Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Election Day FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Granada Hills Neighborhood Council Elections:

1. There's an election today?


2.  Why should I care?


3.  Who are these people?  How do I know who to vote for?


4.  Where do I go to vote?


5.  How do I know if I'm in Granada Hills North or Granada Hills South?



1. There's an election today?

 Yes, today, Tuesday, March 2.  Voting is from 2pm to 8pm.


2.  Why should I care? 


The bigger question is, why should anyone in City Hall, all the way in Downtown L.A., care what happens all the way up here in Granada Hills?  Typically, they don't.

We need people who live and work in GH to make the decisions about GH, and pressing issues like development, the Sunshine Canyon Dump, and traffic.  If we don't, then the developers will, and they don't always have residents' best interests at heart.



3.  Who are these people?  How do I know who to vote for?



You can view candidate statements at GHSNC.org and GHNNC.org

In the Granada Hills North elections, Giga Granada Hills endorses Sunshine Canyon Dump fighter Wayde Hunter, soccer field defender Sue DeVandry, North Council founder Kim Thompson, and Planning and Land Use expert Anne Ziliak.




4. Where do I go to vote? 


If you live in Granada Hills North, go to the GHNNC Office, at 11139 Woodley (in the Albertson's Shopping Center).


If you live in Granada Hills South, go to the Granada Hills Recreation Center, 16730 Chatsworth Street.




5.  How do I know if I'm in Granada Hills North or Granada Hills South?



The 118 Freeway is the boundary.  If you live north of the 118, you're in Granada Hills North.  If you live south of the 118, you're in Granada Hills South.

25 comments:

  1. Haven't you ever wondered why the NCs don't have elections with other city elections?

    It cost the city more, and there's an election coming up in a few months.

    The NCs want it separate to keep turnout low so they have a better chance of remaining "kings".

    The city council wants them separate to keep the people ignorant of their existence and to keep the power of the NCs at a minimum.

    Locally, all we have is a veterans park that is being built to show, as you say, people who live Gh to make decisions about GH.

    10 years later... scrap it. It's not working.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1) Yes there are Neighborhood Council Elections across the East San Fernando Valley. Canoga Park, Woodland Hills- Warner Center, West Hills, Winnetka, Chatsworth, Northridge East, Northridge West, Porter Ranch, Granada Hills North and Granada Hills South.

    2) You should care because these councils work to improve their neighborhoods by helping prevent over development, unneeded projects and much much more. You should vote for those people you would like to represent and fight for you on those issues.

    3) These people are community members that care about the community, and only want the best. Each council has a list of certified candidates with candidate statements. Visit cityclerk.lacity.org/election/ncdocs/electionInformationListedbyRegion.pdf. Click on which ever council you would like know information about.

    4) For Granada Hills South NC you go to the Granada Hills Rec Ctr at 16730 Chatsworth St. For Granada Hills North NC you go to the GHNNC Office located at 11139 Woodley Ave. (In the Albertsons Shopping Ctr). All the other councils that are part of Region A have there election locations on there websites.

    5) You are in GH North NC if you live, work or do business within the following boundaries:
    North- LA City/County Line
    West- Aliso Cyn (West of Zelzah)
    East- 405 & 5 Fwy
    South- 118 fwy

    You are in GH South NC if you live, work or so business within the following boundaries:
    North- 118 fwy
    West- Lindley/Aliso Cyn Wash
    East- 405 fwy
    South- Devonshire St.

    We hope to see you at the polls.


    Sean Rivas
    Outreach Chair
    Granada Hills South NC

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  3. Anonymous, I've learned that a lot of the work the neighborhood councils do is totally invisible; you can't see a zoning-defying development that WASN'T built because the NC blocked it. What we have "to show" is rarely something that you can show at all.

    And that silly little Veteran's Park thing wasn't created by the NC's at all -- it was funded by donations from the guy who runs Kenn Cleaners and is largely a project under the Chamber of Commerce.

