As of September 13th our new number will be (818) 902-2361. You may call anytime and leave a message or request information on any upcoming meetings and/or events. The Mission Hills Neighborhood Council is doing everything we can to ensure everyone has the ability to communicate with members of the Board. Please note, the individual answering our phone is not a member of the board and therefore can only take messages. We will do our best to ensure that the operator has a current list of all upcoming meetings and events within our community.

Schwarzenegger Has Until September 30 to Sign

A bill allowing cities to ban mobile advertising trailers has passed the California Legislature and is headed to the governor’s desk.

Once signed, the Los Angeles City Council will be able to pass a motion regulating the signs within city limits. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has until Sept. 30 to act on the legislation or it will become law without his signature.

“These mobile eyesores have been a threat to our community, blighting our neighborhoods and creating horrific safety issues. This legislation will finally give us the local control to ban them once and for all,” said Mitch Englander, chief-of-staff to Councilman Greig Smith.

The bill was co-sponsored by state Assemblymen Bob Blumenfield (D, San Fernando Valley) and Mike Feuer (D, Los Angeles).

Bruce Boyer, owner of a mobile billboard company has parked a trailer outside Blumenfield’s Van Nuys office reading: “Free Valley Streets … Fire Fascist Bob Blumenfield.” The sign has already attracted at least one parking ticket.

Ad Trailer“Even if the legislation is signed into law, we will file for declaratory relief in Federal Court. The legislation is such a perversion of the rights of vehicle owners that it would most likely be blocked by the courts,” Boyer said in an email. “If that failed, Blumenfield did such a sloppy job writing the legislation that we could fire cannons through the loopholes in it,” he said.

“Bottomline, the sign trailers will still be out there, and the pols will have Bruce as their straw-man. I will not yield to the fascists and surrender my rights. Oh, and I don’t scare well either!” Boyer said.

Several months ago Boyer parked a trailer beside the Devonshire Division police station. “I have a license plate. The state of California says I can operate on any street or highway in the state. I have every right that everybody else does,” Boyer told KABC-TV.

“I’m tired of seeing these unsightly billboards on unhitched trailers all over our neighborhoods. They are nothing more than road spam,” Blumenfield said. “I know many others are sick of them too. Literally thousands of people in our community have complained to me about these eyesores. It’s time to get rid of them once and for all,” he said.

“These signs are a distracting safety hazard for drivers, a source of blight in neighborhoods, and a drain on scarce parking spaces intended for business patrons. They should be outlawed, and this legislation will help communities take action against them,” said Feuer.

The bill is strongly supported by the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, a Blumenfield spokesman said.

To express your opinion on this issue, you can contact the governor at http://gov.ca.gov/. Choose the Interact tab for email instructions. Or you can phone his Los Angeles office at (213) 897-0322.

Our Movie in the Park on August 28th was a great success!  This was the best attended event that we have produced, yet.  We counted over 600 neighbors who joined us in watching “Up!”  A good time was had by all!

Special thanks to our Board Members and Volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the evening. And a round of applause to our local police and cadets, who kept the evening incident free. One patron did lose her cell phone in the restroom, so if anyone found it, please let us know.

Let’s not forget our local benefactors who gave generously so that we could partake of free refreshments!

  • 7-Eleven (Chatsworth & Sepulveda)
  • Pamela Goldfinger (stakeholder)
  • Manny Figueras / Councilman Alarcon’s Office
  • and the San Fernando Valley Historical Society for hosting us at the Pico Adobe Park.

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Watering Days Expanded, Schedule Based on Customer Street Address

LADWPChanges to the City of Los Angeles’ Water Conservation Ordinance went into effect today (August 25, 2010) for Los Angeles City residents and businesses, allowing LADWP customers to water with sprinklers up to three days per week. Customers whose street addresses end with an odd number – 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 – are permitted to use their sprinkler systems on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Customers whose addresses end in even numbers – 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 are permitted to do so on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.  Addresses ending in fractions are treated as whole numbers and observe the same day restrictions as others on their same side of the street, (ie: 4321 ½ is regarded as 4321, an odd-numbered address.)

Sprinkler time limits are based on the type of nozzle used.  Spray head sprinklers and bubblers, which are non-conserving models and are common in most landscapes, are allowed up to 8 minutes per watering station per day. Rotors and multi-stream rotary heads are allowed 15 minutes per cycle and up to two cycles per day per watering station. Watering with sprinklers is restricted to hours before 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m., regardless of the watering day.

