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Thursday, December 21, 2006

NC'S under fire: Sarno leads the charge

If you happen to be in the vicinity of 8101 S Vermont around 6pm, and you are a Neighborhood Council member, better be wearing Kevlar. Insiders tell the Sister City that Lisa "if you will" Sarno plans to "vigorously defend" her attack against Neighborhood Councils and possibly even launch a second volley.

For those who don't remember, the Sister City reported last month that Sarno was preparing a list of "egregious behavior" and "enemies of DONE" on the part of Neighborhood Councils at the behest of City Councilman and our favorite Ass-Clown Jack Weiss. 4 days later she released the report and we promptly called for her to be fired. Not only should she be fired, but she should be barred from even remotely being involved with Neighborhood Councils after the attack she has launched against these civilian volunteers.

Tonight will be the first time the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners will be viewing this so-called report and Sarno is expected to continue her rant against the entire system. Many have noted that Sarno has not once, ever, said anything good about the Neighborhood Councils since taking over as Interim General Manager earlier in the year. The Commissioners may have some difficulty however, as the report is littered withgrammaticall errors, misspellings and in some cases incoherent statements.

"The City Charter, thePlan for a system of Neighborhood Councils and their very own Bylaws and at times crossing into non-compliance, conflict of interest, discord, disruptions and even violence." That is not even a friggen sentence!!!

The grammatical destruction of the English language aside, Lisa "if you will" Sarno has been the poster-child of what a general Manager should NOT be. She has created more negative headlines for the NC System in 6 months than existed since the NC's inception. These negative headlines do nothing more than push people away from participating. Of course, then she can say there has been no outreach.

On a personal note, Lisa... if you're reading this...First, hire a proof-reader. It is embarrassing. And knock off the "if you will" crap! It is annoying, and you insert the phrase so often it makes me wonder if you have Tourettes. I get it, you're trying to sound more intelligent...Well you don't.

If you had even a morsel of intelligence, you would know that a good General Manager doesn't set the building on fire and then wonder why people are screaming.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen (stands up and bows in orange Kevlar vest):

Halloo, Ms. Sarno? I'm over here watching the proceedings with my blackberry and the crew of the Black Pearl. (waves) I even wore asbestos undergarments just in case things got hot. Feel free to take a shot at me, if you will. I've been a moving target of late.

May I give you some advice as one benevolent despot to another? (whispers) Never wear a cap with a feather in it for someone beneath you on the food chain will most certainly fire a crossbow in the direction of your posterior; and luck being what it is, the arrow will plant itself in your buttocks, savvy? (Crew nods their heads in agreement and shows Ms. Sarno their crossbows)

(speaks confidentially) There has only been one time in my managerial career where an underling has fired an arrow at my arse, if you will. After pulling it out, I suffered the humility of being labeled the scab on the buttocks of happiness. I still have the scar to prove it (drops breeches and shows firm, muscular, hairless buttocks; crew rolls eyes). Damn me, it's cold this winter's eve! (pulls up breeches quickly; crew laughs)

On the other hand, I only suffered one arrow. You on the other hand are, if you will, the owner of a much larger target and I am afraid that within the butts of that target is an industrial strength magnet; neighbourhood council arrows are metal tipped and hopefully sans curare.

The wise course of action would be to leave the jurisdiction and find another ship to command. (Sighs) But are you wise? Or are you focused on the task at hand? How many feathers do you wear in your cap? How many arrows are you willing to become a target for?

If there are any neighbourhood council folk reading this, might I suggest something that is sure to capture Ms. Sarno's attention and give tangible proof to your opinions? If you are in favor of Ms. Sarno's actions, send her a feather for her cap. If you are not, send her a bottle of pink bismuth. She may need it come the morrow and the days and weeks following.

In any event, Ms. Sarno, you'll find out soon enough which list you are on.

(bows low) Have a pleasant evening Ms. Sarno. Tomorrow, the jungle beckons.

December 20, 2006 10:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Captain Jack

"IF YOU WILL" ponder the image of one "CHUB CHICKEN SARNO" in the cross hairs of the NC crews. That bottom heavy target should not require much luck to score a direct hit. Speaking of direct hits, democracy in Los Angeles is under direct assualt by the likes of "CHUB SARNOS" "HIS POLLONESS", CLOWNCIL and theie cronies. BTW Captain, CLASSIC POST on 13 Days of Christmas.


December 20, 2006 11:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In a report released earlier this week, independent experts comment that DONE and Current Neighborhood Council leaders have failed. These experts point to a lack of diversity on Neighborhood Councils and little or no Outreach by Council Leaders. Participation in Neighborhood Counicls have decrease significantly since certification. This program has failed and should be scrapped.

