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Englander E-News: Budgeting, Occupy L.A., Redistricting and More

Councilman introduces motion for performance-based budgeting in the cash-strapped city.

Englander E-News: Budgeting, Occupy L.A., Redistricting and More

COUNCILMEMBER ENGLANDER'S E-NEWS

Dec. 2, 2011

Working to Improve the City Budget With Performance-Based Budgeting...

We introduced a motion this week in support of the proposal by City Controller Wendy Greuel to begin using performance-based budgeting in the City budget process.

Starting with the 2012/2013 budget process this spring, the Planning Department and the Bureau of Street Lighting will use performance-based budgeting in the budget proposals for their departments. They will include program goals for the departments and perfomance metrics that will allow us to measure the success and efficiency of their programs and activities.

Performance based budgeting will allow us to constantly keep track of the effectiveness and efficiency of programs, allow more efficient use of resources, and will reveal which programs are effective and which are not. This is crucial during these tough economic times, when City revenues are severely reduced.

Performance-based budgeting will be phased in. For the next phase, we called for all City departments to incorporate performance-based budgeting into their budget proposals for the next year. To see the motion, click here.

Motion Calling for Accounting of Costs of Occupy L.A...

We introduced a motion on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 calling for a thorough report on all of the costs that the City of Los Angeles incurred because of the Occupy L.A. protest encampment.

At a time when the City has to weigh the cost of every service, every dollar spent, and every employee hour, it’s our duty to the taxpayers to explain and justify the massive expenditure of resources associated with the Occupy L.A. encampment.

We commend Chief Charlie Beck and the LAPD Officers who were careful to avoid the kind of violent clashes we have seen in other cities, when they cleared the park.

Our motion calls for the City Administrative Officer (CAO), the Police, Fire, Transportation, and Recreation and Parks Departments, the Bureau of Sanitation and any other impacted City Department to report on all of the public resources that were expended during the 60-day illegal encampment that was built on the lawns of L.A. City Hall. For 60 days, Police Officers and Firefighters were working or on standby, to manage the protest encampment and the associated damage to public property, crime, drug and alcohol use, and public health and safety threats that had emerged.

To see photos of the clean up of the City Hall lawn, visit the photo galleries on our website.

We must have an accounting of those costs. For 60 days, all of those resources were diverted away from providing the regular City services that L.A. residents depend on, and the public needs to know what that impact was. The operation to remove the encampment on the night of Tuesday, Nov. 29, involved 1,400 officers and large numbers of other personnel, vehicles and other resources.

To see the motion, click here. To see our press release, click here.

Dangerously High Winds Expected in L.A. Area Through This Weekend...

We are experiencing some of the most powerful winds seen in more than 10 years in the L.A. area, and they are expected to last through the weekend.

The L.A. Department of Water and Power (DWP) reports that over 100,000 customers, including 3,000 in the San Fernando Valley, were without power during the week due to the high winds. Many have since had power restored, and DWP has over 100 crews as well as reinforcements from out of state working to restore power.

Safety Tips

  • Be extremely cautious of downed power lines, and falling trees, branches, and other debris that has been damaging buildings and cars, and blocking roads all around the L.A. area.
  • Be sure to secure items in your outdoor area that can blow over and become hazards, such as lawn furniture, potted plants and children's toys. Make sure you have flashlights with fresh batteries in case your power goes out.
  • Never touch a downed or dangling wire of any kind, or anyone or anything in contact with it. Always assume a downed line is still energized. Report any downed power lines immediately by calling the LADWP at (800) 342-5397. If you or someone else is in danger, call 911. Call 311 to report downed trees or branches.
  • If a power line falls on your car, stay in the car and wait for help. If you must get out, do not touch the metal parts of the car and the ground at the same time. The safest exit method is to open the door, stand on the door sill and jump free without touching the car.
  • Stay away from metal fences, such as a chain link fence, as there may be a power line down and touching the fence somewhere beyond your sight.
  • If there is damage to the connection from the power pole to your house, you should go to the electrical box and turn off the main switch or shut off the fuse switch.
  • In case of an electrical emergency, stay calm and think before you act. Don't become a victim while trying to help others. Call 911.
  • If someone is shocked or not breathing, call 911 and apply cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Then cover the victim with a blanket, keep their head low and medical attention.

To see more safety tips from the Los Angeles Fire Department, visit http://bit.ly/95wiMm.

To see an online map of wind related power outages, downed trees and other hazards visit http://bit.ly/vli2he.

For live updates on power outages at www.twitter.com/LADWP.