All other prohibited uses of water, which include prohibiting hosing down driveways and sidewalks and water runoff, requiring all leaks be fixed and only using hoses fitted with shut-off nozzles, remain in effect.   Hand-watering using garden hoses fitted with shut-off nozzle devices is permissible any day of the week before 9:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m.

To read the rest of this LADWP news release, go to: http://www.ladwpnews.com/go/doc/1475/881355/

An Open Letter from the Mission Hills Neighborhood Council Treasurer

As your newly elected VP/Treasurer for 2010-2011, I would like to take this opportunity to explain how the system works, and to put aside any concerns that any stakeholders may have about how and where your (taxpayer funded) neighborhood council funds are being spent.

For the coming fiscal year (July thru June), the City of Los Angeles (via the Dept of Neighborhood Empowerment  www.empowerla.org) allocates an internal account of $45,000 to each neighborhood council, along with a roll-over of any leftover funds from the previous fiscal year.

So, the MHNC will receive an allocation of $45,000. Note that I said an allocation; the money itself is not handed over to us. It is strictly maintained by the City. Access to these funds is only by Demand Warrant (a formal check request) or by a City issued credit card (for smaller purchases). There is NO petty cash account.

At the beginning of the fiscal year, the Treasurer prepares a budget proposal based on input from the Board. This budget proposal is then formally submitted at our monthly meeting to the Board of Governors for further review and modifications. Then the Board votes to approve the Budget Proposal. The MHNC Budget Proposal was posted on our website, and now the Approved Budget is posted. The MHNC Budget for 2010-2011 was approved, with minor changes, on Aug 05, 2011 by a vote of 9-0.

The Budget however, is not carved in stone. As the year progresses, the Board may vote to alter it as needs evolve.

All major expenditures must be approved by the Board. For example, even though the Budget was designed to include a future allowance for Neighborhood Watch signs (the topic had been discussed at the meetings), it will still require a formal motion (with specific details) to be passed by the Board before any actual funding can take place.

Once the Board has voted to fund a project, the actual payment process takes place in one of two ways.

Major expenditures are paid for by a Demand Warrant. A Demand Warrant is a formal check request submitted by the MHNC Treasurer to the Dept of Neighborhood Empowerment (D.O.N.E.). After they receive the check request, they will scrutinize all of the accompanying documents (check request signed by Treas and Pres; documents checklist, invoices/receipts, copy of minutes confirming the Motion related to the funding, and so on). Only after the check request passes this audit process, does a check actually be sent from the City to the vendor.

Minor expenditures are paid for directly to the vendor from a credit card issued by the City to the Treasurer. The Treasurer maintains receipts/invoices that must be matched up to Motions or operational expenses specified in the Budget. At the end of every quarter, the Treasurer must submit a reconciliation report matching all credit card payments with description and proper documentation.

Monthly credit card statements are sent to the Treasurer. Transactions are also posted online at  the D.O.N.E. site (which includes any Demand Warrants recently paid).

Each month, the Treasurer presents to the Board of Governors a report that includes all recent transactions (since the previous report). A copy of that report is read and signed by all present Board members to signify that they have been made aware of every transaction.

The City is strict!  For example, if we purchase any refreshments (e.g. water, soda, coffee, cookies) for a meeting, then we must include a copy of the sign-in sheet to justify the purchase.

Currently, there is no provision for any petty cash. All transactions must be Demand Warrants or credit card.

As you can see, the City is a very attentive watchdog about how and where we spend our money.

I should also point out that no salaries are paid to anyone in our Council. We are all strictly volunteers, nor are there any personal expense accounts nor perks. If anything, we tend to spend our own money on small things and never ask reimbursement (and yes, getting reimbursed is a very difficult process), but I think that we all just do it because we believe in what the Neighborhood Council means for our community.

Our Budget is in Excel spreadsheet form (.xls). Our books are maintained locally in QuickBooks. At least once a month I will post copies of our financial reports to the website, and any stakeholder is welcome to contact me with questions related to the MHNC finances or to examine our financial records. There are no secrets!

My email is:  fginsburg@mhnconline.org

Fred Ginsburg
VP/Treasurer