    Read this:
    http://www.gigagranadahills.com/2010/01/invisible-work-of-neighborhood-councils.html

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  4. Let me correct a couple of comments:

    To anonymous in the first post; The NCs did not select the election dates, the City Clerk Office did. The NW Valley is Region A and we are the first to have elections. Elections will then continue thru June in other Regions of the City. If I had my choice we would hold elections at the Granada Hills Street Faire like we did at the last election, when NCs were making the election decisions.

    Linda in Post 3; Thanks for the kind words. GHSNC made a significant monetary donation to the refurbishing of the VM Park. GHSNC has also paid for the upkeep of the park for the last two plus years. GHSNC also funded the trimming and decorating of the Holiday tree at VMP this year. The remodel of the park has been a community project, with the Rotary taking the lead, and GHSNC and the BID in supporting roles.

    DAVE BEAUVAIS

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  5. I can't help but laugh at the post by "Anonymous". Never mind the fact that the person was too much of a coward to put his or her name alongside the hit-and-run opinion.

    The real problem I have with it is how completely wrong Anonymous' claims are. NCs want to keep voter turnout low??? Seriously??? The Granada Hills NCs put banners all over Granada Hills, including a large one at Balboa/Rinaldi with election info on it. They've been buying ads in multiple newspapers. They've been sending out newsletters to every mailing address in Granada Hills letting people know about the elections. There have been multiple mass emails sent out to the hundreds of GH stakeholders who voluntarily signed up for their respective NC's mailing list (on the NC website). I know GHNNC board members have been standing in front of Albertsons and HOWS markets the past several weekends to inform neighbors about the elections.

    I can say with confidence that the local NCs definitely WANT as much voter turnout as possible.

    I believe the reason why the NC elections were not the same day as the State election is because many NC board members are the ones who volunteer to work at the polling places on Election Day, and they can't work at their own election.

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  6. I just want to thank everyone for coming out and voting at the GHNNC Elections. We really have a great community and we want to continue to work to keep it that way.

    Sue DeVandry
    GHNNC Outreach Chairperson

    ReplyDelete
  7. LJW, I like your blog it is informative and I check it daily.
    You referred me to the previous post on NCs but it goes more to my point.
    Doesn't LA have a zoning commission? A planning commission?
    The theory behind the NCs is not the problem, it's the current nature.
    So a group of "concerned" local business owners and residents made a decision for an entire community without input from the community?

    Why was there no input?

    Because for the most part no one knows they exist and the NCs want it that way. The city council wants it that way.

    The NCs cannot open themselves up because then they create competition for their own seats.
    City council wants them separate in order to keep them invisible.

    NCs are responsible for important things, but when done in secrecy (when 90% don't know you exist, it's a secret)you're more a liability than a benefit.
    People are making decision almost daily for a 50K people without their input. Spending tax dollars without input.

    When NC elections don't cost us anymore, when they are included with other scheduled elections, maybe then I'll believe they are looking to become legitimate.

    And, if I recall correctly both GH NCs contributed money for veterans park.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just reread my previous comment -- wanted to clarify and apologize for the error. I was inaccurate about the funding sources on Veteran's Park. And I hope the phrase "silly little" didn't sound demeaning -- it's a perfectly lovely project, but pales in significance when compared to our towns' more pressing concerns such as development, traffic, and Sunshine Canyon.

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  9. Sorry Aaron I say anonymous because NC types are like dictators, i did not call anyone names and you call me a coward and believe I am an idiot.

    To Dave, yes the city clerk sets the dates, which again goes to my point. The city council doesn't want the NCs to get too much attention. The NCs could fight for it and say we want to be treated equally put us on the same ballot on the same day.

    But the NCs don't!

    Voter turnout is extremely low for all off year elections, I can't imagine it gets any better of NC elections.

