Photo by Vista Vision.
Reprinted from CityWatchLA:
Goodbye Van Nuys, Hello Sherman Oaks
Jill’s Cliff Notes
By Jill Banks Barad
Well, it happened. The Education &Neighborhoods Committee (Councilmembers Alarcon and Hahn, Zine was not present) voted Tuesday to approve the name change … for a portion of Van Nuys to become Sherman Oaks … and send it on to the full City Council. The room was Standing Room Only and there were many speakers signed up to speak in favor of the proposal. Lydia Mather (President Van Nuys NC) and I were the only two speaking against, so E & N Chair Richard Alarcon gave us extra time.
Here are the “cliff notes” from the meeting (LATimes report here ):
● Janice Hahn said it is “compelling” that Councilmember Wendy Greuel is for this. She said it reminds her of the secession movement when people wanted self-determination and to own their own destiny. “It helps to LOVE where you live,” she said and she was tempted to support it.
● In response, Alarcon wondered “why do we have this process?” (i.e. have the NCs weigh in) . “We should let the Councilmember decide,” he said. While he said that he didn’t “buy a lot of the arguments by the proponents”, he was swayed by the “overwhelming support” in the area. Over 1,000 people had phoned and emailed Greuel. Note to self: should we have done that? We shouldn’t HAVE to put on a phone campaign, we as a NCs took ACTION by our vote.
● I had said in my testimony that both Sherman Oaks NC and Van Nuys NC voted against this proposal after much discussion and deliberation and that it would be a slap in the face for the City Council to ignore the active opposition by the two neighborhood councils. Alarcon said this approval of the name change was not “disrespectful” to neighborhood councils.
● The bottom line is they (City Council) want it to be business as usual (i.e. politics as usual) and let the councilmember decide. .So maybe it didn’t matter what arguments that Lydia and I made, it was a done deal when Greuel gave it a thumbs up.
● It became clear that is irrelevant what the neighborhood councils decide because ultimately it’s the councilmember who will make the decision. And every other councilmember will defer to that councilmember. If only we had known this, it would have saved us the time, effort and emotion of those vitriolic public hearings!
Lydia and I are disappointed and depressed, but as Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day! (Jill Banks Barad is President of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council and the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.