Community Council Does Not Have Standing with City: New Officers Announced

Joe Halper

Joe Halper, who served for close to five years on the Board of Commissioners for L.A. Recreation and Parks and for seven years on the West L.A. Planning Commission, dropped a bombshell at the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) meeting on May 25.

“This Community Council has no more standing with the City than a regular resident does,” said Halper, who now serves as the PPCC Park advisor.

Because Halper has been appointed and worked on two of the L.A. City Commissions, he knows that Neighborhood Councils receive extra time for comments and can make a community impact statement (CIS) on pending or active city legislation or policy: the PPCC cannot.

When a NC files a (CIS), it allows them to provide testimony at City Council hearings, its committees and commissions pertaining to the submitted statement. This allows city leaders and policymakers to understand the impact of pending legislation and policy on neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Councils receive $50,000 annually from the City and must follow the Brown Act.

This Community Council maintains they don’t want to become a NC because they would not be able to sue the City. In the 50 years of its existence, the PPCC has never taken legal action against the City. Currently the PPCC treasury has about $43,000 and members are talking about trying to raise additional funds.

Maryam Zar is PPCC Chair.

Palisades residents do not vote on the PPCC election of officers. To become an officer on the PPCC, first a nominating committee is appointed by the current Chair (Maryam Zar is the sitting Chair).

At the May meeting, the nominating committee presented a list of candidates for 2023-24: Maryam Zar for Chair, Sue Kohl for Vice Chair, Beth Holden Garland for secretary and Jenny Li for treasurer.  (Candidates for chair must be past or present board members.)

If there are no further nominations at the meeting held in May, and there were none, then those candidates are automatically elected and will take office on July 1.

The bylaws state that no Chair or Vice-Chair shall serve more than two consecutive terms.

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3 Responses to Community Council Does Not Have Standing with City: New Officers Announced

  1. Paula H Deats says:

    Hmm. Neighborhood Council vs. Community Council? Sounds like NC is the better deal by two: Money and status. “What more could anyone possibly want.”

  2. CC Fischer says:

    Our community council is pretty much a vehicle for Real Estate Interests and for new arrivals to enhance their social standing. Basically, a scam and a sham.

  3. Jo says:

    Per this May 18, 2023 article on LAist, it’s not always greener on the other side of the hill:

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