December 21, 2006 6:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

With 80+ NC's operating, there are some good NC's and a lot of barely functioning NC's. That the good ones are few in number seems correct. One suggestion is that unless a NC can demonstrate a threshold level of community participation, it's funding should be restricted for use to outreach only. For example, there could be a minimum number of voters in NC elections, say 500. If the NC reaches that level, then, OK, you get the money to use on an unrestricted basis. If not, DONE should step in and oversee the outreach program.

Call it cynical, but the way the system is now setup, incumbent NC leaders have no incentive to do outreach. It would only serve to threaten their (perceived) power.

It is simply intolerable that some NC's have "elections" in which the voter finds there are no contesteed offices; merely a single slate of candidates looking for ratification. Perhaps worse is the situation in which it takes less than 10 votes to be elected to the NC board. I'm not talkin' even requiring a 1% participation level as this blog has discussed, but really, if you cant get this many votes, perhaps you should do outreach before trying to move on to policy decisions.

The good NC's have shown that the concept of NC's is sound; however, truly functional NC's are currently the exception to the rule. Holding the NC's accountable to demonstrate their representation of the community seems rational to me.

Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The Sarno report is in many respects accurate if frustrating because theses dysfunctional NC's (and they do exist) drag down the reputation of NC's as a whole and even hurt the good ones.

December 21, 2006 6:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Councilman John must be J. Alger, he looks like he's going to bust a blood vessel when he talks about Lisa Sarno.

December 21, 2006 7:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


This is the same NC crew that was SO succesful at sinking Prop R, yes.

Relax Lisa Sarno, right or wrong, your "enemies" are among the city's most impotent.

And there's not political viagra for that self-imposed deficiency. They'll just keep saying (over and over), "that's never happened to me before, sweetheart, I swear . . . I'm ALL man."

December 21, 2006 7:14 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

If the NCs expected the Mayor to hand anything to them, they were really thinking incorrectly. Alas, power isn't given, it's taken. Until the NCs can deliver key blocks of votes and audible discontent that resonates with local media, there's no reason to give them anything but Sarno in return.

Affordable housing is a natural wedge issue for the NCs. They shouldn't let themselves be gamed into neutrality over this issue. They should rally around opposing it. Not only is it the common sense homeowner/stakeholder position, it is one around which they can mobilize politically most effectively.

December 21, 2006 7:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Since the "sub-1-percent" allegations were posted here, another elections report has gone up on the DONE Website, showing turnout at neighborhood council elections has declined even further - in many cases.

$50,000 a year in taxpayer's money to spend in letting people know what they do, and they're involving less people every year. Some of the early certified NCs have had nearly one-quarter million at their disposal.

NCs serve no purpose whatsoever if they don't deliver the real, broad, and locally vetted voice of the neighborhood they serve to those they are supposed to "advise."

Sarno is the messenger. Not a great one, but so what. Taking shots at her is pure denial. The last GM had 5 times as long in the driver's seat, and he's now spending his time lined up with the firing squad (from his perch in Orange County), trying to pretend he didn't help create the mess.

December 21, 2006 7:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Senor Mailander, you fall into the same trap as most of the myopic NC leaders.

"Homeowner" is what most of the NCs active ranks are made up of -- on purpose, and a fact that makes them far less useful.

In many NCs, the majority of "stakeholders" are not that, but renters, local workers, and non-resident property owners. NCs fail to include them, intentionally, and become invalid from the starting blocks.

December 21, 2006 7:26 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

NC's do have power and its unfortunate the critics fail to report all the positive things many have done in their communities. Why doesn't Lisa aka Gabbage Patch Sarno do a report on those positive things? When you have over 200,000 people voting NO on Prop R and they didn't have any money and it was word of mouth and grassroots that's a lot of people. Clowncil and Antonio are trying their best to get rid of the NC's. Pretty pathetic that these people are volunteers in their neighborhoods giving of their time to do something positive and you have idiots trying to shut them down. It won't happen. Sarno has been an embarrassement to the system. How much does she get paid? At the last Congress there were less than 600 people who attended and Sarno wasn't even invited on stage cause they knew she would get booed.

December 21, 2006 8:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That's what we have in the Villaragosa administration: a bunch of 90 IQ dumbasses who have to insert stupid phrases to try to sound intelligent. Can't be smarter than the boss!

What a tragedy.

