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Monday, September 26, 2016

Echo Park neighborhood council goes missing in action

The Echo Park neighborhood council earlier this year held a block party to celebrate the grand opening of its new office and community space behind the Bank of America. That grand opening appears to be the group’s last burst of activity because the neighborhood council’s Board of Governors has not met at the new office or any other place since February, and even that month’s meeting was halted numerous times because of a lack of a quorum. “We have had only one meeting [this year] that has gone from beginning to end,” said one resident and frequent meeting goer. On Tuesday, Jose Sigala, President of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, announced that this month’s board meeting had also been canceled. What’s going on? “The last few meetings have been canceled because we don’t have enough members or some members deliberately leave the meetings to break quorum,” said Sigala, who was reelected last month, in in an email. “It’s no coincidence that those who decide to leave are board members who did not fair well in the election or are no longer going to be on the board.”

At least 11 of the neighborhood council’s 17 current board members must be present to approve budgets, pass resolutions and conduct other business. That’s proved increasing difficult on the often fractious council, which has generated a reputation for some dramatic moments. A check on the council’s website shows that none of its committees – composed of board members – have scheduled any future meetings. Meanwhile, the newly elected board members can’t start serving on the neighborhood council – which is operated by volunteers and acts in an advisory role – because the election results have been challenged, Sigala said. That means there probably won’t be enough members to conduct a meeting until the end of May, he said.

“Everyone is eager to serve and start working on neighborhood issues,” he said



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