BYLAWS OF THE
GREATER TOLUCA LAKE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL
(Approved August 1st, 2018) – Certified by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment
ARTICLE I – NAME AND ORGANIZATION
The name of this organization is “The Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council” (hereafter referred to as the “Council” or “GTLNC”).
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE AND POLICY
Section 1: Purpose
The purposes of the Council are to:
A. Promote more citizen participation in government;
B. Make government more responsive to local needs and requests;
C. Provide an effective means of contact with municipal departments that provide services to the neighborhood;
D. Foster a sense of community for persons to express ideas and opinions about their neighborhoods and their government;
E. Provide neighborhood consultation and input regarding planning, zoning, and budgeting priorities; and
F. Provide a means for stakeholders to express their collective will to municipal decision makers with regard to issues involving the community.
ARTICLE III – BOUNDARIES
Section 1 – Boundary Description
The area represented by the Council has the following boundaries:
NORTH: Camarillo St. (between the 170 Freeway and Vineland Ave., then south on Vineland); Riverside Dr. (between Vineland Ave. and Denny Ave., then north on Denny);
Camarillo St. (between Denny Ave. and Cahuenga Blvd., then north on Cahuenga); Margate St. (between Cahuenga Blvd. and the City limit).
SOUTH: Los Angeles River (between Lankershim Blvd. and the City limit).
EAST: The City limit between the Los Angeles River and Margate St.
WEST: Lankershim Blvd, (between the Los Angeles River and Whipple St.); Whipple St. (between Lankershim Blvd. and Vineland Ave. and including the Weddington Park South and the Rio Vista Elementary School); Vineland Ave. (between Whipple St. and the 170 Freeway) and the 170 Freeway (between Vineland Ave. and Camarillo St.).
SHARED JURISDICTION: Weddington Park South and Rio Vista Elementary School are under the shared jurisdiction of the Studio City Neighborhood Council and the GTLNC.
[A map showing the boundaries of the Council is attached to these Bylaws as Attachment A – Map of Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council.]
Section 2 – Internal Boundaries
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ARTICLE IV – STAKEHOLDER
Council membership is open to all stakeholders. A stakeholder shall be defined as those who live, work, or own property in the neighborhood and also to those who declare a stake in the neighborhood as a community interest stakeholder, defined as a person who affirms a substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries and who may be in a community organization such as, but not limited to, educational, non-profit and/or religious organizations.
All community stakeholders shall be encouraged to participate in GTLNC activities. The Council shall not discriminate in any policies, recommendations or actions against any individual or group on the basis of race, religion, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, homeowner/renter status, income, or political affiliation. All community stakeholders shall be encouraged to participate in GTLNC activities.
ARTICLE V – GOVERNING BOARD
The governing body of the GTLNC may be referred to as the “Council” or “Governing Board.” The members of the Council may be referred to as “members” or “directors.”
Section 1 – Composition and Eligibility
The Council will consist of sixteen (16) members. Council members must remain continuous and ongoing stakeholders during their entire term of office. The Governing Board shall, to the extent possible, reflect the diversity of the Council’s stakeholders. Included in the sixteen (16) members, and at the discretion of the President with a majority vote of the Board members, are to be up to two (2) youth, who must be at least 15 years of age but not older than 17 years of age Youth terms may be extended by a majority vote no more than two time for a total of three (3) years. A youth member may not vote on the financial matters.
Section 2 – Quorum
Nine (9) Governing Board members shall constitute a quorum of the Council for the transaction of business. If less than a quorum is present at a meeting, the presiding officer may adjourn the meeting from time to time until a quorum is in attendance. Written notice of the adjournment need not be given to Council members.
Section 3 – Official Actions
Every act done or decision made by a simple majority vote by the board members present and voting, including abstentions, which act as a “yes” vote at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be regarded as the act of the Council, unless otherwise required by these Bylaws or the law. Governing Board members may not vote by proxy.
Section 4 – Terms and Term Limits
A Governing Board member’s term shall be for the duration of two (2) years or until a successor is elected or appointed. No Governing Board member may serve more than eight (8) consecutive years on the Council.
Section 5 – Duties and Powers
The Council shall have, subject to the limitations of the Plan for a Citywide System of Neighborhood Councils and applicable City, State and Federal laws and regulations, and in compliance with these Bylaws, the power to engage in any legal act or activity for which a neighborhood council may be organized in the City of Los Angeles.
The Council has an inherent interest in many issues which transcend its boundaries. As such, the Council may participate in wider-ranging political processes, meet with other groups, and enter into agreements with other Neighborhood Council organizations. Unless otherwise determined or designated by the Council, the President may designate one or more members or stakeholders to attend and participate on behalf of the Council in such meetings and organizations.
Section 6 – Vacancies
A vacancy on the Governing Board shall be filled by a stakeholder who satisfies the eligibility requirements for holding the vacated Board seat. Any stakeholder interested in filling a vacant seat shall submit a written application to the Secretary within 30 days of the date that the seat becomes vacant. After the lapse of 30 days, the Secretary shall forward the names of all applicants to the President. The President shall have discretion to fill the vacancy from the applicants or any other qualified stakeholders at any time, provided that the appointment is confirmed by a majority vote of the Board at a regular meeting of the Council. The appointed applicant’s term shall be limited the term for the vacant seat.
Section 7 – Absences
See Section 9
Section 8 – Censure
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Section 9 – Removal of Governing Board Members
A Governing Board member may be removed: (a) following three (3) unexcused absences from regularly scheduled meetings of the Council during any 12-month period, or (b) for a violation of these Bylaws or any federal, state or local laws applicable to the Council or to the individual as a member of the Council. A petition requesting removal of a member for either of these reasons, signed by three (3) members of the Governing Board or fifty (50) stakeholders, must be sent to the President. The President shall then have the Secretary place the matter on the agenda at the next regular meeting of the Council for a vote by the Governing Board.