December 21, 2006 9:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

>>And knock off the "if you will" crap! It is annoying, and you insert the phrase so often it makes me wonder if you have Tourettes. I get it, you're trying to sound more intelligent... well you don't.

She should replace it "you know".

December 21, 2006 9:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The political story of the City of Los Angeles has never had much to do with stars or studios. The real power players have been land developers, seducing politicos with campaign support in exchange for facilitating permits and directing federal redevelopment funds their way. It was predictable: as Chicanos exercised enough political muscle to elect a mayor, that same mayor, with open aspirations for a governorship, would have to choose between the poorest members of his ethnic electoral base and the entrenched power brokers. When Chicano Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa failed to deliver a promised $5M to help save the Farm, the developers had found their candidate.

December 21, 2006 10:30 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If the English language didn't implode when if you will took on this kind of role among the baby boomers, it will survive having like take on an extremely similar role for their kids. The people who grouse about like are myopic old whiners who haven't looked at their own, like, linguistic foibles, if you will.

December 21, 2006 10:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It always bugs me when people say “if you will . . .”

Um, well, it’s sort of condescending. The implication is usually “You know you ought to it, but will you?”

“If you will” sounds phoney. As if a person is thinking that they may or are impressing somebody.

December 21, 2006 10:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Has everyone else noticed as I have our Mexican Mafia Mayor refuses to make any comments or quotes when he should. i.e. NC's...not a word on the issue. Prop R Antonio never came out on either side. Illegals and Delcaration of LA..Again Antonio is quiet on commenting. Gang program corruption...no word from the gang banger himself. To think this sleazy low life of a mayor gave the LA Slimes an award in council then to find out LA Slimes will be getting a Hollywood Star on the walk of fame. What a screwed up city we live in with the worst politicans in the nation!!!

December 21, 2006 10:36 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I Will If You Will

December 21, 2006 10:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Marroquin, if you will.

Go to
"Broken Bridges"

December 21, 2006 10:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 21, 2006 11:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 21, 2006 11:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 21, 2006 11:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can we get back to slamming Lisa Sarno? People need to be very weary of her and her alterior motives.

December 21, 2006 12:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 21, 2006 12:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What you're really saying is:

"Can we get back to slamming corrupt politicians? People need to be very weary of their alterior motives."

Mikey Raton

December 21, 2006 12:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There are really only 8 people in the city who want to "slam" Lisa Sarno that bad.

4 of them have already applied for her job, and have obvious motives;

1 used to have her job and has obvious motives;

3 would slam anybody in that position -- just because.

December 21, 2006 12:59 PM  

Blogger Councilman John said:

How many times do we have to tell you kids? Off topic posts can and will be deleted.

December 21, 2006 1:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Councilman John,
Off topics HAVE EXISTED throughout the history of this blog. Why the sudden change of heart, your heart. I get it. You are one of the scoundrel, corrupt AV peons.

Don't bother to explain CJ.

December 21, 2006 2:00 PM  

Blogger Councilman John said:

7:22 am and others conveniently forget a few important facts.

First of all, $50K for outreach is anywhere between $2.25 in the best case and $0.25 in the worst as far as available funds to spend on each constituent. That would barely cover one mailer and anyone who knows anything will tell you that someone needs to see something 3 times before it even begins to stick.

Second, as I said in the article, Sarno has never said one thing good about NC's. She has not even updated the "NC Accomplishments" section of the DONE website SINCE SHE ARRIVED!

Third, critics love to talk about unchallenged board members in elections... How many City Council seats are "unchallenged"?

If the city was even remotely serious about ASSISTING the NC's instead of just telling them how bad of a job they are doing, they would assist in outreach to the community and encourage local involvement. Maybe even have all NC elections on the same day ect.

City Council spends MILLIONS and can barely garner 30-50% of REGISTERED voters. That doesn't include all the free media that lets people know bout municipal elections.

Do City Council members help encourage participation? Nope, they instead put 2 bucks of gas in a City bus and blame the driver when it doesn't travel far enough down the road.

December 21, 2006 2:04 PM  

Blogger Councilman John said:

As for off-topic comments, that is why we have an open thread.

December 21, 2006 2:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Councilman John,
Go lock lips with Sarno and leave this blog.

December 21, 2006 2:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let's be honest here. The only reason we have NC's was to keep the Valley from breaking away. It shut them up, if you will. There was all this fuss, and a real push for NC's. Yes, NC's will be listened to. Yes, NC's are a grassroots form of government. Yes, NC's will have City support.

