The audit of DONE by Wendy Greuel in January 2010, (the most recent after the audit in 2006) can be a tool for growth by adopting as many of the recommendations as possible that were developed in that 2010 audit. Unfortunately the recommendations from the 2006 audit were not seriously & adequately adopted. One reason may be that DONE has employees that have not been sufficiently trained and therefore expected to meet certain standards of teamwork and performance. Another reason may be that DONE has been understaffed by competent leaders, A further reason may be the hostility in the office culture at DONE as described by the employees who have suffered hostility and oversights in that office. All together, it is hoped that the new General Manager will be able to have the staffing total needed to develop a teamwork of efficiency; and the training levels high enough to prove to be more responsible to each other; and to maintain an information & training program for every one of the 91 current Neighborhood Councils.
Kudos to Paul Krekorian for alerting constituents to this issue and for his community work in general, since taking office. He is a council member who really means what he says, in terms of representing the people who live in his community. I don't know the specifics of the Mayor's consolidation proposal, but based on what I have read so far, am skeptical that itl is in the neighborhood councils' -- and the neighborhoods they represent -- best interests.
I hope Mr. Krekorian and the other city council members use the blog at http://cd2policy.wordpress.com/ to reach more affected people, and I hope that the votes comments posted at polldaddy.com are presented on our behalf at the June 4, 1:30 meeting of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee.
This could be the best opportunity we have to make DONE into what is was suppoed to be in the first place - a department that facilitates NCs rather than regulates them. Much will depend on the Mayor's choice of a new dept. head. With the exception of Carole Baker Tharpe, he has saddled us with incompetent DONE leadership over the last two managers, who followed his instructions to the letter, to the detriment of the NCs. We must all work together to bring about the change that we need.
Did it not sound strange to anyone else that CDD is going to charge DONE rent? If DONE is to be merged with CDD per the mayor, and be two steps removed from representing us, wouldn't that mean they were part of CDD and therefore should not be charged rent? There is so much of this proposal that just makes no sense, and therefore, looks to me as if the mayor is actuallly trying to get rid of us. Well, I'm not going anywhere. And, yes, I am running for re-election. If in fact, the mayor is actually working with us, why did he allow his deputy mayor to threaten us with either go along, or they would take another $5,000 of our funds? I don't take kindly to being threatened, nor should you.
On its face, it appears to be another step in the direction of weakening the Neighborhood Council system and, ultimately, nickel and dime-ing it to death. Not that even the best-functioning NC in the entire city could be accurately called "strong" since, by downtown design, the NC boards can only "advise" their City Council reps and have no approval powers on any issue whatsoever. It's a bad idea if for no other reason than the City hasn't been able, after all this time, to get DONE into the shape it needs to be in to fulfil its mission. So, why should we combine them with another department, perhaps infecting the new department with some of DONE's ailments. DONE, properly directed, funded, staffed and administered, is a terrific idea still waiting to be well executed.
I'd want to see a complete, non-partisan analysis in layman's language, of the consolidation, how it would be achieved, at what cost or savings to the city, etc, et al. before I could even think about supporting it. Absent that, please do what you can to veto this notion.