A BONC (Board of Neighborhood Commissioners meeting was held in Tujunga on Wednesday, February 22. The BONC is the commission that certifies new Neighborhood Councils and has, in recent years, set policy for Neighborhood Councils (for example policies related to: Code of Civility, Ethics, posting of Neighborhood Council meeting agendas, websites for NCs (to name a few)). All commissioners are appointed by the Mayor usually by some recommendation. This was a great opportunity for our North East Valley Neighborhood Councils to turn out to talk about their activities in the Neighborhood Council world but that item was nixed due to one of the commissioners having to leave which caused a lack of quorum. The BONC, at this meeting (after they adjourned), recognized West Hills NC for their 15th year as a Neighborhood Council. There were several from West Hills who came up our way to be part of this recognition. Great to see. Great people who care about their community. Their 15th year is a huge accomplishment for their community and the NC system. Also, Pacoima was recognized too. Another great group of volunteers dedicated to their community. There were also NC leaders from Hollywood and Studio City. There was a report by Stephen Box (DONE Sr. Project Coordinator) on behalf of the General Manager Grayce Liu regarding NC elections. The report is in response to a City Council motion that freezes online elections for NCs. The conversation was more about how Neighborhood Councils need to be all the same: limited number of ballots, requirement of 20% of NC funds for elections, youth voting age and that all contact information (your address/email address) goes into one pot (DONE). Many years went into the formation of NCs and on purpose, not all NCs are the same. Communities in the City of Los Angeles are unique. The discussion to standardize and limit NC voting, number of ballots and elections is wrong. It should be up to the NC. Nothing in the General Manager’s report addresses solutions or guarantees a stable online voting system to resolve what occurred during the 2016 elections. (By the way opposition to online voting for 2018 elections is consistent from across the valley NC system.) At this time, all NCs are asked to agendize and discuss with their stakeholders the City Council motion, Council File 15-1022-S2, that has placed online voting on hold, the General Manager’s 10 page report and one page summary of recommendations. The BONC meeting was not all about online voting. It was also about supporting funding for emergency preparedness. The BONC passed a motion to support sharing the cost of adding 2 staff members for DONE and the Emergency Management Department to draft a disaster preparedness plan for NCs. The meeting would have been a great opportunity for North Valley stakeholders to come out to listen and comment in a public safe environment regarding their Neighborhood Councils.
Online Voting for Neighborhood Councils on Hold
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