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Thursday, September 01, 2011

LA 32 Neighborhood Council response to Councilman Huizar's eviction notice

Photo via LA Observed's Gary Leonard
SAY HI ARTURO! Huizar staffer Arturo Gonzalez observing LA 32 malcontents
Blogger's note: Let me state that I am the "former Recording Secretary" of the LA-32 Neighborhood Council but still a general board member for disclosure purposes. The reason why I resigned from the LA 32 NC Executive Board were due to questionable behavior by its President Anthony Manzano, Vice-President Val Marquez and Treasurer Pamela Marquez. In the issue pertaining to the eviction of the LA 32 NC from its office space, the board was told by past President Tammy Membreno that our lease was up for review which was confirmed by Erick Martell of the council office staff. After new President Manzano and Vice-President Marquez met with council staff on this issue, I recall Vice-President Marquez stating that our lease was not in need of renewal and further he discussed with me the council office concerns (Arturo Gonzalez, worthless staffer unless you are loyal to Huizar) about my outspoken opinions regarding Councilman Huizar (well-intended they are) and "strongly suggested" that I cease my questioning of the councilman on policy issues in the interest of cooperation (Val Marquez is well known for playing both sides). This and other questionable (legally) actions by the board members above prompted my resignation from the Executive Board. 
But while demanding transparency from my fellow board members, getting the same level of cooperation from the CD 14 staff has been an unmitigated failure due to the contempt of Councilman Huizar in respecting the elected body on a litany of issues. CD 14 staff (especially Arturo Gonzalez) have openly laugh at board members during meetings and exhibited disdain in answering questions asked by board members. Thus, the lack of follow-up by Manzano and Marquez gave the council office the opportunity to initiate this action.---Scott Johnson ** Read LA 32 NC Press Release after the jump.
For Immediate Release
Los Angeles, California, August 29, 2011

Councilmember Jose Huizar Evicts LA-32
Neighborhood Council from Constituent Center

In a Notice from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, delivered via email to the LA-32 Neighborhood Council President, Anthony Manzano, on August 5, 2011, Councilman Jose Huizar issued an order to vacate the 200 square foot office space the Neighborhood Council has occupied since March 2008 at the CD14 Constituent Center located at 4927 Huntington Drive in El Sereno.

The notice arrived just two days following the LA-32 NC General Board Meeting on August 3, 2011, where representatives from Councilmember Huizar’s office delivered their monthly update to the NC and stakeholders. Although they had knowledge of the impending news, both Arturo Gonzalez and Daniel Andelon kept this “secret” from the Board during their address.

Without any dialogue with the LA-32 Neighborhood Council, Councilmember Jose Huizar is demanding that the LA-32 NC vacate the meager 200 square foot office space that the NC has occupied since March 2008 in the El Sereno Constituent Center, located at 4927 Huntington Drive in El Sereno. Further, the NC is ordered to vacate and remove all their belongings by Sunday, September 4th during the Labor Day Holiday weekend.

The timing of both the Eviction Notice (August 3) and the “Vacate-by” date (September 4) fit perfectly between the LA-32 NC’s General Board Meeting schedule of August 3 and September 7, so that the Board will have no opportunity to discuss, consider, or take action on this matter. This also leaves the Board no opportunity to enter into discussions to procure alternative space.

The Councilmember has cited the following as the reason for the eviction, “The Council District is in the process of reallocating this space to an existing non-profit so that it may expand its service offerings to the over 2,000 community members it currently serves.”

Yet, the LA-32 Neighborhood Council represents a population of over 48,000 stakeholders in the 90032 zip code. In fact, LA-32 NC has spent many of its budgeted LA City dollars supporting various projects within the community, including: library books for Wilson High School, sports equipment for El Sereno and Rose Hill Parks, graffiti removal, wildflower beautification, emergency preparedness equipment for CERT, playground equipment for El Sereno Middle School, electrical lighting for El Sereno Community Garden, and the highly successful Candidate Forum attended by over 250 stakeholders.

The LA-32 NC is also a sponsor of many community events, including: Ascot Hills Kite Flying Festival, Healthy Start Fair, Kimball Street Neighborhood Watch Party, Guardia Park Community BBQ, F.A.S.T. Spay & Neuter Program, and Lummis Day Festival, to name a few.

The Councilmember also states in the Eviction Notice that, “Though the Council district appreciates the sharing of resources with the Neighborhood Councils, the Council District at this time is in need of full utilization of the space currently occupied by the LA-32 NC.” This office space is the core location where Board Members and Committees can regularly meet, draft and type minutes and other documents, perform research, hold meetings; and where the official records of the LA-32 Neighborhood Council are kept. It is not only “fully utilized”, but central to the LA-32 NC’s operations and well known to the stakeholders as the LA-32 office location since 2008.

The Office Sharing Agreement between Councilmember Huizar and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, on behalf of LA-32 Neighborhood Council, dated February 29, 2008, lists only two situations whereby the Council Office can revoke the space, as indicated in the Agreement, “…Councilmember Jose Huizar’s Office, has the authority to revoke the space sharing arrangement with the Los Angeles 32 Neighborhood Council (providing 30 days written notice), under the following conditions:
a) The Mayor’s Office and Council Office requires the use of the space.
b) The Neighborhood Council does not adhere to the rules and guidelines, as set forth.”
Neither the Council Office nor the Mayor’s Office intends to use the space, rather it is being provided to a non-City entity; nor has the Neighborhood Council violated the terms of the agreement, so neither of these conditions have been validated in Huizar’s demand to vacate.

Why is it that in these times of City Budget deficits, the Councilmember decides to evict the LA-32 Neighborhood Council, leaving them no alternative but to use City funds to rent or lease an alternative space? Why would Councilmember Huizar grant this space to a non-City entity who serves only 2,000 people, while LA-32 NC represents 48,000?

Perhaps the LA-32 NC would know these answers if there had been a dialogue on the issue beforehand; or if Councilmember Huizar hadn’t ignored the emails and phone calls by members of the Board’s Executive Committee wishing to discuss this matter.

Executive Committee
LA-32 Neighborhood Council

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Blogger g said:

these neighborhood council people keep dancing with this city council and they expect there help, forget it. you on neighborhood councils are a tool for city hall politians get use to it.

September 02, 2011 2:15 PM  

Blogger Paleocon said:

Huizar has set himself up as the enemy of LA-32. He does not like the way LA-32 is constituted, he has no real majority leverage with them. He does not like LA-32's position of keeping him honest and open with the people, or as he looks at them, the sheeple. So his attitude is F them. G is correct, since Huizar CAN'T control this NC, and that is the way it should be, then he is going to attack it, or have his tool, one Judy Knapton attack it, at every opportunity. Would like the P and VP answer the accusations made in first part of post, PUBLICLY please, with questions!

Barrio Action needs to face some music as well. Ms Membrano is chained to the boot that back stabbed the NC that resulted in them being kicked to the curb, BUT HEY El Sereno you are getting an additional 4 hundred square feet of mental health issues brought to you by Ms. Membrano and Councilman Huizar. A net benefit to the community for sure! NC meeting tonight ELS senior center

September 07, 2011 11:32 AM  

Blogger sammy said:

So and where is the next neighborhood council meeting? How can I find out when they're scheduled?

September 11, 2011 12:34 PM  

Blogger Unknown said:

When and where is the next neighborhood council meeting? How do I find out when they're scheduled?

September 11, 2011 12:36 PM  

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