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DLANC: September Board Meeting

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2005, at 11:12AM

It feels like it's been a while since I last did a DLANC meeting recap. Being secretary for a little bit I felt like my writing here interfered with my official minutes duty, but now I'm just treasurer. And there's no money here to interfere with the DLANC money.

It was a long meeting last night, so hopefully that means there were a few things of interest discussed. It was my first meeting as Treasurer, so I got to present some fun numbers and charts. The Board voted to fund two projects: a 7th Street meeting and a bit of website functionality for the Downtown Artist Project. We also took a position supporting the Flower Street alignment for the Expo Light Rail line and some street changes on 2nd around Caltrans. And finally the Board discussed whether it can delegate power on on issue to a committee.

Update (3pm): I just noticed that one year ago today was my first DLANC Board meeting. I wrote a recap of that one the following day.

Figuring Out How to Make Charts

One of my jobs as Treasurer is to keep the Board informed about what's going on with our money. I had never done spreadsheets and charts growing up -- I mentioned over on my blog that I had skipped those classes -- so I got to figure all that out now. I may have gone a little overboard. I put together pages showing our 1st quarter spending by committee, our 1st quarter budget vs. expenditures, our base yearly budget with updated Q2, and finally the Q2 budget with the option of the two projects. I was pleased with what I ended up with.

7th Street Community Meeting

Since long before my time on the Board there's been on ongoing 7th Street study that USC has been doing. We've been waiting and waiting for the report, and finally it seems to be done. There were outreach meeting conducted a year or so ago to get input for this, so now it's time to come back around and hold another meeting to let people know what those crazy USC researchers came up with and figure out how we want to use their results. The Board approved money to put on the meeting, advertise it, and provide some light refreshments.

I'm working on getting a copy of the report that I can link to. I'll definitely make another post about that when I do and get a chance to look at it.

Downtown Artist Project

The Downtown Artist Project is an ad-hoc subcommittee of DLANC's Arts, Asthetics, Culture & Education committee. Their website gives this goal:

The goal of the Downtown Artist Project is to define and organize the downtown Los Angeles artistic community, in order to promote their interests. This community includes all people working on a freelance or self-employed basis in the creative arts, such as fine art, performance, music, graphic arts and design, living and/or working in the downtown area.

What came before the Board yesterday was a request for up to $750 to fund the development of a piece of website functionality. Basically they want to make it so that someone can come to the site looking for an artist who does, say, iron work, click on that as an option, and see a list of artists who have identified that as a skill. Basically a pretty simple database in the back, and some PHP for allowing artists to input skills and users to search it. One of their aims is to let this be a tool to keep money and business Downtown, and I think that's cool.

Expo Light Rail

At the last Transportation & Public Works committee meeting we had a presentation from the MTA on the Expo Light Rail line. As a committee we voted to ask the Board to support the project and to support the Flower Street alignment.

Basically the MTA still has one big choice to make in the design of the line: does it go south on Flower, or jog east to Hill before coming back west at Exposition? The committee supported the Flower alignment because it would cut the total travel time, be nearer to Figueroa Corridor destinations, and give DLANC another station in our boundaries (Flower & 23rd). Board discussion involved many of the same questions that had been asked and answered in committee, but it was nice having the CCA's Victor Franco, Jr., there (as Hal Bastian's alternate) to answer a lot of the points raised.

Delegating Power to Committees

Ongoing for many months in the Transportation & Public Works committee is a back-and-forth with the Bureau of Street Services trying to find appropriate streets Downtown on which to spend the $100k each council was given for street resurfacing in this year's City budget. We select streets, then they tell us either a) other money can do that street or b) there's upcoming construction there which means we can't do the street right now.

A few months back the Board had voted to let the committee give final recommendations to BSS, since there was a time constraint that wouldn't wait another month for the Board to meet again. Well, things dragged on thanks to the aforementioned process and here we are still trying to finalize the list. The committee voted to ask the Board to just sort of reaffirm the previous delegation, but this time it wasn't so smooth.

Ed Marzec raised the issue that he isn't sure whether the Board has the ability to allow a committee to speak for it. Personally I feel comfortable that it does, but it's a valid question to ask. It might have been more valid a few months ago when the Board first took that action, but let's not quibble on that.

In the end the Board voted to reaffirm the delegation conditional on DONE and the City Attorney saying that we were ok to do that. I'm interested to hear what they say, though I expect them to affirm the right.

The next Board meeting will be October 11th, at 6:30pm. This meeting will also function as our annual meeting, and will hopefully feature some special guests -- Brady announced last night that both of the leading candidates for the CD14 seat have been invited, and that he should know soon whether they can attend.


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