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Neighborhood Councils Will Have Their 2012 Elections

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The City Council is going to make sure that neighborhood council officer elections take place in 2012--they're moving forward with an ordinance to transfer management of the elections to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, reports the Contra Costa Times. DONE had run the neighborhood council elections up until 2008, when the city clerk's office took over following complaints about DONE's management. The city clerk's $1.6 million budget for the elections, however, was cut to help make up the city's budget shortfall, so control swings back to DONE again. Although DONE has its own money woes, Executive Director Bong Hwan Kim says his staff can run elections this year on a tighter budget.

The other potential option explored by the Council was the postponement of the elections until 2014. However, the Council feared mass resignations from neighborhood council officers who didn't want to sign on for an additional tour of duty. In an earlier story from the Daily News, Councilmember Paul Krekorian points out that representative governance requires, you know, occasional elections: "That frustrates the very goal we're trying to achieve, which is to create a more robust democratic process."

Meanwhile, the City Clerk is exploring a cheaper way of running the elections, and should have a process in place by 2014, according to the Daily News. Diana Nave, president of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council, tells the CCT that "By and large, you're going to find that neighborhood councils say (the City Council decision) is a good thing."Image via zach by design
· Neighborhood council vote woes [Daily News]
· L.A. to change neighborhood council election requirements [Contra Costa Times]