In an obvious effort to kick off the new Studio City Neighborhood Council without controversy, the new members of the council didn't try to stage a coup in trying to unseat any of the officers of this council—one of the most active and most well-known in all of Los Angeles.
When new board member Steven Quat nominated new member Lawrence Beer for the Corresponding Secretary position, and then longtime member Lisa Sarkin nominated Jane Drucker, who has had the position for the last few years, Beer opted out of the nomination and withdrew his name.
"Oh, I thought we were going to have a contested race for a change," said John Walker, who was re-elected unanimously as president. "I encourage that."
But, Drucker was re-seated in her position unanimously.
The council meets at the CBS Studios Radford lot on the third Wednesday of the month beginning at 7 p.m. and there is often food provided by a local restaurant. Click here for the schedule of the board meeting, the agenda and other committee meetings: http://studiocitync.org
After Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian swore in the 16 SCNC board members and took individual pictures with the new members, the council immediately votes in their new officers.
Here are the new board members, there are some new faces:
PRESIDENT- John Walker
John Walker, who has held the position for the last two election cycles, was confirmed again as president. He has been a good front-man for Studio City, and meets regularly with city officials. He was recently appointed to an important city board. (John Walker joins city's Quality & Production Commission). Walker has said privately that he plans to step down from the council when his term expires.
VICE PRESIDENT - Lisa Sarkin
Lisa Sarkin was confirmed as vice president, and is the chairperson of the Land Use Committee, which oversees the construction, liquor permits and redesignations of housing and business projects in Studio City. She is truly the go-to person in the area for anything going on in Studio City, and in my four years of closely observing this council, she's an unsung hero among the hard workers of this group.
TREASURER- Scott Ouellette
Scott Ouellette was in an excused absence this first meeting of the new term, but past treasurer Remy Kessler nominated him for the role. Kessler decided it was time to step aside from the very involved role of being treasurer, and he also has expressed thoughts that this will be his last term on the council. Ouellette served as Transportation Committee chair and has not held a board office until now.
Rita Villa has served for many election cycles as the secretary of the council, and her thorough board minutes are published on the Neighborhood Council's website as well as available to the public. She's probably never been challenged for the position because few can be as thorough as she has been to date.
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY-Jane Drucker
Jane Drucker is in the position of the board that sends out letters to people, and the city officials, especially when the board makes decisions that need their attention. It requires a timely response and thoroughness. She assumed this position after fellow board member Lana Shackelford stepped down from it due to other commitments. Drucker was first challenged for the position, but newcomer Lawrence Beer then withdrew his name so that there wouldn't be any need to split the board in a vote, and she was re-elected unanimously.
The new SCNC
Absent from the shot are Brian Mahoney and Scott Ouellette, who were re-elected to the council, but had excused absences in the April meeting. The Neighborhood Council is a voluntary position, and the meetings are opened to the public.
Committees are re-configured
According to the rules of the SCNC, all of the committees (which anyone can join and be a part of) are disbanded, and then President John Walker appoints the new chairpeople and committee members to the positions. Some of the committees, such as the Environmental Committee, have not been revived for a few years. John Walker said he is willing to hear from anyone who wants to create a new committee, be a part of an existing one, or has any other ideas. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Krekorian swears them in
Council member Paul Krekorian now represents all of Studio City and in the past had to share the pieces of the area with two other council people in Los Angeles's city council. He notes that the Studio City Neighborhood Council is among the most well-known and well-respected of the 96 councils throughout the city, and he listens to their input and advice all the time. He is the one who swears in the board members.
John Walker (left) is standing next to Jon Epstein, who is the Youth Member of the council. He has not been able to vote as one of the other members, but he is one of the most vocal youth members of the SCNC in the years I've covered it, and he is not afraid to ask questions or offer input into board decisions. He is often the person who times the speaking limits of the people presenting to the board.
Newcomers on the board
Lawrence Beer and Alex Izbicki (left) join the ranks of the Studio City Neighborhood Council along with Lana Shackelford, who represents the local renters. Beer and Izbicki are in the category of Employee and Independent Contractor and these newcomers ended up ousting Brandon Pender, who was previously representing that position.
Remy Kessler steps aside
After years of being the treasurer for the SCNC, and following the meticulous rules of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Kessler decided to step down from the position, and nominated Scott Ouellette to the job. Kessler's wife was honored at a previous meeting because of her involvement in helping him with the treasurer's job.