CD2 Policy

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Streamlining DONE, a Live Blog

4:18: Meeting adjourned with more discussion to come next week. In the interim, please feel free to contribute your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you for following.

4:08: CDD will  get a chance next week to weigh in on this issue.

4:02: Modernizing the way NCs pay for their goods and events, while ensuring maximum accountability, is on the table here.

3:55: On to item #4 (item #3 was skipped), concerning NC bank cards, which CM Zine just called a “fail safe solution.”

3:49: CM Krekorian responds to angst of some NC members who complain that their funds are being used to pay down the city’s deficit: “Neighborhood Councils  are of immense benefit in terms of energy, eyes and ears and many other aspects. The city of Los Angeles benefits from their vitality. Whatever we do that causes a reduction in rollover [and] detracts from their ability to do what they’re doing, hurts our constituents and hurts our city. Sadly, that’s true of most everything in our budget, but we’re doing our best to wade through.”

3:40: Committee moves to item #2, which concerns the subject of NC rollover funds.

3:27: With public comment over, CM Krekorian looks to ensure details of the transition are finalized. He wants the staffing requirements needed for the transitional period formalized as well as the time line for when CDD will take over DONE.

3:11: The first public commenter is Mike O’Gara from Sun Valley NC. His message is clear: “DONE needs a general manager.”

3:03: Al Abrams, of the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners: A lot of the ‘problems’ DONE has had comes from the fact that residents have not had the ability to weigh in. “The systemic failures can be traced back to that…but there is tremendous value in this potential merger.”

3:02: Krekorian: We will want to revisit these issues when there is a written legal opinion.

2:55: Deputy City Atty Peter King steps up to the plate to speak of the legality of consolidation. “Indeed a merger could take place,” he says, referring to the city charter that outlines departmental organization. “But the core functions would have to remain. It’s that simple.”

2:51: BH Kim, DONE’s GM, says that his website will assist NCs in their training efforts. “75% of NCs have their own websites,” he says. Ones that don’t are encouraged to rely on www.lacityneighborhoods.com.

2:37: Krekorian probes consolidation, asking staff what happens to federal funding.
“If 100% of personnel costs are being billed through two grant programs now, and we are going to allocate their time to administer DONE functions, will we be receiving less sources form federal funds?,” Krekorian asks.

Staff says that the “Vast majority of funds are allocated by formula.” Translation: No money would go back to the feds, they assert.

2:27: Krekorian says DONE can achieve some “efficiency savings.” He then asks if Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa considers NCs a core function of the city. “Yes,” Frank says.

2:25: Deputy Mayor Larry Frank has been testifying for the past 20 minutes. Says: “Ultimately the controller has to see this and weigh in” of NC funding programs.

2:07: CM Krekorian bangs the gavel and we are ready to roll. A small crowd on the 10th floor of City Hall is here to chime in and participate in the debate.

2 p.m.: Councilmember Paul Krekorian is conducting a special meeting of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee. The primary focus of the meeting is to consider three primary proposals to streamline the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), which oversees the city’s 90 neighborhood councils.

The three proposals include:

a. Feasibility of transferring administration of the Funding Program to either the City Clerk, Community Development Department, or other city agency to manage the funding program and cost savings;

b. Feasibility of a nonprofit taking over the Funding Program and cost savings; and

c. Feasibility of making Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC) a managing commission and moving DONE staff under the commission, and cost savings.

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March 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Has the E&N committee reviewed the NCRC recommendations and research history? Much of the concerns raised and the City’s policies about contracts and funding options were thoroughly reviewed in those meetings. A lot of research information is available and I hope you will take the opportunity to review it.

    Comment by Cindy Cleghorn | March 3, 2010 | Reply

  2. DONE should be general manager and Community Development DONE and CDD is not a good merger for both. Community Development Department can be under DONE which can be called DONE/CDD if you do Mayor’s Plan. DONE is not office but a department. The merger of DONE and CDD is not good for DONE because CDD uses special funds and DONE uses general funds. The NC’s need rollover funds because they were using current funds up to March 2010 but all rollover funds were on hold from July 2009 to March 2010. Nonprofit taking over DONE funding program is not good for DONE. The rollover policy for submitting rollover demand warrants, etc. should be longer so Treasurer can do the paperwork on it.

    Comment by Glen Wilson | March 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. DONE should remain as a separate department and should adopt as many of the recommendations as possible as described in the DONE AUDIT of Controller Wendy Grueul. DONE should not be attached to any other department, as the mingling of funds may develop complexities: this may create compromises and put accountability in the shadows. The cost of combining two independent departments, could be better spent by building a competent and strong worker/employee base that will implement the recommendations of the DONE AUDIT. Each NC should perceive itself as an important business, dedicated to serving the community, and conscious of the fact that Board Membership is not honorary. It is an honor, but it also requires time, energy, effort, and thought beyond a single monthly meeting. And everyone who accepts the honor needs to be able to do the work.

    Comment by SARAH RAMSAWACK | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  4. […] and will be followed by many more meetings throughout the city to determine the future of neighborhood councils. Read more about this ongoing debate from our past live-blogs: here, here and here. […]

    Pingback by Council Nixes DONE Consolidation « CD2 Policy | June 15, 2010 | Reply


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