The fur flies in CD 12
The Northridge West Neighborhood Council election isn't until April 21st and already the shots are being fired not just at the Council President Jim Alger and Vice President Sherry Ramstead but against the entire board.
The charges are being leveled by former NWNC Boardmember Dennis DeYoung, who resigned after a failed attempt to oust Alger as President in May 2006. Now, in his first campaign piece DeYoung sends out a desperate plea for challengers to Alger and announces his intentions to run once again for the council. He then launches into an attack on Alger, Council Vice President Sherry Ramstead and the entire Neighborhood Council for "spending money without the appropriate documentation", and claims the Neighborhood Council is currently trying to "give away its' annual $50,000 allocation from the City Council to (LAPD) Devonshire PALS - a project not even located within the boundaries of the district and already fully funded by a $1 million grant secured by Councilmember Greig Smith."
Must be a pretty cheap youth center to be built, equipped and staffed for $1 Million in an area where the average cost of a home is nearly $750,000.00. Apparently the Devonshire PALS don't agree with DeYoungs' assessment that they don't need anymore funding as their capital campaign continues. In fact, the idea to approach Neighborhood Councils to assist in funding Devonshire PALS came from Mitch Englander, Chief of Staff for City Councilman Grieg Smith who also serves on the Devonshire PALS board.
Alger, who also serves as a Senator to the LANCC has responded. "It is stunning to me that a man who claims to support the community would oppose funding a youth center that while physically located just beyond the current boundaries of the council, would serve our community, keep our children safe, out of gangs and off the streets. The Northridge West Neighborhood Council has held many public meetings on this issue and has made no final decision as to what funding it will provide. Mr. De Young has never once attended a single NC meeting since his resignation. In fact, the only time he appears is when he is running for office only to resign when he doesn't get his way."
DeYoung obviously hopes the local community will have a short memory when he claims that "the community has suffered ever since (Alger was elected in 2005)."
Alger certainly has his detractors and his supporters who spin in both directions but he and his NC are best known for taking on Wal Mart and preventing them from building a store across from the Northridge Mall. Before that he spearheaded the successfully campaign to stop an 18% water rate hike. Additionally, the Neighborhood Council has co-sponsored several "Community Clean-ups" as well as a massive Emergency Preparedness event.
The entire attack on Alger may end up being academic. For his part, Alger has not even committed to running for re-election. "Between the Neighborhood Council, the Senate, work and a new baby my schedule has really packed up. I need to consider all of this before I commit to the responsibility of another two year term."
Considering DeYoung says he wants the voters to give him another shot at the seat he quit after just 2 meetings, having someone take into consideration all aspects of the job sure is refreshing. Too bad other politicians didn't do that.
To the good folks up there in Northridge, we here at the Sister City say keep up the good work. When people attack you, it usually means you're doing something right.
Labels: mitchell englander