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The Mid-City West Community Council (MCWCC) has elected new leadership to its Executive Council, which will guide the entity until its full election on Oct. 28.
The 45-member council elected Tim Deegan as its new chair, Michael Barba as 1st vice chair and Leslie Barnett as 2nd vice chair. Jeff Jacobberger was elected as the new secretary, and Angela Guzman was selected as treasurer. The election was held later than normal this year, as the city’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), which oversees neighborhood councils, changed the election process. Previously, community council elections were held in May, but DONE created regional council districts throughout the city this year, and staggered the community council election dates in different districts. The date for the general MCWCC election was changed from May to October, but a new executive council was elected on June 12 because the previous leadership had already served their terms.
Deegan, who is the director of guest services at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has served on the MCWCC for three years, most recently as vice chair of the Transportation, Parking and Streetscape Committee. Deegan said he is excited about becoming the council’s chairman, and is eager to provide direction as the council moves towards its general election.
“I think there has been some distractions on the council regarding procedural issues, too much internal stuff going on, and we should be focusing 100 percent on the community,” Deegan said. “There is too much process questioning, and we shouldn’t have to go over that all the time.”
Deegan said all of the council’s members need to be familiar with bylaws and procedures, and he will be stressing that they re-acquaint themselves with the rules if there are any questions. He will be working with the vice chairs and the council’s different committees to ensure they are compliant with the posting of agendas and the Brown Act, which requires meetings to be open to the public.
“As the new chair, I plan to initiate an operational objective of three ‘D’s’. Decentralize power, so more board members are part of the conversation; delegate responsibility, so more board members have ownership of tasks; and direct constituent service as our focus, for we are there to serve our stakeholders.“
Deegan added, however, that his “number one” priority in the coming weeks will be the upcoming election, and enabling as many people as possible to participate. He said setting the election date for Oct. 28 was a major step in the right direction, because a previous date of Sept. 16 that was being considered was the eve of Rosh Hashanah, and could have reduced participation amongst the Jewish community. The filing deadlines and other details for the upcoming election are still being worked out, but will be available soon. Deegan added that he plans to guide the council on other ongoing projects, such as a proposal to create a trolley that would serve the Miracle Mile and the surrounding area. He also said there will be a focus on neighborhood-enhancing projects, and programs at local schools. In addition, he plans to further the community emergency response team programs, which prepare residents for disasters.
Jacobberger, who has been a member of the council for nearly eight years, will now serve as secretary. He said he also plans to ensure board members are compliant with the bylaws and procedures, which will enable the council to focus more directly on neighborhood issues, he added.
“We just had a lot of complaints about the procedural issues, and I ran for secretary in an effort to focus on those issues,” Jacobberger said. “I want to bring all this procedural distraction to an end.”
Outgoing chair Sheryl Turner, who will remain a board member, said she was proud of the accomplishments made during her tenure. She cited programs supporting the police department, including support for the National Night Out Against Crime in August, and coordinating the donation of new gym equipment for the LAPD’s Wilshire Division. Under Turner’s leadership, the council’s Planning and Land Use Committee was dissolved and reformed, and she said although it caused some disruption, the new committee should be poised to better address land use issues in the community.
“We made some good structural accomplishments and achievements, which will show themselves in the coming year,” Turner said. “I am motivated now to do even more for the community.”
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