Who can run for local council?
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Former Sun Valley Neighborhood Council member Jerry Piro said local trash companies bused workers to vote in a recent council election, bumping him and other activists off the board in favor of more business-friendly representatives.
He fears the new board will fail to aggressively question several major trash-facility expansions.
I feel these are absentee landlords," Piro said. "The title itself says neighborhood council and that's the people who live here and that's who should have the largest voice."
At least twoneighborhood councils - coastal San Pedro and Westchester/Playa del Rey - voted to oppose the proposed definition.
The Westchester/Playa del Rey board said expanding the definition would "displace and dilute the representation of those who live, work and own property within its current boundary."
But commission member Charlotte Laws, who sits on the Valley Glen Neighborhood Council, said the current stakeholder qualification varies among councils - and that's confusing for people who want to participate.
Her own council says members of community organizations can run for election to the neighborhood council board only if their group is an official tax-exempt nonprofit.
But that excluded a local Valley Glen group that helps the homeless because they're not registered with the Internal Revenue Service.
"I'm a real estate agent. I sell in a lot of neighborhoods and there were many communities that I didn't know if I was a stakeholder or not," Laws said.
"With the new definition, at least I know there is a place for me somewhere."
Public Hearings: The Neighborhood Council Review Commission has released recommendations on reforming the neighborhood council system and will discuss them at hearings this month including one in the Harbor Area: 6 p.m. July 19 at L.A. Harbor College, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington. For a list of recommendations, go to www.ncrcla.org/