Olympic Park Neighborhood Council March 2011

The leadership of the Olympic Park Neighborhood Council is operating under the urgency of a vanishing budget. Much of the council’s March 7 meeting was centered on the possibility that the city could cut neighborhood council funding significantly in the coming fiscal year.

“We may not have rollover funds,” said Peter Schulberg, OPNC president.

In addition, the annual funding allocation to each neighborhood council could shrink from $40,000 down to $22,000, according to Schulberg’s discussions with city leaders.

At the beginning of the meeting, the council had $38,000 in its account. Most items on the agenda were proposals for expenditures to commit as much of the $38,000 to community projects before OPNC loses the right to sign checks in April. The uncertainty bothered some board members who requested time to propose worthwhile projects and vote at the next board of directors meeting. This desire to diversify the receivers of OPNC funds drove some board members to vote down some of the large allocation proposals.

“If we end up getting rollover funds, we’ll feel like idiots for trying to spend it all,” Schulberg said.

Some of the expenditure proposals included:

-   The board discussed the February approval of $30,000 as a Neighborhood Purposes Grant to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative for the San Vicente Median project. This project is receiving $150,000 from the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles.

-   The Wilshire division of Los Angeles Police Department asked for $2,000 for a youth sports program and furniture for the room where OPNC meetings are held. The proposal was approved except for a projector purchase. Additional quotes were requested for the items to be purchased.

-   Koreatown Youth and Community Center applied for a $15,000 grant for tree planting and maintenance. Despite heavy support from Schulberg, nine of 11 board members at the meeting voted the proposal down but asked KYCC to re-introduce the proposal at the next meeting with visual aids, location maps and a breakdown of the wages and expenditures where the funds would go. Ralph Johnson’s biggest concern was that if it was approved, a total of $45,000 would be spent on trees rather than children and the elderly.

-   A total of $7,100 was authorized for a wide variety of promotional items that Johnson referred to as tchotchke. This amount could fund OPNC outreach purchases for the next year or two, some argued.

-   Also in the outreach budget was a $2,100 allocation to advertising in The Neighborhood News.

In addition, Chris O’Malley was appointed to fill the vacant west area seat, Amado Peraza resigned from the board and Helene Maidan resigned as secretary of the board.

 

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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