Neighborhood Councils Demand a Greater Say POLITICS: Groups Say They Were Overlooked When Street Bond Decision Was Made

By Orlov, Rick | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), January 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

Neighborhood Councils Demand a Greater Say POLITICS: Groups Say They Were Overlooked When Street Bond Decision Was Made


Orlov, Rick, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


With the City Council to decide today whether to put a $3 billion bond measure on the May ballot to pay for street repairs, the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners voiced their frustration at how neighborhood councils are being overlooked in city decisions.

The board voted to send letters to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council asking that policies be put in place requiring inclusion of the city's 95 Neighborhood Councils in major policy decisions.

Citing the lack of involvement on the half-percent sales tax measure on the March 5 ballot and the proposed $3 billion street bond issue, BONC panel members said they're angry that neighborhood councils are being overlooked.

"These are just the latest examples," Commissioner Linda Lucks said. "There was an issue about valet parking that was being worked on for three years, then all of a sudden it was put on a fast track and the neighborhood councils were ignored.

"It seems like the City Council cherry-picks the issues they send to neighborhood councils."

The proposed street repair bond has become a major source of opposition, since it was suddenly introduced two weeks ago by Councilmen Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino.

The two met over the weekend to discuss their plans for outreach and whether to delay the proposal beyond the May 21 election to give neighborhood councils more time to study the proposal.

Neither Englander nor Buscaino would say on Monday what they decided, adding they would discuss it today at the regular City Council meeting.

Last week, Englander said the need for street repairs has drawn wide support, but there have been questions over the size of the measure and the rush to place it on the May ballot.

The BONC action came after several neighborhood council groups - including the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, the Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and the Budget Advocates - adopted resolutions asking for a two-month delay on the bond proposal. …

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