Saturday, March 8, 2008

Neighborhood council contrasts this week

By Doug Epperhart

The second week of the month brings the one-two punch of the Northwest and Central neighborhood council meetings.

It seems like there’s always plenty on the plate to fight over, except Northwest presents it more as a scholarly debate, whereas Central offers up a good old-fashioned rhubarb.

At Northwest, Dr. Richard Vladovic, LAUSD’s District 7 board member and Northwest resident, is the main attraction. He’ll be appearing to talk about school issues. Bring your questions. This is your chance to get them answered.

There will also be the usual plethora of committee reports and motions, including financial support for after-school programs at Dana Middle School, a homeless awareness concert, and the annual police youth conference.

Expect a dust-up at the Central council meeting on Tuesday.

Following last month’s questionable move by Central President Joe Gatlin to ignore the council’s bylaws and select a communications officer, about half the Central board members lodged protests with the city Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.

The department and city attorney have opined that Gatlin was wrong. What will be done about it is probably the focus of the first round of Tuesday’s bout.

The critical fight, though, will occur over the subject of bylaws. The group’s bylaws committee is bringing several recommendations to alter the rules. These include electing all board members to at-large positions and then having the board choose its officers.

There are also proposals to provide a more fair and open process for setting the council’s agenda. Any stakeholder (those who live, work, own property, or can show an affiliation with a group located in the Central area) may vote on the bylaws amendments.

For more information, go to or call (310) 732-4628.


Doug Epperhart is a member of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council governing board. He can be reached at

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