Huizar Motion Supports Subdivision of Neighborhood Councils

Hermon residents may benefit from the motion, but not every member of the ASNC is in support of it.

A motion submitted by Councilman José Huizar last month that seeks to establish a procedure for the sub-division of neighborhood council could have a significant local impact.

Proposed by Huizar on October 23, the motion states that "there is a need to allow neighborhood councils [...] the capability to petition [the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners] for a boundary adjustment at the same time the Commission considers new council certification for the area being removed if desired at the grass roots level."

The motion stipulates that the certification the sub-division of neighborhood councils should only be permitted if the action would not splinter existing council boundaries and lead to the "orphaning" of communities.

[Huizar's motion can be downloaded from the media assets box above.]

Huizar's motion is likely to be of interest to Hermon residents, who for more than a year have been attempting to form a new neighborhood council distinct from the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council, which currently represents their community.

The Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council currently comprises five communities: Hermon, Mount Washington, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills and Sycamore Grove.

A Fact Sheet released the Hermon Neighborhood Council steering committee states that "Hermon’s growing activism and sense of its own distinct
future would be better served without the extra level of having to convince four other--some very different--communities to agree with our neighborhood’s plans and goals at each step."

Some members of the ASNC have opposed the sub-division efforts, saying it would splinter the board by creating a geographic gap Montecito Heights and Monterey Hills. Advocates of the plan have disputed those claims.

The ASNC will discuss Huizar's motion at their monthly meeting, .

A motion submitted by board member Jack Fong, a Mount Washington resident, calls for the board to oppose Huizar's motion.

[A copy of the meeting's agenda can be downloaded from the media assets box above.]

