NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--Now that two neighborhood councils have been subjected to the new sub-division policy, let's review the outcomes and the flaws in the system:
Everyone within the affected neighborhood council community is supposed to vote and have their say, yet:
- The formation committee is the only group allowed to take a position and advertise it
- The formation committee does all of the outreach
- The formation committee decides the hours and voting location.
- Done allowed boundary changes in mid stream
- Done allowed an overlay that clearly is not allowed in the Plan.
To have a truly fair election …
- There should be polling locations within the formation committee area as well as within the effected NC area
- Voting should be online as well
- Voting should be vote by mail as well
- Voting hours should be no less than 6 hours and should extend into early evening, allowing people who work to vote after work.
- Both sides of the issue should be allowed to advertise their positions
- The department of neighborhood empowerment should spend the funds to market the campaign as well.
- Election procedures should be in place well before the process begins and NOT subject to changes in the middle of the elections.
- Elections should be run by the city clerk. That is a part of the business they already do.
- The application for the new NC should not be changed in mid stream unless the entire process starts over due to the change.
- Established rules need to be followed. No Exceptions. Allowing boundary changes after the process had started, and not notifying the NC is clearly not transparent nor within the established procedures.
My Guide to a Better Neighborhood Council System. Stay tuned.
(Jay Handal is Co-Chair of the NC Budget Advocates, treasurer of the West Los Angeles NC and Los Angeles Police Commission Hearing Examiner. Mr. Handal’s views are his own.)