For wind advisory updates visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website at http://1.usa.gov/fe2Zxg.

28th Annual Granada Hills Holiday Parade This Weekend...

Don't miss the 28th Annual Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce Holiday Parade, a great San Fernando Valley tradition, this Sunday Dec. 4.

Bring your family to enjoy this community parade, running down Chatsworth St. from Petit Ave. to Zelzah Ave., and then south down Zelzah to Kingsbury St. The theme is "Winter Wonderland," and the Grand Marshall will be Shirley Jones who starred in the classic TV show The Partridge Family. There will also be hundreds of entries, marching bands, floats, music, performances and more!

Sunday, Dec. 4
Chatsworth St. & Petit Ave., Granada Hills
Click here for a map.
Parade begins at 1:30 pm
Tow-away no parking and street closures on the parade route begin at 9:00 am, Dec. 4.


To see the line-up for the 2011 parade, click here. To see photos from last year's parade, click here. For more information, email Parade Chair John Ciccarelli at jcicarelli@aol.com or call (818) 363-7467.

A Day Without a Bag to Protect Our Oceans...

Heal the Bay's annual "Day Without a Bag" is coming up on Thursday, Dec. 15, so look for free giveaways of re-usable shopping bags just in time for holiday gift shopping.

Day Without a Bag is organized by Heal the Bay, and sponsored by partners City of L.A., Department of Public Works, Union Bank, and 99 Cents Only Stores.

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, Day Without a Bag raises awareness about the important environmental impact you can make with your personal consumer choices. Last year, over 25,000 fashionable, functional re-usable shopping tote bags were given away in L.A. County at 171 giveaway locations. This year for the first time, the L.A. County Public Library is giving out 8,000 bags at 85 library branches.

Locate the free bag giveaway site nearest you at www.healthebay.org/DWABCheck out these special bag deals only
available on Day Without a Bag: 99¢ Only Stores gives you a FREE
reusable bag with a $29.99 purchase. Union Bank branches are giving
away reusable bags to customers. Ralph's will give TRIPLE Reward
Points for shoppers who have reusable bags in Los Angeles County.

A Day Without a Bag focuses on educating Southland shoppers to adopt more sustainable practices during the holidays and coming year. Holiday shopping generates a tremendous amount of waste, including one-time use shopping bags, so it's a perfect time to make a big difference. The event also aims to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.

The City of Los Angeles has the most successful plastic films and bag recycling program in the country. Despite that, only about 5% of the more 6 billion plastic bags used in L.A. County each year are recycled. Millions of them end up in our oceans, where they kill marine life and harm fisheries, and damage the natural beauty that is at the heart of coastal tourism. Plastic bags are made from non-renewable fossil fuels.

To learn how your business, school, faith group or neighborhood can take part in A Day Without a Bag, contact Meredith McCarthy at Heal
the Bay at (310) 451-1500, x116 or email mmccarthy@healthebay.org.

SCAQMD to Hold Public Hearing on Odor Abatement at Sunshine Canyon Landfill...

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) filed a petition to amend the stipulated order of abatement between the AQMD and Republic/BFI in response to the hundreds of verified odor complaints received concerning the Sunshine Canyon Landfill. SCAQMD is holding a public hearing on the petition at the Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences in Granada Hills on Saturday, Dec. 3.

The petition requires that many improvements be made to the landfill's gas collection and flaring systems and requires an onsite independent environmental monitor. Click here to see the full petition.

Saturday, Dec. 3
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Valley Academy of Arts & Sciences
10445 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills
Click here for a map.

We introduced a resolution in support of the SCAQMD petition.
Click here to see the full resolution.

PALS Holiday Toy Drive...

Join us in helping ensure that at-risk kids in our community can have holiday gifts by donating to the Devonshire PALS (Police Activity League) Youth Center Toy Drive. Drop off unwrapped, new toys, books or gift cards in the donation box at the Council District 12 Office, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Nov. 28 to Dec. 16
Mon. to Fri., 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Drop-off: CD 12 Office
18917 Nordhoff St., Suite 18
Northridge

All donated toys will go to kids who participate in PALS programs. PALS offers valuable after-school programs, including sports, education, and mentoring with LAPD Officers to give at-risk youth in our community positive alternatives to crime, gangs and drugs. Please visit www.devonshire-pals.org.

Join Operation Gratitude and Help Support Our Troops Overseas During the Holidays...

