May 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Shorts: Rules Committee Offers Third Attempt at Revising VNC Board Composition

Standing Committee offers more district representation in a new version that could not muster a two-third’s majority not once, but twice

By Nick Antonicello 

The Rules & Selections Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org)  seems determined to concentrate on local district representation for board consideration and composition for a third time. 

After two failed attempts to garner a two-third’s majority vote from the VNC, the committee finally voted unanimously to restructure the board’s composition to seven elected officers consisting of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Officer, Outreach Officer and Land Use & Planning Chair (LUPC), three At-Large Community Officers in which stakeholders can select all three, and six area districts with four of the subsets electing two representatives each, or 8 members, and two districts offering single-representation or 10 district officers in total representing just individual slices of the overall community. 

According to those in attendance, the two areas slated for single-district representation are the Oxford Triangle and the Peninsula. 

The Community Interest Officer position would be retained for a total of twenty-one board officers. 

The Rules & Selections Committee is composed of an even number of four members which includes Treasurer Helen Fallon and Community Officers CJ Cole, Lisa Redmond and Christopher Lee. 

Two previous attempts to reach the two-third’s requirement of 14 board members have failed, and many believe getting to that required number will be just as difficult on the third try at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of this all-volunteer governing body. 

Sources tell Yo! Venice that the emphasis on community representation and splitting and dividing the neighborhood will allow an easier path to election for some, versus having to campaign throughout the entire neighborhood. 

While there is support for hyper local representation, many feel having 10 of the 21 only representing a slice of Venice divides, and does little to unify the entire board moving forward. 

Some have speculated that Venice tenants will not be fully  represented in such an apportionment plan of six districts, diluting their overall influence and voice. Of the 14,556 occupied housing units in Venice, 36.29% are owner-occupied, while 63.71% have renters living in them.

The first motion of the evening was a 2-2 deadlock, with committee members Christopher Lee and CJ Cole voting in the affirmative, and Helen Fallon and Lisa Redmond voting no. 

That motion called for 7 Elected Officers, 5 Areas each with 1 Area Rep, 8 At-Large Community Officers – Voting for three (3), and 1 Community Interest Officer. 

A second attempt to find consensus also failed by an identical vote with Cole and Lee voting yes, and Fallon and Redmond again voting no. The proposal was 7 Elected Officers, 5 Area representatives with 2 Area Reps each, and 3 At-Large Community Officers – Vote for three (3), and 1 Community Interest Officer according to the minutes posted on the VNC website. 

VNC President Brian Averill was in attendance and according to sources at the meeting urged the committee to find consensus and compromise, but both Fallon and Redmond were adamant in their support for a multiple-district, dual member composition in which Cole and Lee eventually accepted on the third and final version and revision that will be discussed and voted upon by the entire board Tuesday evening, April 16th

Should this third and seemingly final attempt at revising these By Laws pass, at-large representation would be reduced from eight to just three, and district representation will account for 47.6% of the board’s membership with these officers only selected by these newly drawn districts versus representing the entire Venice neighborhood. 

There is a timeline for amending and revising the By Laws as these revisions would be enacted in the next VNC election scheduled for the spring of 2025. 

One board member who asked not to be identified thought the new plan “overcompensated” the notion of district representation at the expense of representing the entire community’s wishes, goals and objectives from an electoral standpoint. 

The April meeting begins at 6:30 on Tuesday at the Westminster elementary school and all stakeholders and residents are urged to attend. 

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-one year resident of Venice and covers the actions and deliberations of the Venice Neighborhood Council. He currently serves as a member of the Outreach & Oceanfront Walk Standing Committees. Have a take or tip on all things Venice? Contact Antonicello via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Hard, News
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