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Monday, March 17th, 2008
Executive Committee Meeting 5:30 pm
Full Board Meeting at 6:30 pm


1. Welcome and Roll Call
Meeting called to order at 6:45pm.
Present were Susan Swan, ,Charles Suhayda, Ryan Ole Hass, Bechir Blagui, Jordan Birnbaum, Andrew Ettinger (left early), Rodney Hargrove, Scott Larson, Jamie Rosenthal, Erik Sanjurjo, and David H. Schlesinger.
Coming late was Maurece Chesse
Excused absences were: Robert Abrahamian, Debbi Aldahl, Will Logue, Bree Long, Hilary Royce.

2. Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve: Scott Larson
Charles Suhayda
Vote: 9 yes, 0 no, 1 abstention

3. LAPD and LAFD Updates
There were none – no one from those agencies was present.

4. Los Angeles City and County Updates including but not limited to:
    A. Mayor's Office Updates

There were none – no one from those agencies was present.
    B. City Council Office Updates

There were none – no one from those agencies was present.
    C. DONE Updates
There were none – no one from those agencies was present.

6.  L.A. Public Education Funding and Feedback Project
Wayne Williams:
The Rules Committee of the LA City Council would like Neighborhood Councils to take participate/host a workshop and give feedback on public funding programs (around 1 ½-2 hours).  Arizona & Maine have full public funding programs that work. Most politicians don’t want the public to know that.  But those two states have representatives who did not have to take contributions from special interest groups.  That includes Janet Politano, the governor of Arizona.  Los Angeles, the city, and its council members including Eric Garcetti, would like to have public funding for elections but they need opinions.  Wayne represents the Clean Funding Campaign, in which neighborhood council members are shown a Powerpoint presentation and asked for feedback.  Wayne wants to ask the board to pick a date in which we would take a workshop conducted by his staff.  He presented the board with packets that will provide more information and help shape the questions to be discussed in the workshops.

Andrew Ettinger asked why anyone would be against this.  Wayne replied that some people don’t see why the government should pay people to run for office.  But this movement would create a level playing field that allows more women and minorities to run and limits the sway of special interest groups. 

Ryan Hass prompted the board to ask their questions so that a decision about the workshops could be made.  Wayne clarified his position to state that he was here to gauge the stakeholders’ interest, and then the board could set up a workshop, which ideally would happen in the next two months.  Susan thanked him for his time and said that the board would take the preceding under consideration.  Susan thought that it sounded important enough to take to the community, but the length of the workshop could prove problematical in implementation.  Erik Sanjurjo added his appreciation for Councilman Garcetti’s involvement.

5. Public Comment on items not on the Agenda (2 minutes each)
Raymond Yu made an announcement about the upcoming Easter Sunday lunch in downtown Los Angeles, and his 27th birthday celebration on March 28th in Chinatown, among other items.

Some stakeholders present asked about the status of 2620 Beachwood Drive, and why that item was not on today’s agenda.  Someone had put notices up stating (incorrectly) that  it was on the agenda.  David Schlesinger, the chairman of the Planning & Land Use (PLUM) Committee, said that the PLUM Committee met on March 11th.  Jill Bigelow, the owner, asked David to put it on the agenda and then shortly before the meeting asked David to remove the item.  Unfortunately, David fell ill and could not do that, and then no one showed up to discuss the agenda item.  David will email Jill to see if she wants to be on the PLUM  agenda for the next meeting, which will be on April 8th at 8pm.  He informed the questioning shareholders that they could send a letter to the zoning administrator, who would then decide whether or not Jill would be granted a variance.  The board cannot stop the construction, but can take a position for or against.  Neighborhood councils are advisory only.

Robert Shrag from 2628 Beechwood (directly across the proposed property) stated that the largest grievance is that the proposed project is not realistic and not being responsibly planned. 

Elaine Michaels of 2629 Beechwood talked about the unstable hillside behind the property.  She mentioned a past prospective buyer, Eve Steel, who declined to buy the property because she was advised to build a retaining wall.  Jill Bigelow does not seem to be planning to build such a wall or to pay the necessary insurance.

Susan noted that this was not on the agenda for this meeting but that this issue would be followed up on at the next PLUM meeting.  Susan and David asked those attending to leave contact information if they wished to have follow-up information.