And then we get Lisa Sarno. Mark my words, NC's are already starting to align themselves as voting blocs. Unless, if you will, NC's start becoming cliques to assure certain City Council candidates victory in their races.

December 21, 2006 2:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why? because CJ won't let you post a Mexican Mafia diatribe that has nothing to do with the subject at hand?

These same morons want rules forced upon Neighborhood Councils but can't even follow simple rules on this blog.

December 21, 2006 2:19 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

What is missing in the Sarno discussion is the elephant in the room. The tools already exist to handle most problems on NC boards.

If someone is being deliberately disruptive, that is against the law and that person should be removed (as we have seen happen recently at City Council)

If someone threatens someone else, that is against the law and the offender should be prosecuted.

If someone feels threatened by another, the victim may get a restraining order.

If however, a board member is excercising their rights under the Constitution, the Charter and NC bylaws, ANY attempt to quash that is an attempt to short circuit democracy.

DONE is asking for the power of a Dictator. To be judge, jury and executioner in having the ability to remove democraticly elected boardmembers. That stands our entire system on its head.

And if you say "Steve was only elected with 10 votes" then good loudmouth... It shouldn't be to hard for you to beat him at the next election.

The truth is that is where most "complaints" are filed... a minority on the board simply couldn't get there way becayse they forgot to get the votes.

NC's need to be shown how to use the tools currently available to them. Not have their toolbox thrown out so DONE can pull up with their nice shine new Snap On truck. This is about empowering NEIGHBORHOODS, not City Hall.

December 21, 2006 2:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What good are NC's if they fail to fight mafia & politicians. Corrupt is corrup and NC's remain at bottom of food chain.

December 21, 2006 2:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What good is a neighborhood council who's membership is controlled by one corrupt entity, one interest? As stated in earlier posts, there are several legitimate ncs (board members on these ncs have my full admiration) but what is apparent is the sad fact that there are even more puppet ncs.

December 21, 2006 3:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sarno is right. Alger and Councilman John are wrong. This attack on Sarno is a distraction. The real problem is poor leadership in Neighborhood Councils. In Alger's own council only 79 people participated in the last election.

His council is discussing doing away with the write-in-vote for the next election because they are afraid some outside force might take over?

Somehow I do not think Sarno is the problem.

December 21, 2006 3:12 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

Are you serious? Talk about not knowing what you are talking about. The NWNC didn't allow write ins the first year, they were pit in last year and served no real purpose.

Did turnout drop last year? Yes but that is the fault of candidates. In NC elections, like all elections, most outreach is done by candidates. Last years batch didn't campaign at all and the miserable turnout was the result.

Low turnout does not make Sarno "right". No GM should be berating the system they are supposed to be assisting. Instead they should be coming to us saying "hey your election turnout sucked last year, how can we help improve it this year."

Keep in mind DONE has screwed up over half the NC elections this year alone. Perhaps they should leearn to handle the power they have now instead of asking for more.

And if your so afraid of no write-ins... then instead of being a chickenshit taking anonymous swipes at me on a blog, stand up and make your point at the NC meeting. Oh wait, no can do. That would actually lead to some resolutions which you clearly would rather the cheap shot.

December 21, 2006 3:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who is Hector Marroquin, touted peacemaker? Local police got another glimpse just last year, in April 2005, when he was arrested on suspicion of robbery, false imprisonment and making criminal threats after allegedly terrorizing a Cudahy youth overdue in paying $4,000 for luxury tires and 22-inch rims Marroquin had sold him. According to the Maywood-Cudahy Police Department report, Marroquin assaulted the youth at a bar Marroquin owns in Cudahy, stole his truck and threatened to kill him and his family. "You're messing with the Mexican Mafia!" the report quotes Marroquin as shouting. "I run all of Cudahy! I want my money!"

December 21, 2006 3:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Councilman John is Mike Trujillo. How do you think he got back to this blog?

December 21, 2006 3:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Through all of these major efforts, Villaraigosa has continued the work to increase Los Angeles' nationally respected after school program for elementary schools, LA's Best, and for middle schools, LA's Bridges. LA's Bridges is focused on preventing at risk children from joining gangs and encouraging current gang members to drop out.

December 21, 2006 4:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ahoy thar, Cap'n Sparrow! Methinks ye have need of a brace of harpoons to lob at the broad-of-beam Sarno? Thine ship is in port, I've heard; make ready to receive the brace of harpoons fer Witch Sarno, and some barrels o' sweetmeats fer thine Christmas Day feast!

