WHAT IS A NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL?
In June, 1999, the voters of Los Angeles approved a new City Charter which created the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE). Its purpose is to promote more citizen participation in government and to make government more responsive to local needs through a citywide network of neighborhood councils. Each council is responsible for representing the diverse interests of its “Stakeholders.” The council advises city council members and departments on the needs of Glassell Park.
Every meeting must be announced and its agenda posted (on the bulletin board outside of the Community & Senior Center, on our website, and sent to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment at email@example.com) at least 72 hours before the meeting. No items may be considered for a vote that do not appear on that meeting’s agenda. If you wish to see something on a committee’s agenda, contact that committee in advance of their meeting.
WHO ARE GLASSELL PARK’S “STAKEHOLDERS?”
In Glassell Park, a stakeholder is anyone who lives, works, owns property, or owns or operates a business within the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council (GPNC) boundaries, and/or anyone who declares a stake in the neighborhood and affirms the factual basis for it. GPNC membership is open to all Stakeholders.
WHAT ARE COMMITTEES?
Committees are one of the ways that a Neighborhood Council manages its many duties. There are board members in every committee, but committees can also have community members. Each committee serves a specialized purpose such as reviewing land use matters, conducting community outreach, or maintaining the website. They set their own agendas and decide when to meet, but they have limited autonomy; they cannot act or present views on behalf of the Neighborhood Council, and whatever conclusions they come to are sent to the full GPNC board as a recommendation. The GPNC board decides, at a board meeting, whether to act on those recommendations. The board has full power to create or disband committees as it deems necessary.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH AGENDAS?
If you’d like to see something on the agenda, send an email to the board (firstname.lastname@example.org) with “agenda request” in the subject of the email to ask to have something included. The deadline to submit something for inclusion on that month’s agenda is the 2nd Tuesday of the month, when the Executive Committee meets (this is one week before the Board Meeting). Anything not submitted by then will have to be added to the agenda for the following month’s meeting. Why put something on the agenda, as opposed to just joining us at the meeting to share? Because the board can only take action on something (vote on it) if it was included in that meeting’s agenda. If you show up to a meeting with an idea that’s not on the agenda but requires board action, it will have to be placed on a subsequent agenda.
If you come to a meeting and want to share something not on the agenda, there is a time for “public comments” when we ask the community to share their thoughts. No matter what, if you attend a meeting, please sign in when you arrive and fill out a “speaker card” so we have record of your comments later when drafting minutes and notes about the meeting.
If you can’t make the meeting, you can check back on the website at a later date to see the minutes and often there’s even a video of the meeting. Visit the “Agendas & Documents” page to see the upcoming meeting’s agenda (when it’s ready) along with supporting documents (if there are any) as well as agendas, minutes, and videos from past meetings.
YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD BOUNDARIES
Northwest: San Fernando along City of Glendale boundary (E) to the 2 Fwy/Las Plumas
Southwest: City of Glendale boundary along San Fernando/railroad tracks (S) to Los Angeles/Division St.
Northeast: Glendale 2 Fwy/York (E) toward Eagle Rock Blvd (S) to El Paso Dr. (E) to Division St.
Southteast: Los Angeles River/Division St. (N) along Division St. toward El Paso Dr.
OPEN TO ALL STAKEHOLDERS
Glassell Park Neighborhood Council was certified by the City in January 2002. Board Member elections are held every two years. Any stakeholder 18 years of age or older is eligible to run for a seat on the Governing Board.
To get involved, we encourage you to attend and participate in our meetings of the Board and all committees. Much help is needed in all areas. To call attention to a community problem or suggest something for our agenda please visit the Board Members page.
WHEN ARE THE BOARD MEETINGS?
The Board meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (sometimes rescheduled for holidays) at 7pm at the Glassell Park Community and Senior Center, 3750 Verdugo Rd. The Board also hosts a Town Hall every other month on the 1st Tuesday. The Executive Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month to review the agenda for the upcoming Board Meeting. Please note that the Board may only vote and take action on items on the agenda.
CAN I SPEAK AT A MEETING?
The public may comment on a specific item listed on the agenda when the Board considers that item. When the Board considers the agenda item entitled “Public Comments,” the public has the right to comment on any matter that is within the Board’s jurisdiction. If you wish to make a presentation, please contact the Executive Committee prior to the Executive Committee meeting to have your presentation agendized.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE BROWN ACT?
The Brown Act will generally apply when there is a quorum or majority of the governing body of a Neighborhood Council present. The essential provisions that should be complied with include: meetings must be open (§ 54953.3); agendas of meetings must be posted 72 hours in advance for regular meetings and 24 hours in advance for special meetings (§ 54954.2 and § 54956); at the meeting the legislative body is limited to acting on the matters on the agenda (§ 54954.2); members of the public must be given an opportunity to speak to the legislative body on agenda items and non-agenda items within the jurisdiction of the Neighborhood Council ballots or deliberations are permitted (§ 54953); and agendas of public meetings and any other distributed writings are public records and shall be made available upon request without delay (§ 54957.5).
Because the City Charter created Neighborhood Councils, Neighborhood Councils are subject to the provisions of the Brown Act. The Brown Act is applicable to “a commission, committee, board, or other body of a local agency, whether permanent or temporary, decision making or advisory, created by charter, ordinance, resolution or formal action of a legislative body.“ § 54952 (b)
The Brown Act applies to neighborhood council committees if the committee has an ongoing jurisdiction over a specific matter and it is considered a standing committee. However, if a Neighborhood Council establishes a temporary committee to review and make recommendations on a specific task or issue, the Brown Act does not apply because after the committee finishes its review and has given recommendations to the full governing body of the Neighborhood Council, the committee would be disbanded and thus no longer has jurisdiction over that matter. However, the temporary committee must comprise less than a quorum of the governing body, or else the Brown Act will apply since its provisions govern “meetings” of a legislative body at which a majority of the members are present. (Ralph M. Brown Act § 54952(b))