Sunday, August 20, 2006

Founding SONC Chair Resigns

Today, Ken Gerston resigned from the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council (SONC). In the e-mail letter to the council and city officials, Gerston signs off saying:

I take great exception with many of the decisions that have been made by the leadership and executive board of the Council and find the Council has become an ineffective voice at this time.

The very premise of Neighborhood Councils were to put the community first and not to be self serving or self aggrandizing. Sadly, the original vision has been lost.

It has been an honor to serve our community and I thank you and my neighbors for the opportunity.
I never knew Ken as the President of SONC since I moved to Sherman Oaks when Jill Banks Barad became the new president. While Ken was still on the board, he often appeared quiet and reserved, occasionally speaking with direct to the point comments. His attendance at meetings seemed to be dwindling lately.

To Ken's point, SONC occasionally does take the time to take positions on City council motions and other forms of support for bills and organizations. It makes sense when it deals with Neighborhood Council (NC) issues such as motions moving from NCs to City Council, but sometimes when SONC takes the time to take a positions on issues that effect something city or countywide, it feels like it dominates the meeting and sidelines the truly local issues like traffic at a certain intersection or beautification. Ideally, that's committee work, but still, the meetings sometimes don't feel like Sherman Oaks, rather City Council. And that's when I see city officials in the audience start rolling their eyes.

On a side note: Pending verification of my business status, I am running for SONC Area 5 as a Business Representative. If my paperwork goes through, I'm running unopposed.

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