Marino November 27, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Divide and rule.
nonoise November 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM
There are too many neighborhood councils in NorthEAst already. Some want their own neighborhood council because they do not agree on issues with their neighborhood council. These two groups live on different planets, meaning they are very different in their ideas and economically too. But that is no reason to have another neighborhood council. All neighborhood councils have issues. It is the job of the neighborhood council to be "inclusive" and hear all voices in the neighborhood. We can not have neighborhood councils on every block. People need to accept others regardless of race or income. And, DONE (department of neighborhood empowerment) does nothing to help neighborhood councils be accepting of others. They are all talk and no action. Sadly, Councilmember Huizar is taking Harmon's residents side because they are have money and clout and vote. He should do the right thing to make sure they get their voices heard and work with their neighborhood council instead of dividing the neighborhood even more.
Nimby pimp November 27, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Would someone please share a list of the accomplishments of NELA's Neighborhood Councils? I ask this in earnest.
nonoise November 27, 2012 at 04:54 PM
All neighborhood councils do is give out money. They are a cash cow. The few that really work should be allowed to remain, the rest should be shut down. All the money should be taken away. Then and only then will neighborhood councils work the way they are suppose to. Neighborhood councils are suppose to be a voice to city hall. They are NOT. Shut them down or take away the money!!
Culturevator November 27, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Yes! Get the money out of the neighborhood councils, and watch the perpetual,yearly takers squirm. I agree with Huizar,though. More neighborhood representation is better for all, in my opinion.
David Lyttle November 27, 2012 at 05:10 PM
NC Accomplishments………………………? Divisiveness Conflict Exclusion Favoritism Partisanship Factionalism
The MOG November 27, 2012 at 05:31 PM
We have to go back to the days of Art Snyder to know what it's like NOT to need a Neighborhood Council... Though I respect nonoise's opinions on nearly everything, we part ways on the issue of money. In our country politics = money. Always has, and always will. It's called The Power Of The Purse. Besides sheer, brute force, i.e. Military and Police Power; Money is the only real way governments, local and otherwise, can wield their influence, and inforce their will. That is the true purpose of government. Mr. Huizar would better serve the process, if he is successful in eliminating Factual Basis Votes from our local elections. I am committed to seeing this accomplished, and to see our NCs returned to local control.
JosephR November 27, 2012 at 05:48 PM
"because they have money. . ." Susan (nonoise): Just so you know, Hermon is one of the least affluent communities in the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council area. Demographically it's far closer in just about every way to your community (Cypress Park) than it could ever be to Mt. Washington, Montecito Heights, or even Monterey Hills.
The MOG November 27, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Joe, where does Hermon begin, and where does it end? If you discount Monterey Hills, there's not much to Hermon, is there? You guys co-opped Arroyo Seco Park, planted a fenced in dirt lot, called it a parking lot... I mean, out side of Fresco Market, and that hub of activity at Via Marisol and Monterey Road, what else is there? I'm all for neighborhood empowerment, and I realize that being a shot-caller, or leaving a legacy to "your" neighborhood and all, is very important to you, but come on! Really? Also, there is NO "storage bin" containing any emergency supplies behind Hermon Community Church. Plus, the items listed as purchased by the ASNC, for CERT, (against DONE RULES) in no way add up to $10,000.00 Why is it so hard to account for these allocations? It seems basic competency is at question. Don't confuse the issue by telling me how CERT is for everyone in the ASNC, it isn't. It was meant for people in Hermon, with the EXPRESSED understanding that other communities within the ASNC would have to get their own. Also, items listed by CERT, which are suppose to be located in various places INSIDE the Church, in no way amounts to $10,000. My question is simple. Why is it so hard, nearly impossible, to do this simple accounting. Where's the paper work? Why won't your pal, Mark, turn over relevent docs to the new board. With all these concerns, I feel it is highly questionably whether or not Hermon can provide the requiste leadership for a successful NC.
David Lyttle November 27, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Self-government to be self-government has merely to reflect the will of the people who are to govern themselves. Hermon’s desire to form its own Neighborhood Council reflects the will of the Stakeholders of that community. Hermon has earned the right to self-govern.
Nimby pimp November 27, 2012 at 08:22 PM
The pettiness of the low stakes skirmishes over power in these councils remind me of Borges' description of the Malvinas/Falklands war - "two bald men fighting over a comb."
Alice M. November 27, 2012 at 08:35 PM
". . . two bald men fighting over a comb." Well, then maybe parting company makes some sense? Get it? A comb, "parting" company? (Oh well, never mind!)
Hooper Humperdink November 27, 2012 at 11:46 PM
From my time working with neighborhood council over the past couple of years, I think they are poorly structured to enable citizen activism. The money allocated to the neighborhood councils ought to be spent hiring secretarial staff, graphic designers, print shops, and facilitation trainers to build up a local citizen network. Spending $40,000 on piddling little fun projects is an invitation for the type of insane "Where are the bags of emergency supplies?!" fights that always seem to break out in these groups. There are so many unmet needs in our communities (even in the affluent ones) that the NC system is structurally incapable of meeting, despite its mission to do so , that I think it is time to re-think how these bodies are structured. Once you remove from the NC the ability to spend the city's money, members of the board are no longer covered by the Brown Act restrictions that prohibit the type of grass roots work that the NC's are supposed to promote. Having a stable of clerical workers, translators, designers, meeting facilitators, etc. will help these folks do the work with each other that we desperately need to see done. How many "advisory issues" have we all wasted our time on at these meetings? I can get more done with an idle afternoon and a group of unemployed occupy activists than I can in months of sitting through a NC meeting.
Nimby pimp November 28, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Would you suggest that these bodies not be funded with public moneys? If so, would these organizations cease to exist?
Nimby pimp November 28, 2012 at 05:22 AM
To the moon, Alice!
Mark Legassie November 28, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Why does everyone care if Hermon splits off? What's so bad about it? This whole dissension is ridiculous when you think of it. The board members of the non-Hermon communities are acting schizophrenic -- one one hand they don't like Hermon and show it by bullying, blocking all Hermon's funding requests, and blindly voting against any Hermon motion. On the other hand they are stating they don't want Hermon to leave the ASNC and can't live without us. Isn't that two-faced and contradictory? You can't have it both ways, guys. Take your pick and support one side. As it stands now, it's glaringly apparent that these board members' schizophrenic approach is merely a tactic (not even a clever one) to punish Hermon by keeping them under a tight chain and denying any attempts at progress. Their actions in this matter remind me of fighting schoolchildren and hurt the integrity of the ASNC, which is now considered THE laughing stock of Northeast LA (ever since the change in officers occurred last year).
nonoise November 28, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Sorry, should have done my homework about where Hermon is at and other info. Same thing applies though. Take away the money from the NC. They should be a voice to city hall for the community, that's it.
Hooper Humperdink November 28, 2012 at 07:41 AM
In a sense yes and in a sense no. Right now the NC members are restricted from meeting with each other (say, at a community clean-up) communicating with each other (say, on an online forum) or making decisions as a group without being worried about a Brown Act lawsuit or having charges filed by the D.A. against them. The $40,000 that the city doles out is the most effective muzzle on citizen activism I have ever seen - it takes the most active people in a neighborhood and makes it illegal for them to collaborate outside of one of the most boring and useless forms of self-government: the Robert Rules of Order public meeting. I think that the NC's should not be given money. They should be given support staff, access to web designers, note takers, legal advisors, facilitation experts, etc. so that they can focus on doing things, organizing their neighbors, and worrying about what matters in their community without the threat of legal action for buying some chemlights and stashing them in some stupid locker at a local school (i.e. the "missing money"/"supplies" debacle at the ASNC). The support staff can be contracted through DONE or put on staff - creating a gravy train of people who will fight hard for the rights of the NCs once their meal ticket is beholden to their success. These people will also get a chance to get paid to work on some real grass roots organizing. This is a nice liberal jobs program.
Hooper Humperdink November 28, 2012 at 07:46 AM
If the ASNC isn't going to fund the efforts of Hermon residents - why be involved with that body at all? If there are people who have the spare time and interest in working on fun improvement projects or lobbying for social change in the community - maybe y'all should just get together in someone's garage and come up with a plan to get stuff done. All the praise and results from your hard work will come later. Being on some stupid council doesn't gain anyone anything unless that council does something beneficial for your community.
David Lyttle November 28, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The operative question "why be involved...." is pertinent. Hermon does work on fun improvement projects and lobbies for social change in the community in spite of the fact of an ASNC Board determined to undermine their every effort. As Nimbly pimp makes reference to above, most of us look on at the “pettiness” in disbelief. Let the boundaries be re-drawn and perhaps, if we in Monterey Hills are lucky enough the new re-drawn boundary will proceed up Via Marisol.
Alex S Bowman November 28, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Can the Hermon community be represented fairly within the leadership of the ASNC? If you attend the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council meeting, you are aware the answer is, "No." There are two options for the Hermon community, to try to convince the current ASNC board to represent the community of Hermon, or to try to govern themselves. Right now, a majority of the ASNC board has little or no interest of representing Hermon so the residents of Hermon feel the need to fight for self government and part ways with the ASNC. There woud be no issue if Hermon felt like it was being treated fairly.
Cerro Gordo November 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM
If it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty sure that the ASNC is far from "THE laughing stock of Northeast LA". The majority of the folks living here don't even know it exists (or any of the other NC's for that matter). Kind of makes all the Machiavellian infighting that much more hilarious. It's only important to the people involved. Everyone else doesn't even know it's going on.


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