    Aaron, don't direct your anger at me for stating the facts. Go to the city council tell them NCs deserve more legitimacy.
    You may say hit and run, whatever, but NCs are quasi legitimate.
    You stood out in front of Hows and Albertsons, how many actually knew you exist?
    Also, this year, if I recall correctly, there more nominees than before, so of course efforts have to be made to get voters beyond family and friends.

    Also, adding more to why I think NCs are deficient... how much money do the NCs have rolled over from unspent years?
    $50K/yr budget but seldom does it ever get all used. Yet with a city facing million in shortfalls the NCs, like other fiefdoms, refuse to take a budget cut when thousands are sitting in their bank accts unspent.

    We've devolved as a society as evidenced by Aaron who feels name calling is the best way to respond.
    Now I feel like attending a GHNNC meeting just to share my views and see if the rest of the kings/queens are as belligerent.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, I am really bummed out! You mean the City Council doesn’t want us? You mean I have spent 100s of hours volunteering for nothing? I was voted on by the GHNNC to be their GHNNC Outreach Chairperson and I take that job very seriously. I felt it was my responsibility to get the GHNNC Stakeholders involved in the issues that are affecting this community. One way to do that is to advertise as much as possible. We have put up GHNNC street pole banners and sent out numerous newsletters. We have stood in front of grocery stores for hours talking to stakeholders about what is important in their community and inviting them to come to our board meetings. We have had booths at the Street Faire for the past five years. I would love to have more people involved in my Outreach Committee. It is open to everyone, board members and stakeholders. We have a wonderful website www.ghnnc.org and we send out weekly emails to stakeholders so they are aware of what is going on not only their neighborhood but around the valley.

    We have the best Planning and Land Use Chairperson in the world. She really knows her stuff and is constantly fighting the developers who want to build, build, build. She has a great PLUM committee and that is also open to everyone, board members and stakeholders. You can even just come and listen at one of the meetings to find out what is going on. Believe me…the LA City Department of Planning and Zoning listens when Anne Ziliak speaks.

    Nothing we do is done is secret. Everything we do is open to the public. On our website, we post our agendas and the minutes. Please go and check it out. Don’t just sit there at the computer and write that we don’t do anything. Obviously you have never been to a NC Committee or Board Meeting. Come to a meeting or two and see what it is all about. Stop complaining and get involved in your community.

    Sue DeVandry
    GHNNC Outreach Chairperson

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  11. To Anonymous: Please come to a GHNNC meeting. I would love to meet you in person.

    Sue DeVandry
    GHNNC Outreach Chairperson

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  12. Thank you for the endorsement and thank you Granada Hills for those of you who came out and voted!

    I hope everybody who reads this blog, attends one of our meetings in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  13. To Anonymous:

    I never called you any names. Re-read what I wrote.

    I personally don't know why I waste my time responding to what you wrote, but I guess it hit a nerve.

    A couple quick points:

    You said: "So a group of "concerned" local business owners and residents made a decision for an entire community without input from the community?
    Why was there no input?
    Because for the most part no one knows they exist and the NCs want it that way. The city council wants it that way."

    -- Stakeholders are welcome and encouraged to go to meetings. NCs WANT stakeholder input. All of the committee and board meetings are posted publicly around the neighborhood as well as on their websites days before the meetings.

    NCs meet in schools and public places, not secret basements. GHNNC recently opened up a brand new office with hopes of even more neighborhood interaction.

    You are blaming the NCs for the L.A. City Council's mistakes, which is misguided.

    You also said: "When NC elections don't cost us anymore, when they are included with other scheduled elections, maybe then I'll believe they are looking to become legitimate."

    -- Maybe you should pay more attention to the news and decisions made by the L.A. City Council recently. Do you think NCs wanted the City Clerk to run the elections at a taxpayer cost of several million dollars? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Again, you are blaming NCs for the mistakes of the City Council.

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  14. Aaron & Sue... just because you meet in public places and put up banners does NOT mean you are doing your best efforts to get the community involved. Having 2-3 guests, who have no business to present, at a board meeting should be evidence in itself that something is lacking.

