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Neighborhood Empowerment Group May Be Far Less Empowered

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If you have a friend that works at the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), the agency that oversees the neighborhood councils, you may want to call them up this weekend, offer to take them out for a beer. Because DONE may just be done. Following a damning city audit that says there's been little "financial oversight of the money provided to neighborhood councils," the city is considering laying off half the workers at DONE, which translates to 19 of 38 total jobs, according to the Los Angeles Times . As the Argonaut reported last week, there's been numerous and mysterious screw-ups recently at the agency ($880,000 in unaccounted credit card purchases, for instance). So it's not surprising that some neighborhood council members aren't pushing for members to stay. Doug Epperhart of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council tells the Times that the whole department should be given the boot. '"I'd love to say they've done a fabulous job and they're great at what they do and they've been a tremendous help," he said, "but I can't say that.'"
· Plan to cut L.A. jobs would hurt neighborhood councils and art programs, report show [LA Times]