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Neighborhood Council Approves Funds for Security Cameras

The cameras will monitor the intersection of York and Figueroa as well as Monte Vista Street.

The on Thursday evening unanimously voted in favor of spending more than $50,000 to purchase two separate security systems that will monitor both Monte Vista Street and the intersection of York Boulevard and North Figueroa Street.

The final vote comes after months of the issue being repeatedly tabled, as the council attempted to workaround the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment's (DONE) insistence that they enter into a contract with their preferred vendor, R&D Systems.

"The city has unit rates that they get from vendors, and they really prefer that we work with those vendors," HHPNC President Chris Smith said.

The board had hoped to shop around for the security system, or at least hear a presentation from R&D Systems. However--as violence increased throughout Highland Park, and in the neighborhood earlier on Thursday--the board appeared eager to move forward.

"We are being guided by DONE, but there's nothing we can do but move forward," said HHPNC member Rick Marquez.

The funding for the cameras comes from two distinct sources.

According to HHPNC President Chris Smith, the board set aside $24,858 in 2009 to purchase the security system for York and Figueroa. The $31,049 for the Monte Vista cameras comes from Council District 1.

Smith said that Thursday evening's vote was mostly "ceremonial" as the board had already voted to purchase the cameras in 2009, and that the funds from CD 1 were set aside to buy the cameras.

The board will likely need to set aside added funds in the future to pay for the cost of service and upkeep to the cameras, Smith said.

The precise location of the cameras will be determined by the Los Angeles Police Department.

According to Smith, the cameras will monitor public areas where there is no expectation of privacy. Still, some community members have raised concerns about the police using cameras to monitor private citizens. There is currently one security system linked to LAPD Northeast operating near the corner of Avenue 50 and York Boulevard.

The Weasel July 20, 2012 at 11:56 PM
It's about time!
nonoise July 21, 2012 at 02:04 PM
The neighborhood council's budget is only $40,000 a year. So, how did they approve spending $50,000 or more? Is the $50,000 including the money from CD1? And, how do they use funds approved in 2009 now? The money is no longer allowed to be carried over from one year to the next. And, there is no such thing as a "ceremonial vote". If money has been approved nothing else needs to be done. This article is not clear on WHO is spending the money. It makes no sense.
David Fonseca (Editor) July 21, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I believe it is clear, Susan Rocha. Half of the money was approved in 2009 by the HHPNC and has not been spent yet. The board was given permission by DONE to encumber that money. The other half was DONATED by CD1.
Marino July 21, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Thanks for looking into the price of these cameras, David. "Preferred vendor". Ha! That's interesting. And it has taken them 4 years...
Armez July 21, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Private citizens should be feeling relieved about the cameras, unless of course we have front yard nudist sun bathers who don't want videos taken of them during their sun soak sessions.....
JosephR July 21, 2012 at 06:40 PM
$37,000 this year -- 2012-13, and possibly "taxed" at least a few thousand from that to hold their own elections (per CM Bernard Parks)?
nonoise July 22, 2012 at 08:28 PM
David, now it is clear from your post. But still I don't know how DONE gave them permission to spend money from 2009. The rules are the money can no longer be carried over from one year to another. Ask DONE. The money from CD1 was not exactly donated. It is taxpayer money that is suppose to get used for the neighborhood. David, thanks for the clarification. That made it clear.
nonoise July 22, 2012 at 08:30 PM
And, I guess that DONE broke its own rules allowing money to be carried over from any previous year after the rules changed. No matter that Mr. Kim left DONE and moved on.
nonoise July 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
The neighbborhood council only needs to approve their spending not CD1's. So, approval of spending $50,000 when they are not spending $50,000 makes no sense. Also, spending money approved in 2009 makes no sense when the rules do not allow neighborhood councils to carry money over from one year to the next. I understand that DONE allowed this to happen but I wonder how and why. Rules are rules.
HLPSUCKS July 23, 2012 at 07:26 PM
IM WITH YOU ON THIS ONE!
HLPSUCKS July 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I LOVE NO NOISE!TAKING THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH..

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