CROSS TALK-I would like respond to certain statements in the CityWatch article, "In Search of Solutions for LA's Troubled Neighborhood Council Election Process".
The article states, "(As part of the budget which was adopted by the City Council in late May 2011,) the Clerk ... felt that they could not handle the challenge of supervising neighborhood council elections on top of their regular work load."
This was not the case. The City Clerk did submit a budget to the Mayor and Council for the Clerk to administer NC elections in 2012 as part of our overall department budget proposal for FY 2011-12, pursuant to our responsibility under the current Neighborhood Council Election ordinance. However, as a Citywide budget-saving measure, the Mayor and Council eliminated any funds to the City Clerk for NC elections in 2012.
The article also states, "The Clerk (reasoned) they could use the staff that they were receiving from DONE as part of the deal to work on City elections during odd years."
Again, this was not the case. In 2008, among other administrative actions, the Council and the Mayor approved additional election positions in the Clerk's Office to work on NC Elections in even years and on municipal elections in odd years. All these additional positions were filled by internal transfer or appointment from outside the City, not from DONE. The Clerk received no positions from DONE.
Finally, the statement in the article, "The City Clerk recently completed a series of meetings across the City to discuss alternative ways to hold neighborhood elections, including the option of having someone else run them", is essentially accurate; however, it is only part of a larger and still-continuing Citywide outreach the Clerk is conducting to survey opinions from NC Boards and stakeholders on how they would like NC elections to be run in the future.
The entire outreach program, including the surveys, may be accessed here.
(June Lagmay is the Los Angeles City Clerk) –cw
Tags: Neighborhood Council Elections, City Clerk, June Lagmay, City Council, Mayor Villaraigosa, City Budget
Vol 9 Issue 89
Pub: Nov 8, 2011