Friday, November 24, 2006

DONE's PR Problem

Lisa Sarno is the interim General Manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) who oversees the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council (SONC) and all the other neighborhood councils.

Being involved with neighborhood councils (NCs) since the first week I moved into city limits of Los Angeles, I had never heard of her until an e-mail came asking my public opposition of an extension of her interim appointment at an Oct. 9th Education and Neighborhoods Committee from Doug Epperhart of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council:
Many of us have seen Ms. Sarno in action. We've observed her attitude toward neighborhood councils and the way she runs the department. I believe she is neither a good manager of people nor effective communicator and advocate for the NC system. On balance, her continued presence does more harm than good.

As president of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council -- which has voted to seek Ms. Sarno's removal from her present position -- I'm asking that you attend the meeting if you can and join me in opposing any extension of her tenure.
To be fair, in my passive understanding of the upper levels of DONE, I had never heard the name of the former DONE GM, Greg Nelson, until I received an e-mail from him saying that Prop R has "something it it tha can repulse everyone." He wrote the e-mail after his tenure.

The second time I heard Ms. Sarno's name was when I met her at a Neighborhood Council Member training session at City Hall. She seemed pleasent and nice, but I definately had no chance to speak to her other than say hi and shake hands.

This week, she is under attack for a report she delivered "about violence at neighborhood councils [that have] sparked an outcry among some community activists, who say it smears the local boards and inflates claims of bad behavior."

SONC President, Jill Banks Barad told Daily News "we've talked about some actions that we felt were unethical, but I have not heard of physical incidents. If this is supposed to be a big problem, I think DONE should come to us and tell us that."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Steve's Question That I Missed

My first question for Zach: What are y'all doing with your $50,000 in city-issued mad money? And don't let any of those 200+ vote people push you around, know what I mean? Call on your inner Maxine Waters if needed. ~ Steven Rosenberg

With the new board slate, we haven't spent any money yet. Next week, I may bring a motion to the board to spend $20,000 on LAPD surveillance cameras for Ventura Blvd. and the Cedros Parking Lot (we would be purchasing 1 of 5 cameras in collaboration with a few other organizations). $20,000 is 40% of the annual budget, but SONC has a surplus of money, which I believe is over $100,000.

Some may say that there isn't much crime on Ventura Blvd. They are correct when you compare it to the reasoning to have cameras on Hollywood Blvd. and MacArthur Park. But what brought the whole camera issue to Sherman Oaks were the businesses and Council District 5 tired of spending money, daily, on removing graffiti.

Once again, one may say they don't see that much graffiti. That's because SOHA, the Bid, the Chamber and the residents have been extremely proactive by calling 311 to report graffiti and hiring their own graffiti team.

I took a trip down to the Hollywood PD on Wilcox to get a tour of the Hollywood Blvd. cameras on the street and from the video booth. A very powerful system it is. I took a video, but need to get it cleared by the LAPD before I post it on YouTube.

More to come on this later...

Friday, November 03, 2006

More on that Political Mailer*

Feinstein is pissed and ABC7 in San Francisco shows you how to find out who's behind these mailers (scroll to bottom of the page).

I find it interesting that the local papers really haven't spoken much about this except for LA Times Blog, Political Muscle. Funny thing is that they don't even mention that this is from a Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks more specifically) based company or that the man who put this out is Lloyd Levine's father. Levine is the Assemblyman for the 40th District which covers Van Nuys to West Hills and up to Northridge.

Here is the address of Levine & Associates are some related links:

Background info on the Mailer:

Levine & Associates
13701 Riverside Dr # 604
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 906-8747

Previously: The Sketchy Political Mailer

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SOHA's Close: No on Prop H

"The organized opposition [to Prop H] is a smaller group that includes Jon Coupal, president of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. They've raised concerns that another bureaucracy may not act efficiently to get the monies where they're needed. Opponents also claim that there are existing programs to help homebuyers and that Measure H is a payday for developers and builders."

- Yes on Measure H: a measure of humanity [The Jewish Journal of greater L.A]

The Sketchy Political Mailer

Father of Democratic state Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, Larry Levine of Sherman Oaks, a Democratic political consultant, published the Voter Information Guide for Democrats that supports a democratic slate, but says No on 87, the alternative energy bill, and no on 86.

$375,000 from oil and tobacco companies were given to Levine for inclusion in the mailer.

Is Political Campaign Flyer Misleading? [ABC7 - San Francisco]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Riverside + Woodman = Mess

A water main broke. I would suggest avoiding it today.