Is Councilman Huizar meddling in upcoming Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council Election?
An attempt by Hermon resident Joe Riser to win an Arroyo SecoNeighborhood Council board seat as a Sycamore Grove neighborhoodrepresentative in the upcoming council elections was called"unethical" by a former ASNC vice president at the council's September24 board meeting.Founding ASNC board member Eliot Sekuler, who served four years as aMount Washington representative and as the council's vice president in2007, told board members and Los Angeles Department of NeighborhoodEmpowerment representatives that Riser's attempt to perpetuate hisboard membership by grabbing a Sycamore Grove neighborhood seat is a"misrepresentation" and a violation of the council's foundingprinciples.Riser has held an ASNC board seat since 2006, serving four years as aHermon neighborhood representative followed by a two year term asat-large representative for education and youth. Should he take overone of Sycamore Grove's two board seats, he would be serving eightconsecutive years on the ASNC board and would be the only ASNC boardmember to hold a seat for that long a tenure. Noting that Riserneither lives nor works in the Sycamore Grove neighborhood, Sekulercalled upon him to withdraw his candidacy.According to Sekuler, Riser's attempt at "carpetbagging" by grabbingone of Sycamore Grove's two seats is especially alarming in light ofRiser's recent efforts to lead the Hermon neighborhood in secedingfrom the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council's confederation and formingan independent Hermon council. The city has ruled that Hermon'srelatively small population does not meet criteria for the funding ofits own council.Addressing the board and Department of Neighborhood Empowermentrepresentatives at the Sept. 24 meeting, Sekuler recounted the effortsby original ASNC organizers to ensure that no special interest groupwould dominate the council and that no single person would serve formore than four consecutive years."We were all in agreement that we didn’t want anyone to make a careerout of his or her ASNC board membership," he said."Because of ASNC’s unique five-neighborhood composition, we also tookpains to ensure the integrity of ASNC board membership. We agreed thatour geographical representatives would live or work in the areas theyrepresented, that they would be honest brokers on behalf of theirneighborhoods. So I am dismayed that one of the original organizers of thisneighborhood council has chosen to violate the spirit of ourorganizing group by misrepresenting himself as a voice for theSycamore Grove community, to which he has no genuine ties. JoeRiser’s allegiance to his own neighborhood -Hermon- is well known, andthough we cannot know his personal agenda, it appears that he is usingchanges in ASNC bylaws to skirt the issue of term limits and create aperpetual place for himself on this council. Even if he is incompliance with the letter of neighborhood council bylaws, hismisrepresentation of himself as a Sycamore Grove 'stakeholder'certainly violates their spirit. I call upon Joe Riser to withdraw hisunethical candidacy as Sycamore Grove geographical representative."
Councilman Huizar may regret taking sides in this power grab.