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Monday, January 15, 2007

If You Will

Interim Department of Neighborhood Empowerment general manager Lisa Sarno will be speaking at a meeting of Valley Vote Monday evening.

One of the controversial Sarno's alleged personality quirk is frequent use of the phrase "If you will" during public speaking. Our blog has noted that a few times in the past. (Complete list - click here.)

We thought it might be fun to see what our readers think as to how many times Sarno will say the famous catch phrase during the Valley Vote meeting. So feel free to participate - if you will - in our little poll.

(By the way the Valley Vote meeting has a great program and if you are at all interested I recommend you attend to listen to all the speakers. Click here or visit Mayor Sam 2 for complete details.)


Anonymous Anonymous said:

This poll is so cool Mayor Sam. You better say something about Martin Luther King Jr holiday or else the blacks will threaten to sue you for who knows what.

January 15, 2007 7:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


January 15, 2007 7:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

go easy on Lisa - her mission is to : promote public participation and encourage City to take notice of neighborhoods ????
what an impossible freakin job.
on both counts.
this is a notoriously apathetic city of voters, with a notoriously arrogant and indignant City Council.
but at least her unusual quirk -if you will- is making people listen.
even if it is only to how many times she says 'it'

January 15, 2007 9:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sure its a tough job yes all the general manager positions are.

Lisa is an incompetent.

Greg Nelson did an excellent job.

Though it surely helped that he had a Mayor who actually supported the NCs.

January 15, 2007 11:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

999 times

January 15, 2007 11:13 AM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:


No kidding!

You know whos to blame for the Lisa Sarno. The voters most of whom sit on the Neighborhood Councils who voted for Antonio Beaneraigosa as mayor.

If you folks want someone to blame, look in the mirror.

January 15, 2007 11:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


I don’t mind it… if it’s followed by “take this big bag of cash.”

Actually, anything followed by a big bag of cash is OK by me.

January 15, 2007 11:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Of greater concern is how many times she will say something positive or encouraging about NC's. If it's once, it will be her first time.

January 15, 2007 11:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe she's a lil' slow in the head.

January 15, 2007 12:45 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Unfortunately, the problem with the Neighborhood Council system is that City Hall doesn't respect the Charter mandated Council.

And whether you agree with the movtives behind this argument, or not; based on conversations I have had with some people supporting City Hall's position (Sarno/Chick/Tony and DONE) is this:

It would be great for NC to play an advisory role. But first, there need to me more accountablility in the accounting department. (As there is "supposed to be" with LA CC.)

Some say all this auditing and criticizing is to continue to hold NC at arms length, and is just punishment to those who have been critical of City Hall. So ZD will have to refer you to "Art of War" or Ries & Trout: Until you are able to comply with all these financial hoops, the same way Garcetti & Associates are supposed to be complying, they will continue to use this against you, forever.

AND, if you want to be taken as a credible entitey, you should WANT to be 100% financially accountable to Laura Chick, so people can't say sh*t. Anyone who doesn't...well support declines dramatically, at that point.

The other problem NC critics have (and I should NOT say "critic" as much as "someone who wants NC to succeed, and here's what needs to happen to help generate that goodwill at City Hall) is:

Low voter turnout, and the same few people running over and over. In other words, the fear that the same five people are making sound like the whole community is behind something.

Suggestion from this insightful insider: Run CITYWIDE NC elections! That way, more word of mouth, more turnout, more participation, more credibility. Another stakeholder in the community feels NC (and City Hall) needs to inspire and motivate NEW leadership; to include everyone (or at least MORE.) A TRUE representation of the community and City.

Through this financial accountability and outreach to get more people involved in NC, will not only be more beneficial to NC itself, it will create a strong voice that Los Angeles City Council can respect and therefore, take more seriously.

Attention is brought to the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. I understand they are the tightest, most cohesive, well-organized unit of it's kind in the City. And every City official KNOWS you have to have your stuff down for these people.

ZD feels OF COURSE City Council doesn't want NC to become stronger, any more than they want the mayor to get stronger, or Rocky D., or anyone that can slow them down, or prevent them from steam-rollling their agenda through their "turf".

BUT, it IS possible, that the power of the people can get their attention and put things in motion. It ain't easy...But I DO feel that an accountable, diverse NC with increased participation WOULD BE A FORCE THAT CC WOULD HAVE TO CONTEND WITH!!! If for no other reason, political ones. On the realest, dough.

January 15, 2007 2:40 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

The problem ZD is that those are both Red Herrings.

1) Not only are the NC's currently accountable to the controler... SHE WRITES THE FREAKLING CHECKS for god's sake!

A NC needs to fill out a demand warrant, send the expenditure to DONE who pproves it and requires supporting paperwork and ONLY THEN does the request go to the CONTROLLER to cut a check. In other words, if an NC wanted to spend 5 grand on strippers to do "outreach" there are several steps that such an expenditure would be stopped.

"Misdeeds" with NC money has only been in the hundreds of dollars anmd while not acceptable, is miniscule. However, NC members are bound by the law and if illlegal activity takes place, they should be procecuted.

As for voter turnout, the city has no desire to fix this which they could by holding NC elections with the Municipal elections. This way the NC's would benifit from the free media that goes with election day instead of expecting them to spend their $50,000 on parks, pavement, community cleanups, speedbumps, speed signs, lapd cruier improvements and oh, yea... contacting 20-150,000 stakeholders.

January 15, 2007 3:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You would think Lisa Sarno and DONE would do something positive like a motivation idea that helps get people involved. Lisa Sarno has become the problem not the solution. She had 46 allegations in a 3 year period with nc's being represented by 1,600 volunteers. That's not a bad record at all. You don't think city council could do better you're dead wrong.

January 15, 2007 4:14 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

Thanks Jim,

You say, "Hold NC elections with the Municipal elections. This way the NC's would benifit from the free media that goes with election day." (And higher voter turnouts.)

THAT'S IT...JANICE HAHN, I APPEAL TO YOU: You want to help NC become the serious entitey it was created to be. IF YOU CAN DO ANYTHING JANICE & CITY COUNCIL YOU CAN DO THIS.

Take Jim Alger's advice, and roll the NC elections into the municipal elections. You'll save money, have higher voter turnout and perhaps create the diversity you are looking for.

Maybe some people at DONE can help get this ball rolling. Jim, I would love to see you generate support with your constituents, as well. Put the ball in their court.

January 15, 2007 4:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Accountability is absolutely needed in the Neighborhood Council System. The Mayor and Sarno are doing the right thing.

January 15, 2007 7:33 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

If you will...the idea to roll the NC elections into the regular elections is a good idea. As long as its easy for NC candidates to run.

It seems to me as if when the NCs were set up the city pretty much followed the election procedure used for the CRA project area committees.

On another note how are the members of the Community Police Advisory Board picked? I guess its up to the individual captain. That's why you tend to have CPAB members that don't really represent the community - irrespective of race or ethnicity.

January 15, 2007 8:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I don't think Lisa will use the phrase much, if at all, because she knows people are counting. That is why I voted "2 times." I think she will slip twice, no more.

January 15, 2007 10:31 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

She used it 9 times.

January 15, 2007 11:10 PM  

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