May 26, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: Newly Seated Rules Committee Seeks to Reform VNC By-Laws

Standing Committee Begins the Process of Amending and Revising Rules for This Neighborhood Council

By Nick Antonicello

The time-consuming and tedious process of revising and amending the BY-LAWS and Standing Rules of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org) began tonight as those community-involved volunteers are committed to an open local democracy that’s accessible, transparent and accountable to the thousands of stakeholders of this diversified and divergent neighborhood.

Community Officers CJ Cole and Lisa Redmond are serving as co-chairs, but Cole chaired Wednesday’s meeting held at the Extra Space Storage on South Venice Boulevard.

The four-member standing committee consists of both Cole, Redmond as well as Treasurer Helen Fallon and Christopher Lee, who also serves on the VNC’s Outreach Committee and has a long resume of community participation.

The committee has agreed to create a task force to address the voluminous issues before them when reviewing the VNC By-Laws as well as the Standing Rules that govern this 21-member body.

Helen Fallon presented a series of changes and revisions regarding Articles 1-4 of the By-Laws that will go before the full board for consideration. Fallon’s recommendations were designed to simplify the board’s governing document by eliminating redundancy and creating greater clarity.

For the most part, the recommendations were embraced by the committee as well as the five residents in attendance that included new elected Outreach Chair Erica Moore and Community Officer Steve Bradbury.

Most of the public comment agreed in principle with Fallon’s revisions, while some discussion focused on the rights of stakeholders, and just what their role is in the operation of this local governing body.

Co-Chair Lisa Redmond suggested a possible need for more than one meeting per month given the job tasked before them and most board interaction suggested that the task force dig into the language revisions that would go before the full committee and then ultimately formal recommendations to the VNC.

The committee also discussed the individual role of each VNC officer, and to incorporate their opinions and insight on how to best ensure the board becomes fully functional and operational, versus some of the dysfunction that was witnessed in ZOOM meetings before the ban on public meetings that was finally lifted earlier this year.

Some of the more heavy lifting will be if any revisions on how community officers are elected, as stakeholders can only cast a single (1) vote when the position accounts for twelve of the board’s twenty-one positions. During the ZOOM candidate forum moderated by yours truly, an overwhelming number of the candidates and those elected supported expanding the stakeholder franchise.

The issue now is how many more choices and does the current one-vote only choice violate the “one-man, one vote” principle of the US Constitution, the California Constitution and the LA City Charter.

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year resident who covers the business of the Venice Neighborhood Council. Have a take or a tip all things Venice? Contact the author at nantoni@mindspring.com

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