ENOUGH ALREADY--Neighborhood Councils are being asked by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) to weigh in on the elections starting in 2018. This is necessitated by the City Clerk’s inability to conduct the NC elections in 2020, which requires a shift to odd numbered years starting with 2019.
The choices being offered by DONE are:
(1) Conduct the 2018 elections as scheduled. Board members elected would have a three year term.
(2) Extend the current board term for one year and conduct the elections in 2019
(3) Conduct the 2018 elections for a one year term and then have another election in 2019.
Option Number 2 should not be considered. What publically elected official/governing body can vote to extend their term after an election? It is self-serving for NC Board Members to be asked to vote on their own term extension. The NC Stakeholders should be a major part of this decision. As Stakeholders, we feel totally disenfranchised by this unfair option.
Options 1 or 3 are acceptable, as neither of them changes the rules after-the-fact. These should be the only options under consideration.
Where is the Outreach to the Stakeholders? Shouldn’t they be engaged in the decision that affects the terms of their NC Board Members? When the Stakeholders voted in the 2016 election they were told it was for two year terms (with the exception of the few NCs with four year terms).
The unspent NC funding allocations from 2016 (estimated at $2.4 million) should be carried over exclusively for the 2018 Election Outreach. This is a more meaningful use of these dollars, as it promotes more civic engagement on a local level. Outreach was always the primary purpose in the Charter for the use of the NC funding. It is time to get back to the basics.
We respectfully urge that there be no extension of terms and funding allocations remain with the NCs for the 2018 Election Outreach.
(Judy Price Valley Glen community activist. Lisa Sarkin Studio City community activist.)