There are only three more Holiday Assembly Days so come join Operation Gratitude and help assemble care packages to send to US troops serving overseas. The next assembly day is on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Saturday, Dec. 17
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Operation Gratitude
National Guard Armory
17330 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys


Operation Gratitude is a San Fernando Valley-based non-profit that organizes volunteers and donors to put together care packages to ship to our troops serving overseas to offer them support and comforts from home. The care packages include everything from toiletries and snacks to books and letters of support.

Please RSVP to Volunteer Coordinator Penny Alfonso by sending an email to opgratvolunteer1@yahoo.com with "Operation Gratitude Volunteer" in the subject line.

Join Northridge West Neighborhood Council for Their Community Clean-Up and Help Keep Northridge Streets Clean!

Join Northridge West Neighborhood Council for their weekly community clean up effort and help keep Northridge looking clean, green and beautiful!

On Thursday, Dec. 8, they will continue their work, removing weeds and trash, and doing maintenance on the raised garden area and tree wells on the east side of Corbin Ave., from Vintage St. to Lassen St. in Northridge.

Thursday, Dec. 8
8:00 am
Wilbur Ave. & Vintage St., Northridge

At 8:00 am they will review the game plan with free refreshments provided by Northridge West Neighborhood Council. Bring gloves if you have them, sunscreen, a sunhat and appropriate shoes for outdoor work.

For more information, call Jo Ann Philips at (818) 304-4989 or email Japhillips1@yahoo.com.

Festival of Trees...

Don't miss Northridge Hospital Foundation's Festival of Trees, a three-day event where individuals and businesses can purchase, decorate, display and donate an artificial tree, wreath, centerpiece or handmade quilt for the Hospital's silent auction.

Enjoy live entertainment in the Magical Music Land with carolers, live bands and dance acts. Stop by Santa's Sweet Shop for hot cocoa, candy, fudge, cookies and other holiday treats.

The event raises funds to help Northridge Hospital purchase lifesaving equipment, technology and to support programs for the Richie Pediatric Trauma Center.

Festival Celebration
Friday, Dec. 2 & Saturday, Dec. 3
10:00 am to 9:00 pm
9410 Jordan Ave., Chatsworth
Entertainment & children’s activities, auctions on festival items.
Tickets: Adults - $5. Kids ages 3 to 12 - $3. Free for kids under 2.


For more information, visit or call (818) 885-5341 ext. 3

CANCELLED: Dog Licensing & Vaccination at Sepulveda Off-Leash Dog Park...

Los Angeles Animal Services' (LAAS) low-cost vaccination clinic will not be at the Sepulveda Basin Off Leash Dog Park on Sunday, Dec. 4.

For more information about licensing and vaccinations call West Valley Animal Care Center at (818) 756-9326. For more information about the Sepulveda Basin Off Leash Dog Park please call Recreation and Parks at (818) 756-8185.

Re-Districting Commission to Hold Public Meetings in the San Fernando Valley...

The L.A. City Council's Redistricting Commission is holding a series of public meetings as part of the process of drafting new Council District boundaries. Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, districts are redrawn at all different levels of government, including the Los Angeles City Council Districts.

The Redistricting Commission is holding a number of public meetings in the San Fernando Valley. The Commission wants public input about the shape of the new Districts in advance of creating the early drafts.

Monday, Dec. 5
7:00 pm
LAPD Devonshire Youth Center
8721 Wilbur Ave., Northridge

Wednesday, Dec. 7
6:30 pm
Van Nuys City Hall
14410 Sylvan St., Van Nuys

Saturday, Dec. 17
11:00 am
West Valley Christian Church
22450 Sherman Way, West Hills

To learn more about the process, visit the Redistricting Commission's website. There you can also find meeting agendas and minutes, documents and district maps dating back to the 1970s.

Police Commission Meeting in Northridge...
Our Legislative Deputy Alexis Marin covers issues related to public safety, including the Los Angeles Police Commissioners. She reports this week that the Police Commission will be holding a community meeting in Northridge in January.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
6:30 pm
St. Nicholas Greek Church
9501 Balboa Blvd. (at Plummer St.)
Northridge

Join the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, Councilmember Mitchell Englander, and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for a community meeting to discuss public safety issues in the Devonshire Area and the City of Los Angeles.

Under the City Charter, the Board of Police Commissioners is the head of the Police Department. Established in the 1920's, the Board consists of five civillian volunteer Commissioners who set overall policy while the Chief of Police manages the daily operations of the Department and implements the Board’s policies or policy direction and goals. To learn more about the Police Commission, click here.

Sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices and other auxiliary aids and/or services are available upon request. To ensure availability, all requests for reasonable accommodation must be made at least three business days (72 hours) in advance.

For more information, please call (213) 236-1400.

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