Re: The Joint Porter Ranch / Northridge West Neighborhood Council Vote on Wilbur Ave. Traffic configuration.
Mr. President, I charge that the process you, Councilman Greig Smith and Porter Ranch President Mel Mitchel have outlined is tantamount to the smokey backroom political environment of years, thankfully, long gone and therefore should be revised immediately.
In a recent letter to me President Johnson, You have claimed that our brave soldiers died fighting for the right to vote without "intimidation" and in private.
BUT, You are forgetting that as Neighborhood Council members, WE are the GOVERNMENT representing the people. Those soldiers you speak of fought and died for the rights of the people to know what their representatives are doing, not the rights of the government to hide their vote from the people they are accountable to. We are elected board members. We all took an oath to protect the best interests of our neighborhood. Being a voting representative in a democratic system can certainly be a scary venture at times, but people depend on us as their elected representatives to have the courage and conviction to vote publicly and with accountability just as we depend on our city, state, and national representatives to have the courage to vote publicly. In fact we demand it of them. Our soldiers, our forefathers and founding fathers fought hard and many many many people far braver than you and I died so that the government could be more transparent and more accountable to the people it serves. They certainly did not die so the government can hold a third world dictator style secret vote. The least we could do is show some courage and responsibility for our choices that affect the public safety and treasure.
This vote is perhaps the single most important vote the neighborhood council will make for years to come. Lets not blow this by shrouding it in mystery.
I know I will make my vote public even in the face of the many people present who will not like my vote. Lurking among the people opposed to the road diet are the ones who viciously race through the bike lanes in the morning with no care for the neighborhood, the system and the rule of law. Who is actually being intimidated here? If I can handle it, so can you and everyone else among us who represent the people of NORTHRIDGE West.
President Johnson I greatly respect you and I greatly appreciate what you do but I humbly reserve the right to openly criticize
this proposed process and your defense of it . You are our President, you should be working on behalf of OUR neigh borhood and fighting for trans parency and fairness. THAT privilege is what people are fighting and dieing for right now in Africa and the Middle East as they rise up against their own secretive and oppressive governments. They look to us for inspiration. Let us not forget that this is America, land of the FREE and home of the BRAVE.
- I ask that each board member's vote be made public and be held accountable to the public they serve.
- I ask that each board vote separately on the matter not as a combined vote. Porter Ranch has it's interests, the people you, myself, and the rest of the board serve have theirs.
- I ask that before this meeting is announced that the rules are made clear as to how the vote will be tallied.
- I ask that the definition of a majority vote is made clear.
- I ask that at least 3 weeks public notice be given to constituents before the meeting and that the process is completely defined, open, fair, transparent and all clarified in the meeting announcement.
Northridge West Neighborhood Council