7. Executive Committee Reports including but not limited to:
    A. President

        1. Attendance at 2008 NUSA (Neighborhoods USA) Conference May 21-24, approval to send Board Member(s) and costs involved (total daily allowance for meals and lodging combined is $200.04, total daily cost for 3 meals including snacks and gratuities must be reasonable and is limited to $50, Gratuities must not exceed 15%, air fare should be the lowest regular fare available for regularly scheduled airlines for date and time selected.
Susan asked if anyone was interested.  Ryan noted that he wasn’t, and it wasn’t an ideal use of funds unless someone was very interested and very willing to do the work required.  Charles said it is a good way to see what other councils across the county are doing, and could help this council grow.  Maurece said that he would like to attend.
Motion: to approve to send Maurece Chesse to the 2008 Neighborhoods USA Conference from May 21-24 with costs involved for meals and lodging: Susan
Second: Ryan
Vote: 12 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain
Susan then noted that the surveys (DONE NC Self-Assessment forms) provided in the folders and on the back table for stakeholders, were to be sent back to DONE by June 30th, and asked that everyone return those completed.

    B. Vice-President
        1. Update/presentation on NBC/Universal Project Working Group, and possible motion regarding the development
No update

    C. Treasurer
        1. Treasurer's report    

Ryan noted that the new office copier/printer/scanner has now been installed for more efficiency.  The people from HERO are here and we can spend money on their shirts & uniforms.  He  will send an email update concerning expenditures.  We spent less than $1000 on the town hall, with an original budget of $1500.

Scott Larson made a comment about the previously approved minutes regarding encumbered funds – there was forward movement regarding the funds allocated to the HPOZ that he is forming.  Ryan then clarified, in general and in specifics, how these items are accounted for.  The board spends taxpayer dollars to improve this community.  We can only carry $50,000 over to the next fiscal year.  We do have to spend money, but responsibly.  The motion-maker has to follow through on each motion and how that  money is spent.

Erik Sanjurjo clarified that DONE is cracking down on spending because they recently had an audit.

        2. Update on approved expenditure from February re: $2000 for Food Pantry.. proposal to release funds once as opposed to incremental release   
Motion: to approve the expenditure from February regarding $2000 for the Food Pantry to release funds once as opposed to incremental release: Ryan
Second: Jordan
Vote: 10 yes, 0 no, 1 abstention

    D. Secretary
        1. Office update, possible motion to board re: monthly rent (proposed $500 monthly would include use of community room)

Charles related some of the history of the HUNC office at the church location.  The office rental would cost $500 a month.  The tenant lease was discussed. 
Motion: to approve a monthly rent of $500 which includes the use of the community room 67 times a year: Jordan
Second: Rodney
Vote:  9 yes, 0 no, 2 absentions

8. Update on joint Hollywood Coalition Town Hall, cost breakdown, what worked, what didn't, feedback for future events
Erik thanked everyone for stepping in, in his absence.  He recommended that for future events, HUNC do an advertisement in Hollywood Independent and LA Weekly.

Ryan reported that the town hall went very well.  There was a solid turnout.  It was HUNC’s first run at a town hall in a long time and we got some forward movement.

9. Committee & Liaison Reports/Updates including but not limited to:
   A.  Education
        1. Update/progress report on plans for all budget requests/funding proposals
Debbi Aldahl was absent, so that update was tabled.

   B.   PS&T
       1. Updates from CPAB reps   

 Ryan said that there was no update.  He attended the meeting, heard some statistics, and asked some questions.  Bottom line, they need more staff (DOT, MTA, LAPD, LAFD, etc.).   

       2. Update on HUNC ‘Adoption’ of Fire Station 82 (approved Jan 2007) and financial support of items on wish list including but not limited to :
            A. GPS devices for engine/rescue
            B. Battery operated power tools (for auto extrication)
            C. Carpeting in dorm, locker room, and tv room
            D. LCD monitor and wireless keyboard for captains office
            E. Workout equipment
            F. New paint in dorm room          
            G. Motion: that the HUNC purchase 2 Garmin-Nuvi 5000 GPS units at $799.95 per unit, yet not to exceed $2,000.00,in support of a critical equipment need for our adopted Station 82 Fire Fighters with the purpose of improving response arrival time.
Maurece spoke at length about the details of the GPS units in question.  Scott Larson spoke out in support. 
Motion: to purchase GPS devices for engines/rescue: Maurece
Second: Ryan
Vote: 11 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions

    C. Renters
        1. Update on Hollywood Coalition Renters Town Hall on May 31st, location, needs, volunteer list

5. Public Comments (Additional)
Bernie Salinas, director of outreach for PATH, People Assisting The Homeless, wanted to thank the board for their uniforms.  He appeared with several associates.  Their shirts have not yet been embroidered, but they are getting there.  Bernie passed out reports notating their successes, listing the contacts they have made since they started, such as one woman who is now in permanent housing thanks to the efforts of groups such as this one.  Ryan effusively praised the responsiveness of this group and noted that HUNC approved $98,000 to be spent for HERO last year, and that some of that has been earmarked for much-needed computers.  Susan asked the group to come back in April with their wish-list.  She also asked them to fill out stakeholder surveys that let the city know how the board is doing.

10. New Business/Announcements

11. Submission of proposed Agenda items for April