Will Saturday become Hermon Independence Day?

HERMON —  It’s easy to overlook Hermon. The tiny neighborhood across the Arroyo Seco from Highland Park has only about 3,500 residents.  The neighborhood commercial hub is a small shopping center that partly burned down last year.  The most well known landmarks include the Hermon Dog Park and a historic trailer park.  But what Hermon lacks in size and population it makes up for in neighborhood pride and activism. On Saturday, April 8, that pride and activism will be put to the test when Hermon residents will vote on whether to declare independence and establish their own neighborhood council.

Since 2002, Hermon has been one of the several neighborhoods — including Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills and Mount Washington — that form the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council. It’s one of the scores of councils across the city that serve as advisory bodies on topics ranging from development to community cleanups. But the arrangement has left many Hermon community leaders dissatisfied. “Hermon has too often witnessed its demands vetoed by the rest of the neighborhood council,” community activist Joseph Riser told EGP News last year.

Riser and other Hermon community leaders worked for several years to get the city to change the rules to make it easier for residents to break away from existing councils and form their own.

However, the decision to establish a separate neighborhood council is not Hermon’s alone. Saturday’s vote will be open to the residents and stakeholders of the entire Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council – not just Hermon. So, those who live outside Hermon can vote to oppose the break up. This past week, voters Downtown rejected the establishment of a separate Skid Row neighborhood council.

But the supporters of an independent Hermon might have an advantage. The only place to cast your ballot in Saturday’s election is in Hermon.

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