A New Day for POSOville.

Photo by VistaVision

Photo by Vista Vision.

Reprinted from CityWatchLA:

Goodbye Van Nuys, Hello Sherman Oaks
Jill’s Cliff Notes

By Jill Banks Barad

Well, it happened. The Education &Neighborhoods Committee (Councilmembers Alarcon and Hahn, Zine was not present) voted Tuesday to approve the name change … for a portion of Van Nuys to become Sherman Oaks … and send it on to the full City Council. The room was Standing Room Only and there were many speakers signed up to speak in favor of the proposal. Lydia Mather (President Van Nuys NC) and I were the only two speaking against, so E & N Chair Richard Alarcon gave us extra time.

Here are the “cliff notes” from the meeting (LATimes report here ):

● Janice Hahn said it is “compelling” that Councilmember Wendy Greuel is for this. She said it reminds her of the secession movement when people wanted self-determination and to own their own destiny. “It helps to LOVE where you live,” she said and she was tempted to support it.

● In response, Alarcon wondered “why do we have this process?” (i.e. have the NCs weigh in) . “We should let the Councilmember decide,” he said. While he said that he didn’t “buy a lot of the arguments by the proponents”, he was swayed by the “overwhelming support” in the area. Over 1,000 people had phoned and emailed Greuel. Note to self: should we have done that? We shouldn’t HAVE to put on a phone campaign, we as a NCs took ACTION by our vote.

● I had said in my testimony that both Sherman Oaks NC and Van Nuys NC voted against this proposal after much discussion and deliberation and that it would be a slap in the face for the City Council to ignore the active opposition by the two neighborhood councils. Alarcon said this approval of the name change was not “disrespectful” to neighborhood councils.

● The bottom line is they (City Council) want it to be business as usual (i.e. politics as usual) and let the councilmember decide. .So maybe it didn’t matter what arguments that Lydia and I made, it was a done deal when Greuel gave it a thumbs up.

● It became clear that is irrelevant what the neighborhood councils decide because ultimately it’s the councilmember who will make the decision. And every other councilmember will defer to that councilmember. If only we had known this, it would have saved us the time, effort and emotion of those vitriolic public hearings!

Lydia and I are disappointed and depressed, but as Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day! (Jill Banks Barad is President of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council and the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.

3 thoughts on “A New Day for POSOville.

  1. Instead of so many people trying to either change or not change the name of their community, why don’t they put as much effort into figuring out what can be done to improve their environment?

    Why don’t they drive or stroll through various parts of the San Fernando Valley, including Van Nuys, and ask: This neighborhood looks so homely and tawdry to me. Why is that? What specific enhancements should have been promoted by the city for at least the past 30 or more years?

    Why haven’t officials in local government, be they the mayor, council members, department heads and bureaucrats, pursued any or enough of that? Why haven’t more citizens of LA been annoyed by all this apathy, ignorance and inertia, perhaps that of their own and others?!


  2. Whatever happened to Mister Cardenas in all of this?

    Did he ever meet with anyone from the organized committee leading this change? Did he canvass the neighborhoods to hear the thoughts of people? Did he speak out at this public forum?

    I have seen just one comment from him in this matter and it involved his potentially investigating pictures of Van Nuys on the groups website and their potentially showing the city in a negative light. I cannot recall the results of his investigation.

    Only 2 people spoke against this measure? To be quite honest, I find this disappointing. There have been many people (more than two) who have been vocal on this website in their opposition. Here was the opportunity to speak out, why not use this platform?


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