To: 912 Commission and Stakeholders

Respectfully submitted by Charlotte Laws – 912 Commissioner

Dear Commissioners, Stakeholders and Others,

I offer for consideration the following proposals:

1. I propose as a Commission that our job is to direct the Executive Director / Consultant when one is hired; concurrently, it seems as though we are expecting this person to direct us. Although I understand the argument in favor of “listening to creative ideas by applicants,” that does not excuse us from own creative thinking, nor from proceeding without delay to do the job we have been appointed to do. This is particularly important because we are already two months into our Commission and have only ten months to go. The Executive Director will not be appointed and settled into the job for at least another month. At the present time, we have not established a direction in which to proceed, and I do not believe it is the job of a hired person to tell us what to do. I believe it is imperative that we commence immediately to implement the guidelines already set forth in the City directive appointing us. 

The current idea is to wait for each applicant for the Exec. Dir. position to propose to us an appropriate strategy to follow; I believe this idea is misguided for the following reasons:

a. It is naïve to expect applicants to spend time on a time-consuming task when they do not yet have the job;

b. It is unrealistic in that the job description is not well-defined, and I believe applicants will be confused about the job duties; and

c. It is misleading because it sends the wrong message that we are working for this individual rather than the reverse. The Executive Director will be hired to follow our directions. 

I propose that we outline in advance as many as possible of the tasks of the Executive Director/Consultant. I propose that the hiring committee come up with suggestions, which can be presented to the full Commission at the next meeting.

2. I propose that we immediately break into research committees. We have been in place for almost two months and need to begin our complex and important task. We cannot afford to lose additional time. Stakeholders are growing impatient.

A. “Fewer committees” are preferable to “many committees.” Why?

a. It will be easier to synthesize our material in the end. We want to avoid overlap or redundancy in committee work. We can always break into subcommittees if necessary.

b. It will be easier for stakeholders to participate in the process. They can attend these committee meetings regularly. This means greater input and participation. Lots of meetings will lead to stakeholder confusion about which committee will be discussing which issue.

c. It will be easier for commissioners to participate in more aspects of process. That means more voices and ideas. 

B. Suggestion for research committees:

a. “Community Participation” Committee -

i. Definition of a stakeholder

ii. Stakeholder categories with respect to elections – voting & candidates

iii. Outreach, inclusiveness and diversity issues

iv. Performance, successes, challenges and accomplishments of NC’s in the area of community participation

b. “Training, Funding and Procedures” Committee -

1. Current funding structure and amount of funding for each NC & budgetary issues

ii. Orientation and training of NC boardmembers

iii. Accountability of NCs

iv. Election Procedures

v. Brown Act Issues

vi. Performance, successes, challenges, and accomplishments of NCs in the area of training funding and procedures.

c. “NCs with respect to Political Efficacy and City Interaction” Committee 

i. Early Notification System

ii. Manner in which NCs can, do and should work together

iii. Manner in which NCs can, do and should work with the city

iv. Role and effectiveness of establishing a Memoranda of Understanding with specific, or all, city departments.

v. Accountability of city officers and government officials with respect to NCs

vi. Relationship of umbrella groups and advisory groups (LANCC, Valley Alliance, etc.)

vii. Council File Numbers

viii. Advisory vs. Robust role of NCs

ix. Performance, successes, challenges and accomplishments of NCs in are area of political efficacy and city interaction.

*The above committee work is intentionally not detailed in order to provide for flexibility. At any time, additional areas of study / specifics can be added by the committee itself or the full commission.