Proof! Neighborhood Councils are ‘Protectors of the Community’

JUST SAYIN’-Last week I wrote about the proposed "Drunk Tank" that was uncovered by West LA/ Sawtelle Neighborhood Council and the secrets and lies perpetrated on this community by the LA County Board of Supervisors. 

Well, the NC took immediate action, rallying homeowners, retailers, property owners and developers to unite against a common enemy: county government and its backdoor secret meetings and deals. 

On October 3, even after the secret was uncovered, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and her "partners" held a private meeting -- no NC members allowed -- to discuss how they could further this mess, now that they’d been caught by the community. 

Then low and behold, we received the documents requested in my California Public Records Act request (PRA). They showed that this group accomplished their plan back in June, patted each other on the backs, and then sent out an email among themselves saying “we must keep this under wraps"! 

Leases were signed, permits pulled and construction started -- all before telling the community.

(Go to to see all the documents.) 

On Monday October 9, Supervisor Kuehl released a statement announcing that the lease had been canceled. The center will not go ahead as planned. 

So, to Kevin De Leon (photo above) and all those City Councilmembers who will not own up to being the ones who have disrespected their constituents in this and other matters (calling them NIMBYS and “handcuffers”) I say, it’s time for new blood. Blood that cares about its citizens, spends the public’s money providing services that are sorely lacking, is dedicated to planning our city correctly, and does not hold private backdoor meetings to determine what to do to us instead of for us. 

It’s time for the stakeholders to back the Neighborhood Councils and TAKE BACK OUR CITY. 

I call for the formation of a Council of Alliances that can come together to discuss citywide problems, including the disrespect shown by elected officials towards us -- the volunteer elected officials of Los Angeles. 

More on the backdoor meetings and browbeating by the LA County Supervisors office next week....


(Jay Handal is Co-Chair of the NC Budget Advocates, treasurer of the West Los Angeles NC and Los Angeles Police Commission Hearing Examiner. Mr. Handal’s views are his own.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.


Tags: Jay Handal, Just Sayin’, West LA/Sawtelle NC, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Neighborhood Councils, backroom deals, NIMBYs, transparency