    And I do not blame the NCs for the city council's shortcomings. I do blame the NCs for becoming fiefdoms and a more useless set than the city council. The NCs have rolled over unused funds and REFUSE to take a budget cut. That's theft. I said it. And I mean it.

    Sue, you're out reach, but I'm curious, of the 20 board members of the GHNNC, how many have gone door to door in their neighborhoods to talk up the work of the NCs?
    How many non board members are on ad-hoc committees to encourage more interaction from non-board members?
    By the way I was running on Rinaldi yesterday and paid close attention to the banners and wondered, how much they really work since people are just in a rush. It's an effort, but it's not serious.

    I understand NC members are unpaid volunteers, but that's not an excuse to give less than 100%.

    I personally believe NCs lack accountability to the stakeholder. You're an unknown entity. I'm guessing less than 10K of 50-60K possible voted on Tuesday. With a poor % like that is there really accountability? NCs have requested and have carved out a major role for themselves, yet unlike real elected officials they play by different rules.

    Aaron, I do believe the NCs don't want the city clerk to run the election because you lose control. I do believe NCs want a seperate date for elections to feel special and to maintain control.
    I don't NCs care about the extra cost, because if they/you did... GHNNC has over $100K in unused funds rolled over and would not have put up such a big fight over a proposed budget cut to $22K for the next fiscal year.
    So, NO, I don't believe the NCs, the GHNNC give damn what happens to the city budget as long as the fiefdoms remains in tack.

    If we had any REAL investigative journalists with integrity left in LA this NC garbage would have been dealt with already.

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  15. Wow! All these comments! I didn't realize LJ's readership was this large. :-) Speaking of the park, I was going to ask you to do a post on that. IIRC it was "remodeled" just a couple of years ago, and now it's torn up again. Why is this, what's happening, who paid for the first remodel, and who's paying for this one?

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  16. LJ, thank you for the forum.

    Anyone who is interested in serving on a Neighborhood Council, committee, or even volunteering is always welcome - of course, you'll have to give your name, unlike in a blog comment space.

    As far as the Veteran's Triangle goes, once upon a time, no one took care of it, and it showed - the grass had been replaced by weeds, the memorial plaques that give the names of those from GH who lost their lives in Vietnam were obscured, and the trees were untrimmed.

    Then, various volunteers from the community stepped up - Rotary, the Chamber, the Business Improvement District, and the GH South council have all volunteered time and money over the last few years. CD 12 may or may not have; I don't honestly know.

    Currently, the renovation project is being paid for by a group of donors, a mix of Rotary and Chamber membership; the NC is, and has, provided funding for the maintenance - mowing, weeding, landscaping, etc. The NC also supported the tree lighting this past December.

    Anyone who is critical of these efforts is more than welcome to come and speak about them at any one of number of committee and general board meetings; they are also, of course, more than welcome to run for a seat. I think some of the winners in the latest election garnered a total of 2 votes, so the threshold is not really that high.

    Yours for intact fiefdoms,

    Brad Smith

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  17. To Unanimous:

    Fiefdoms – something over which one has rights or exercises control. Wow that is a new word I never heard of before. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this statement regarding NCs.

    Volunteer – one who enters into or offers himself/herself for a service of his/her own free will – I think that is a word Unanimous has never heard before. I feel I have given 100% and more. Ask my family – they will tell you how much time and effort I put into GHNNC. I am sorry if you feel I am not doing enough. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this as well.

    Unanimous stated: “just because you meet in public places and put up banners does NOT mean you are doing your best efforts to get the community involved”. What more do you want from me? You know the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink”? Well I feel that way sometimes when it comes to Stakeholders. I can do everything in my power to encourage Stakeholders to become involved in their NCs but to tell you the truth most Stakeholders are just not interested or they don’t want to get involved. Stakeholders do not want the Dump, but nobody is willing to spend time fighting it – except GHNNC and NVC. Stakeholders didn’t want the new High School on Balboa, but nobody was willing to help fight against it – except GHSNC, GHNNC and the Old Granada Hills Residents Group. We are all volunteers trying to do the best we can for our community. If that is not good enough for you, well… we will have to agree to disagree on that too.

