The city family.
How often have we heard Los Angeles city officials utter that term?
It appears it is a term of convenience, as when politicians are trying to court favor from the elected volunteers who represent the 96 neighborhood councils chartered by the city.
The board members not only are required to adhere to the same ethics rules, the Brown Act and ADA regulations, among others, their well-paid counterparts at City Hall must observe, but also have to endure the incompetence of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, as useless a collection of functionaries that ever existed, and the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC), appointees, most of whom tend to be more beholden to City Hall than the NCs they purport to represent.
An acid test as to whether the NC system is respected as a grassroots arm of city government might be upon us.
Much has been written lately about Council Member Felipe Fuentes’ eviction of the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council from the modest office space it has occupied at North Valley City Hall for eleven years.
The STNC and its stakeholders are in an uproar about the short notice, but even more so because Prince Felipe had committed to ousting the NC back in April, something he did not share with the board or its stakeholders until just a few weeks ago.
He did inform the City Council, though. He introduced one motion on April 2 and another on August 28 to authorize moving two non-profits into the space occupied by STNC, The motions falsely stated the premises were vacant. All present at the horseshoe that day approved them. After all, who would have suspected Fuentes of withholding critical information. However, Paul Krekorian should have been aware of the deception since Sunland Tujunga was formerly part of CD2. Mr. Krekorian supported one of the motions in committee and voted in favor of both in the full council.
According to the Foothills Record, the local paper serving the community, STNC is challenging the motions on the grounds of misrepresentation of the facts. The Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition is preparing a letter of support for STNC addressed to, ironically, Paul Krekorian.
It is time for the Mayor and City Council to either prove they respect the NC system, or admit that the “City Family” is nothing more than a hollow expression.