I've a few coconauts fer thee to fire at yonder City Hall as a salute fer their Declaration of Fools, if thou runnest low on thine cannonballs. Thou shouldst maketh sure thine crew doth not use the same measure of powder; it doth not maketh fer clean decks if coconauts explode in thine cannons!

Mayhap we join forces in the great coconaut bombardment of the pueblo?

December 21, 2006 4:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

With all the cheap shots being taken at Sarno on this blog, I thought it was okay.

Alger your lack of outreach is part of the problem. Outreach is the candates job? Neighborhood Council Leadership has no role in outreach for elections?

Sarno is not the problem.

No real cheap shots here, just the truth.

December 21, 2006 5:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good evening Lord Chapman:

Good to see you, mate! The very best of the Christmas season to you! Shall you be having goose this year? I hear that there are several gooses who late this afternoon got cooked by my lady judge.

Alas, I do not have harpoons as mine is not a whaling ship. My dealings with my lord Cousteau have been honorable. However, nothing stinks to high heaven quite like a beached whale, savvy?

Sots, if there are statements that are unbecoming to Ms. Sarno then there must be a reason for them. You cannot deny that there is a reason for them. Methinks there are more reasons for them than there are lack of hairs on Greg Nelson's head, savvy?

As for lobbing coconuts at the Ivory Tower, I must decline. A waste of good coconut milk that might otherwise be used with rum is a cause I cannot support! Have you considered lobbing steer turds instead?

December 21, 2006 5:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To Jim Alger:

You miss the point. 79 votes total or 10 to get elected is nothing I can do about if its not MY neighborhood council. But it does drag down the reputation of all the others and begs the question of whether there doesn't need to be som minimum level of demonstrated competency to be allowed to exist at all.

December 21, 2006 5:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There is an easy solution. In order to be certified, each proposed NC has to submit forms demonstrating outreach. IN addition, the process requires the submission of "original signatures of no less than 200 and no more than 500 signatures from community stakeholders within the proposed Neighborhood Council boundaries. The signatures shall reflect
the broadest array of community stakeholders who will be active participants in the Neighborhood Council."

Why can't DONE require that for any NC that gets less than 200 votes in an election, it submit to proving it's validity by filing annually the same documentation required to demonstrate outreach during the certification process.

Put simply, certification should not be a one time event. Make certification be an annual process and make any NC receiving more than 500 votes exempt from having to file the forms. Seriously, if you only had 79 signatures during the certification process, they would not certify you as a Neighborhood Council, so why should you get to continue to exist if you cannot even meet the minimum level necessary to qualify at the outset?

If you will, the process itself is a good one as it focuses the NC on outreach.

Check it out for yourself at http://www.lacityneighborhoods.com/certification_info.htm

December 21, 2006 6:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Coconaut milk? These be GREEN!

December 21, 2006 6:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Kids at Home During Drug Raid
Thursday, November 30, 2006 Posted: 06:44 PM

Kids at Home During Drug Raid

Supported by

Related Stories:
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Mothers Arrested For Selling Drugs
Police found drugs on a table

MERCEDES - Police find drugs just feet away from children.

Officers raided Mary Marroquin's Mercedes home. They found an undisclosed amount marijuana and cocaine..

She was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

Police found some drugs spread out on a table spread. Most were reportedly in baggies.

Marroquin's four children were in the apartment when it was raided happened.

CPS has taken the children into custody, until she's released from jail.

Officers say the young woman's apartment was a complete a mess. Roaches and other bugs were reportedly crawling all over the floor.

Police say old dishes weren't clean and clothes were everywhere. They tell us the bathroom was even worse.

Marroquin wasn't the only one arrested Wednesday night. Mercedes police say another mother was in the apartment.

December 21, 2006 6:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sarno seems to be willing to stand up and take a hit. I don't think Jim "The buck doesn't stop with me" Alger, understands that concept.

December 22, 2006 5:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In the November minutes of Jim Alger's NC, Jim Alger suggests that allowing write-in candidates is a bad thing and suggest that his council have their own Prop R to eliminate term limits. On this blog he takes no responsibility for outreach during elections.

Is Sarno really the problem?

December 22, 2006 7:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Of course Alger is "Councilman John." He uses that name when he wants to be wild-eyed and foam at the mout about Sarno or other topics and not ruin his image for future attempts to seize power via low-turnout elections like the one his NC just held.

What Alger can't seem to get through his thick head is that, like her or not, Sarno will be gone in a few weeks or months, replaced by someone chosen by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Larry Frank to REALLY run roughshod over Alger, Nelson and their "white boy caucus."

Be afraid. Be very afraid...

December 22, 2006 9:05 AM  

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