    So I guess what I am saying is that I just don’t agree with you on anything you are saying. You can find out more information regarding GHNNC and GHSNC by going to their websites and signing up to get their weekly emails. That way you will have no excuse for not to coming to a NC Committee or Board Meeting. I look forward to meeting you sometime at a GHNNC meeting.

    Sue DeVandry
    GHNNC Outreach Chair

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  18. Sue, we will have to agree to disagree. I don't feel you've adequately answered my issues. I don't even believe that is what you were trying to do.
    I do get the email for GHN and I look at the web sites for both, frequently.

    Sue, I am a KNOWN volunteer. And a response to Aaron from before, I don't like intimidation and have witnessed how GHNNC and other NC members intimidate those opposed to them.

    Brad said someone with 2 votes won. You guys keep adding to this post and any sane person could see you're just adding weight to my arguments.

    Still no response to the budget.

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  19. You know, attaching one's name to one's argument does wonders toward weighing one's complaints...

    As far as intimidation goes, I have no idea who could be intimidated by a neighborhood council, considering the utter lack of resources and negligible power the NCs have...

    As far as GHSNC's budget goes, we have spent essentially every dime that has been provided, as anyone who attended the last meeting knows full well. At this point, GHS is dependent on members of the board kicking in for necessary expenses.

    Not something I expect to ever see our full-time representatives do from their $178,000 a year salaries, of course.

    Brad Smith

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  20. Anonymous: Just a couple of questions for you - if you are a KNOWN volunteer, then who are you? Make it KNOWN who you are. And when was the last time you came to a GHNNC board meeting and saw someone being intimidated? I think you should show some proof to what you are stating otherwise your opinions are just hot air.

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  21. OMG!! Did I say "Unanimous" LOL That is why people should state their names - not Anonymous. LOL

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  22. Brad... According to DONE the GHNNC spent $55K all of 2009, I know that the FY is different than calendar year, but that's still more than NCs annual budget.

    Also, the GHNNC budget posted in Jan. of 2010 shows a ROLLOVER of a little more than $90K.

    Yes city officials are over paid, yet you all still went on an all out assault on the Mayor & City Council for wanting to cut your budget and asking you to use your roll over funds.

    You didn't want to help!

    You, Sue, and Aaron think i have something against the idea of NCs, I don't. My issue is with how NCs have turned out and reluctance to becoming relevant. I'd like to see NCs fulfill the goal that was set from the beginning, and 10 years later it's not even close.

    I suggest the three of you read Tocqueville's Democracy in America. I understand time may be an issue, so at least make an effort with the cliff notes.

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  23. Anonymous - I can't speak for Granada Hills North; I serve on the board of the Granada Hills South Council.

    As far as de Tocqueville goes, I prefer the original French, but for Anonymous, here's a quality English translation, courtesy of UVA:
    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/toc_indx.html

    Bonne chance pour l'avenir

    - Brad Smith

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  24. Brad, I thnx for the link, I have read Tocqueville, and hopefully your colleagues from the north will take the time to at least skim through your link.

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  25. Anonymous...I think you are getting the North and the South mixed up when it comes to their budget numbers. The North still has money in their budget. Yes, we DID have a rollover that we were planning to use in O'Melveny Park to help pay for the clean up and restoration of the park after the fires but the City Council has taken away all rollover funds so that will not be happening for GHNNC.

    I would love to have time to read your Tocqueville book or even the cliff notes. But unfortunately I am spending all my free time on GHNNC Outreach and attending meetings at City Hall representing the Stakeholders of GHNNC. I feel that is more important right now. Maybe when I retire...

    Sue DeVandry
    GHNNC Outreach Chair

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