By Josh Premako, 3/15/2012
Move is Prompted by Discord Among Board Members
The neighborhood council committee that reviews and makes recommendations on land use and development issues was disbanded last week, in the wake of “aggressive and reactionary problems” among board members, according to Sheryl Turner, chair of the Mid-City West Community Council.
The decision to temporarily disband the planning and land use committee was approved during the March 6 meeting of the executive council, Turner said.
The agenda for that meeting included an item referring to “updated additions/deletions and new appointments to all committees.”
“This was precipitated by allegations that members of the committee demonstrated unprofessional conduct during committee meetings,” Turner wrote in a statement Tuesday, “and there were accusations that members of the committee failed to serve the stakeholders in a professional manner.”
She declined to go into specifics of why the committee was disbanded, and said “those issues are pending with the city attorney.”
During Tuesday night’s meeting of the community council, Turner explained that while the 12-member committee has been disbanded, chairman Stan Brent has been retained and will oversee the drafting of a proposal for reforming the committee.
In the meantime, Turner said, the community council board will handle planning and land use issues. She said the process of drafting a reformation proposal will likely take several weeks.
The Mid-City West Community Council is one of 83 certified Los Angeles neighborhood councils. Its 45-member board weighs in on community concerns including renters’ issues, land use and development.
At the onset of Tuesday’s council meeting, Turner described community stakeholders and project applicants as “continually whipped around like badminton pucks among the strong personalities and personal agendas of certain members.”
Last week’s decision came as a surprise, said Jim O’Sullivan, president of the Miracle Mile Residential Association.
O’Sullivan said he’s seen tempers flare at past meetings, but nothing that he believed called for the decision to disband the land use committee.
“It’s being described as a dysfunctional committee,” he said. “For years, people compromised. And somehow, now that’s gone.”
Conversely, Jeff Jacobberger, first vice chair of the executive council, said the move to disband the committee was a good decision.
“There is kind of a core group of people who were on that land use committee who feel that residents are the only kind of legitimate voice for the neighborhood,” he said. “They sort of think that any personal attacks on people who disagree with them are basically acceptable.”