regular basis. What a perfect way to exhibit transparency. Thank you, Janet for informing those of us who care about where the funding is spent, and how. I highly recommend that ASNC, and ERNC also post their stats, if they don't already do so.
Rosalita Jump October 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Maybe I didn't read it right, but how does 347 people voting from a population of 50,000 equal an excellent turnout to elect people to spend my City tax dollars?
Lisa Brewer October 25, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Janet, of course you neglected to include: Lisa Brewer / board participation 17 months, including effort to prep and bond the future board for months prior to the election in my own living room. Resigned Dec 2011 due to ongoing conflicts with school schedule. Funding categories - "More Permanent Projects" - what are those? In the underserved community that is HLP, It's shameful that so much of MY taxpayer $ has been wasted on one-day events. BTW: there were 2 items of business leftover from the 2008-2010 NC that the 2010-2012 board should have completed: the York Blvd 'Windshield Survey' and the purchase & installation of LAPD surveillance cameras on York / Fig. No way of knowing if the Survey was completed, and work on the cameras spun for 2 whole years. When the NCs work, they are good, when they're not, they're a Bonfire of Vanities. It is a seriously flawed system with zero real oversight or accountability. God Bless all of us for trying, but HLP has yet to realize its potential. Best wishes to the future board and all just trying to live day-to-day as good citizens of our community.
Janet Alvarado Dodson October 25, 2012 at 08:13 PM
LIsa, I also did not include any of the other Board members, who were not on the Board at the end as the list would have been very long. Would you like to see it? I would also be happy to give you or anyone interested the exact list of projects,and their amounts, both one-day, and permanent, the Board approved. The York Blvd Survey was completed in the fall of 2011, and will be incorporated in Survey LA. The cameras are all funded, but not installed.
David Lyttle October 25, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Festival-Based Stakeholders………………. Lisa, I don’t know if you have heard, but Judy Knapton and Martha Benedict over at the ASNC have created a new class of Stakeholder called “FESTIVAL-BASED”. Knapton and Benedict demand their new “ESTIVAL-BASED” stakeholders be in favor of wasting taxpayer dollars on one-day events. And not only that, “FESTIVAL-BASED” Stakeholders must be self-affirmed factual-based, (you don’t need the Starbucks receipt, no documentation is required, all you need to do is self-affirm). And, the final qualification is that you are not allowed to live in the area where the Festival occurs. By the way have you ever been to the Monterey Hills Jazz Festival? If you haven’t and you’re thinking about it you can be one of Judy Knapton’s and Martha Benedict’s “FESTIVAL-BASED” stakeholders.
Michelle bonsell October 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Janet whatever happen to the transparency and accountability for the YORK survey
Michelle bonsell October 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Janet whatever happen to the transparency and accountability for the YORK survey
Janet Alvarado Dodson October 27, 2012 at 05:05 PM
What exactly do you think was not transparent or accountable? The completion of the York Blvd. Survey was announced at the HHPNC November, 2011. It is a gigantic detailed document. It now is in the hands of Survey LA, awaiting inclusion in their survey of the entire city. No one on the Board wanted to see the survey. If you would like to see it, I would be happy to arrange it. Considering the number of scams, and biased expenditures of CIty money at the HHPNC, I find it interesting that this survey, which was completed on time, and fulfilled exactly what it was supposed to accomplish, has been the object of so much scrutiny and personal hostility.
El Cid October 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Janet - You did an amazing job! As for the spend, happy, one-day fiesta organizers - "Spend your own money!" Let's get some real projects done in HP that can benefit the community long-term!
Spike Lee Gonzo October 27, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Wrong! MOGster. The tardy times are not counted as absent. Again, don't run for NC if you don't want to do anything.(except show up to ride on the holiday float)
Spike Lee Gonzo October 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The turnout wasn't worth the money spent for election committees, or community participation stuff.
Spike Lee Gonzo October 27, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Ole, El Cid! Way to turn the table on that attempted beatdown,Janet. You have been a fine example of transparency, though it sounds like some are making lame attempts at fault finding, to no avail. You are a worker, and a high road traveler.


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