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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

SAY WHAT??? - Audit faults NC's for NOT spending money

In a puzzling move, City Controller Laura Chick released her audit of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and faulted Neighborhood Councils for NOT spending money allocated to them.

I had to read that 3 times to see if I got that right. If NC's don't spent their $50,000 of loot by the 3rd year, it gets returned to the cities General Fund so why on earth has the city been turning up the heat on Neighborhood Councils to just blow their money ??? Well, so they can criticize Neighborhood Councils for what they're blowing the money on of course.

Neighborhood Councils get peanuts and have to save their loot for several years just to have enough to plant a few trees but here comes the city actually complaining that the money isn't being spent fast enough.

That is how you know things are seriously screwed up in City Hall. When fiscal responsibility is not only not practiced, but actually scorned by the very office who is supposed to demand nothing less, the City Controller.

Your thoughts?

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well that's about the dumbest thing I ever heard.

She also wants to give DONE more power.

If you will.

November 29, 2006 3:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Damn, Clowncilman Yawn, you don't know squat, do you?

How about they spend it to TELL PEOPLE THEY EXIST, so they can DO what they're SUPPOSED to do, and get MORE grass roots input, so that when they GO to City Hall to yammer at the electeds and departments, they can actually MEAN it when they SAY that they SPEAK for their neighborhood.

Some of these NCs could and SHOULD easily spend $15 thousand a year in reaching past the paper-thin NIMBY ranks of 6-figure incomes to get to the CORE of their communities, with mailings, surveys, rallies, GOTV efforts, ANYTHING that perks up new blood.

One NC had $10,000 budgeted EACH YEAR for the past two years to spend on OUTREACH and COMMUNICATIONS, and spent 20 DOLLARS. Yes, JUST $20 (not $20 THOUSAND)... one damn Andy Jackson to get the peeps involved, in more than 2 years.

Why should city govt. listen to people who can't turn out much more than 1 percent of their residents to even VOTE for them.

Fiscal responsibility in this instance means USE the money provided to FULFILL the mandate agreed to, and become the voice of the community. You can't speak FOR people if you never speak TO them.

The Charter is a CONTRACT between NCs and the City government. When an NC gets a REAL grass roots movement going LOCALLY . . . something MORE than 1-2 percent, THEN City Hall has to listen.

Certification wasn't the coronation, it was the contract signing ceremony. Now the NCs have to deliver the goods -- REAL outreach, REAL involvment, REAL representation.

Otherwise, being "advisors" to City just ain't "PropR" (if you will).

November 29, 2006 4:13 PM  

Anonymous better than you said:

According the Councilman John the neighborhood councils need to acrue their money if they want to do something simple like plant a tree.

Well according to the Los Angeles Conservation Corps the average cost of planting and maintaining a tree for several years in Los Angeles is $97.

Now how many trees can a neighborhood council purchase and maintain for $50,000?

Approximately 515 new trees every year in their neighborhood can be planted and maintained with their budget.

What does planting a tree get you?

For every $1 you invest in a tree you get $2.80 back.

Increased property values
Removes Air Pollutants

So in one key stroke i've put together a strategic plan and i've outlined the cost.

I have no clue what Councilman John is talking about -- 515 trees per year or nearly 2,000 trees over the course of Greg Nelson's term could have been planted in every neighborhood council.

But if those dumbasses can't even spend the little money they have been allotted in a prudent manner, they don't deserve another red cent.

November 29, 2006 4:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As opposed to what? The city blowing millions on a hotel?

November 29, 2006 4:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The tree thing was an exageration, but you fools know that.

It has become envouge at City Hall to beat up on volunteers.

Must make you all feel just grand.

November 29, 2006 4:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Mayor's veto was upheld 9-6.

November 29, 2006 5:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

4:34

It has become envouge at City Hall to beat up on volunteers.

1) I think you meant maybe "in vogue" or something like that, not "envouge", but . . .

2) Apparently you feel telling someone to DO the job they were ELECTED to do, said they WANTED to do, raised their hands and took an OATH to do, and have been given several THOUSAND dollars of taxpayer money, per board member, as a resource to get PEOPLE involved with . . .

. . . that's "beating them up"

Hell, then MY boss is REALLY "envouge" -- he "beats me up" every day, saying things like, "did you finish that project?" "Are you meeting your quotas?" "Are you living up to your JOB description??"

3) How do you KNOW it's not enough money to get the job done, if you NEVER TRY???

It's "seed" money to grow bigger NCs, and MOST NCs never bothered to even PLANT it.

Yet, most NCs in L.A. had about 50 percent LESS people involved in the process each year, following Year #1. Seems the MORE money at their disposal ($50K, rolled over into $100K, and now $150K), the LESS they involve their neighbors in the process. Don't that deserve SOME kind of "beating."

4) I don't work at city hall, or anywhere near it . . . I EARN my minumum wage, daily beatings and all.

November 29, 2006 5:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think all this negative stuff on NC is because they opposed Measure R. DONE's crap should fall on the shoulders of Lisa Sarno. Why did Laura Chick-N-shit all of a sudden feel she needed to audit them?

November 29, 2006 6:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ha! Look at item #14 - they don't even reconcile their own bank account yet they put the NC's through HELL to pay for sandwiches. What a complete double standard they have for themselves.

The problem with DONE is that the NC's get things accomplished IN SPITE of DONE, not because they help.

November 29, 2006 6:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sounds like a few NC folks do not want to be held accountable. It is my money and I think the volunteers should be audited on a regular basis.

November 29, 2006 6:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There are some NCs who can not account for their money, where it went and for what. Don't you think that should be the issue?

Let them do what they want with their money providing the do expectsd outreach. Just make sure they don't misuse or imbezzle it.

November 30, 2006 12:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm with 12:03 A.M. - NCs should get their decision-making and accounting act together regarding the money. That's what Chick's complain really was about, not what the money's spent on. If the NCs have an orderly approach to handling the funds, that also will likely take care of the questions around why they're not spending it very quickly.

That said, DONE does get a bit carried away with its nit-picking over expenditures sometimes and they need to take a hard look at that.

Perhaps if both sides get their house in better order, this wouldn't be such a bone of contention.

November 30, 2006 5:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Frankly, all NC's are not the same. Some are very well organized with reasonably large numbers of people voting in their elections. Others have less than a hundred votes, and are disorganized. There needs to be some demonstrable threshold a NC needs to meet before it receives funding. Frankly, when less than 10 votes gets you on the board, I don't think that NC should get $50,000 to spend as it sees fit the same as the fully functional group. No, there should be less funds available to the limted function gropu and it should all be restricted to outreach to help them develop a lareger following. Until they meet a core competency level, this should be the only money they get. One size does not fit all, and not every NC should get the same money.

November 30, 2006 9:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To 4:14 pm....

Our Neighborhood Council has been looking at quotes to plant trees on a median. The least expensive quote is $40,000. This includes removing weeds, preparation, watering for a few years until the plants are stable, planting the trees and plants, etc. Thank goodness our council has a huge accumulation of funds! One tree for $97 - if this is the case, I need about 10 planted in my backyard. And some of them will be planted where the sprinklers don't reach. You are hired to plant them and to run to my house once a week to water them. Of course, I will only pay $97 per tree. Give me a call.

November 30, 2006 4:35 PM  

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