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DLANC: March Board Meeting Recap

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, March 08, 2005, at 09:47PM

Tonight was the March DLANC Board meeting. There wasn't a lot on the agenda this month, so it was a short meeting. In and out in an hour. There were still a few interesting things I took out of the meeting, though, the most interesting of which came from public comments.

The big issue this evening seemed to be how we spend our money. The short of it is that we haven't spent much of it, either this year or last, and we need to start doing that. Though the money supposedly rolls over to the next year, there's question about how long it might continue to do that. The best way to make that not an issue is to come up with neighborhood projects on which DLANC can spend its money.

During public comment time Kathleen suggested a few items the police department has indicated they could use. While DLANC obviously can't hire police, we should be able to purchase items and donate them to the Police boosters. Her suggestions included cameras ($520 each), bikes (normally $1500 each, but 8 for $6000), and horses. That last one strikes you a little funny at first, but it turns out the LA Police Equestrian Fund is looking to buy five police horses, but only have the money for three. The cost is around $5000 per horse, and I'm not sure of the details for maintenance costs, etc. Were DLANC to purchase a horse, we would be able to name it and have some sort of visual indication worn on the horse identifying it as a DLANC purchase.

One of the issues here is that neighborhood councils are pretty restricted in how they can spend their funds. Kathleen also mentioned a City Council motion that would change that process to allow NC's to donate money to community non-profits. I looked up a little on that this evening and found that the motion would create a City Public Purposes Grant Program. From the City of LA site:

As the [Neighborhood Council Funding Program] has evolved, Neighborhood Councils have found that their funds could also be effectively used to support the efforts of other organizations with which they have formed partnerships to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Schools need books and security cameras. Students, the next generation of community leaders, need opportunities and incentives to be motivated by the concept of civic engagement. Non-profit youth diversion programs could benefit from scholarships for after-school programs. ... Because of Ordinance #174975, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment has been unable to authorize these types of expenditures through the Neighborhood Council Funding Program. For this reason, the Neighborhood Council Funding Program would need to be amended in order to provide neighborhood councils with more options and flexibility in the expenditure of their City funds ... THEREFORE MOVE that the Office of the City Attorney and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment be requested to establish a City Public Purposes Grant Program for neighborhood councils, so such that neighborhood councils can donate funds for public purposes consistent with City, State and Federal laws, thereby permitting neighborhood councils the greatest range of options beyond neighborhood improvement projects and operating expenses.

It would be good to see that pass. As of February 1st the motion was in the City Council's Education and Neighborhoods Committee.

And that's about it for interesting stuff. Like I said, it was a short meeting.

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