Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants

Problems with BONC/DONE Revision of NC Conflict of Interest Codes meeting

April 8th

BONC/DONE has posted on the Early Notification System an announcement about a meeting concerning revisions to the Conflict of Interest Codes.

The announcement:

1) has a date of Thursday, April 29th, 2003
2) deals with revisions to the codes dealing with conflict of interest - but does not say what those revisions are
3) is for only one meeting on the subject, and it is out in Chatsworth
4) says that "If you are unable to attend the public hearing, you may submit your comments in writing at least ten (10) calendar days before the public hearing date, so that it can be distributed to the Board in advance of the hearing."

As written on the notice, DONE's purpose is " promote more citizen participation in government, and make government more responsive to local needs...."

It is very hard to do that if:

1) the date is wrong (it has to be either Thursday, April 24th or Tuesday, April 29th)
2) there is no information whatsoever in this notice about what the actual revisions are
3) the meeting is in the farthest corner of Los Angeles, away from the vast majority of the city's citizens - and it starts at 6:30pm, making it just that much more difficult to attend
4) there is only one meeting scheduled. Shouldn't there be a series of meetings throughout the City of Los Angeles to get a broad cross-section of community input? One meeting in the far West Valley has the effect of disenfranchising a vast majority of participants in the neighborhood council process and its stakeholders.
5) it's very difficult to send comments on proposed revisions if those revisions are not publicly presented to comment upon.

Any change to conflict of interest codes (whether they are tightened or loosened) will have a significant impact on governance for all neighborhood councils. Because of that, the process for dialogue should truly be open, transparent and inclusive so that all stakeholders have a real opportunity to hear - and comment - on what is being proposed.


Tony Scudellari
Glassell Park


Greg Nelson wrote:

As you probably know by now, a second agenda notice went out 12 hours later showing that the meeting is on Tuesday the 29th. The report will be available this week on our Web site, and you will be notified when it's available. To get an idea of what it's all about, I draw your attention to my newsletter of 1-23-03, which is also on our Web site at Click on Newsroom>Newsletters. (If they've worked out the bug by the time you check.)


Mr. Scudellari replied:

Dear Mr. Nelson:

Thanks for letting us know about the revision. I had a look at your newsletter of 23 Jan 2003 that you cite and still have a couple of questions:

1) I just want to confirm that the information referenced will be made available to in enough time for the public to read them and meet the comment requirements for the Board (that they must be submitted to the Board at least ten (10) calendar days before the public hearing date).
2) Will there be any other hearings besides the one scheduled for Chatsworth? Both the time and location are inconvenient for the vast majority of stakeholders and participants in neighborhood councils.

DONE has been very clear in its objective to be as open, inclusive and transparent as possible in the neighborhood council process. By allowing greater public access to this discussion about such an important issue dealing with neighborhood council governance, DONE/BONC will greatly enhance its abilities to achieve those goals.

I thank you for your time and answering these questions.


Tony Scudellari
Glassell Park


An UPDATE from Tony:

Neighborhood Council Conflict of Interest Code Revisions On Line

April 11

Dear Friends & Neighbors:

DONE has just recently posted the memo outlining the history, policy discussion and DONE's recommendation regarding the Conflict of Interest Code.

To read the 9 page document, go to:

It is listed as the first item under the heading "News Flash." If you would like to make public comment, they must be submitted in writing at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the hearing date.

You can send your comments to:

Shannon Hoppes Commission
Executive Assistant
City Of Los Angeles
Department of Neighborhood Empowerment
305 E. First Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
213 / 485-4608 fax

Or, if you feel adventurous and are so inclined, you can attend the meeting, which is scheduled for: Tuesday, 29 April at 6:30pm Lawrence Middle School 10100 Variel Avenue Chatsworth, CA 91311

Be sure to fire up the GPS, get any required inoculations and have your visa papers in order beforehand.

Have a great weekend and happy reading!


Tony Scudellari
Glassell Park


EDITOR'S NOTE: LA Community Policing features a significant section on BONC/DONE available through the Neighborhood Council link on the home page. All the information we get is presented with clarity in a timely fashion and as webpages, not PDF files, to make them easy to read and accessible to the general public.