Friday, May 8, 2009

OPINION: Neighborhood Council Call to Action

Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council President June Smith released this open letter to the community regarding council funding:

For the first time since the city began providing funds to neighborhood councils, the mayor has proposed that councils’ annual $50,000 allocation be reduced by 10 percent (to $45,000). This is in line with proposed cuts for the rest of city government. Mayor Villaraigosa is taking a voluntary 12 percent pay cut. City council members are not taking pay cuts and will continue to receive their nearly $180,000 annual salary. Council members are also keeping their $100,000 council district community services fund, which is taxpayer money available to spend at their discretion.

On Wednesday, the city council’s budget and finance committee proposed to reduce neighborhood council 2009-2010 funding to $11,200, a cut of 78 percent. If this amount is approved by the full city council, the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council will no longer be able to provide money for the many community organizations it supports.

This means no more neighborhood council contributions to:

Cabrillo Beach Boosters Fourth of July celebration
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium programs
Music by the Sea concerts
Shakespeare by the Sea performances
And a number of other events.

The following schools have benefited from neighborhood council funds:

15th Street Elementary School
Dana Middle School
Point Fermin Elementary School
San Pedro High School
South Shores Elementary School

In the future, Neighborhood Council money for these or any other schools will be eliminated!

The Coastal San Pedro council recently voted to support baseball at Bloch Field to provide opportunities to neighborhood kids. That money will be gone.

Other recipients of Coastal San Pedro neighborhood council funds include the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (White Point Nature Preserve), Angels Gate Cultural Center, Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Department of Recreation and Parks (Point Fermin), and Los Angeles Police Department.

If the Los Angeles city council follows through on the budget and finance committee recommendation to slash neighborhood council funding, the Coastal Currents newsletter distributed four times per year will probably only be published once or twice a year, if at all.

If you want the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council to continue to represent your interests and support the many organizations that serve our community, please take a moment and send an email to our city council members. You can copy and paste the list below into the To: line of a new email message you create.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Thank you for your interest and participation in our local government.

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