A vote of “No Confidence” by two-thirds (2/3) of the attending Governing Board members shall be necessary to remove the identified Governing Board member. The Governing Board member who is the subject of the removal action shall not take part in the vote, but shall be allowed to speak at the meeting to the Council prior to the vote. The Governing Board member who is the subject of the removal action shall not be counted as part of the quorum or for determining whether two-thirds (2/3) of the members have voted for removal. If a quorum of the Governing Board is not present to take a vote on removal, the matter shall be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting, and every meeting thereafter, until such time as a vote is taken.
Section 10 – Resignation
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Section 11 – Community Outreach
The Governing Board shall establish reasonable procedures for communicating with stakeholders on a regular basis in a manner that ensures that information is disseminated throughout the community in a timely manner. Communications may be (without limitation) by flyers, newsletters, news releases, postcards, letters, posted notices, email, and/or by utilizing the Early Notification System of the City of Los Angeles.
ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS
Section 1 – Officers of the Board
The officers of the Council shall be a President, one (1) or more Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and such other officers as shall be approved by the Council.
Section 2 – Duties and Powers
The President will: chair all meetings of the Council; represent the interests of the Council before the City Council and City departments, boards and commissions, or delegate such representation as warranted; serve as a spokesperson for the Council in the press and before the public, or delegate that function as warranted; Chair the Executive Committee; establish ad hoc committees; determine who will be appointed to, and who will chair, Council committees unless otherwise determined by the Council; attend or appoint other Council members to attend community group meetings and other functions on behalf of the Council; and perform such other powers and duties as from time to time may be assigned to the President by the Council or these Bylaws. The President may choose to temporarily step down as the Chair of any meeting in order to participate in the debate and vote on any matter before the Council.
B. Vice President
The Vice President will have and exercise all the powers, authority, and duties of the President during the President’s absence. The Vice President also will perform such other duties as are delegated by the President or assigned by the Council. The Vice President may choose to temporarily step down as the Chair of any meeting in order to participate in the debate and vote on any matter before the Council.
The Treasurer, in the absence of the President and Vice President, may chair any meeting of the Council. The Treasurer, under the control and direction of the Council, will establish an accounting system which complies with generally accepted accounting principles and will provide and maintain full and complete records of all the assets and liabilities of the Council. Subject to such limitations and control as may be imposed by the Council, the Treasurer will have custody of all funds, valuable papers, and other assets of the Council. Each type of fund or grant will be duly accounted for under separate ledgers. The disbursement of funds will require the signatures of the Treasurer and such other officers as the Council may designate. The Council’s financial records and account books will be open and available for inspection by stakeholders and the general public. At the annual meeting, the Treasurer will report to the stakeholders on the Council’s finances. In addition, the Treasurer will submit accounting statements to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (“Department”) on the dates prescribed by the Department.
The Secretary shall keep or cause to be kept at the office of the Council or such other place as the Council may designate full and correct records of all Council meetings, agendas, correspondence, member and committee lists, notices, and other Council documents. Meeting minutes shall include motions/seconds/votes and other decisions of the Council. Although minutes shall include a brief description of what was discussed, they need not contain a description of any debate leading up to any motion or vote by the Council. The Secretary shall prepare a notice of all Council meetings and shall arrange, directly or through a committee of the Council, to provide notice of meetings in compliance with these Bylaws and the Brown Act. The Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be directed by resolution of the Council.
E. Assistant Secretary
The Assistant Secretary (if any) shall assist the Secretary in preparing and disseminating notices of meetings and minutes, and shall take such other actions as may be delegated by the Secretary.
Section 3 – Selection of Officers
All officers shall be elected by the Council from among their number. Unless otherwise agreed by a majority vote of the Board, the election of officers will occur at the monthly meeting immediately following the certification of the election of the Board.
Section 3 – Officer Terms
Officers shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. The elected officers shall immediately assume their respective offices and serve for a one (1) year term or until their successors are elected, whichever occurs later Unless an officer resigns or is removed from office by a vote of the majority of the entire Council, officers will hold office until the election of their respective successors.
ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES AND THEIR DUTIES
Section 1 – Standing Committees
The Council may establish one (1) or more standing committees to accomplish the purposes of the Council.
Section 2 – Ad Hoc Committees
The President also may establish one (1) or more ad hoc (temporary) committees to address specific issues.
Section 3 – Committee Creation and Authorization
The Chair and membership of each Council committee shall be determined by the President, unless otherwise determined by the Governing Board.
ARTICLE VIII – MEETINGS
Section 1 – Meeting Time and Place
Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of the Council will be held within the Council area on a regular basis, at least once per calendar quarter, at the time and place fixed by the Council. To the extent permitted by the Ralph M. Brown Act (the “Brown Act”), Council meetings and field trips may occasionally take place outside the GTLNC area.
Special Meetings. The President, or in his/her absence the Vice President, or a majority of the Council members may call a special meeting of the Council at any time by delivering written notice to each member of the Council and to each local newspaper of general circulation and radio or television station requesting notice in writing. The notice shall be delivered personally or by any other means and shall be received at least twenty-four (24) hours before the time of the meeting as specified in the notice. The call and notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted or discussed. No other business shall be considered at the special meeting by the Council. The written notice may be dispensed with as to any member who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes.
Section 2 – Agenda Setting
The President shall set the agenda for the Governing Board meetings.
Public Comment Periods. Public comment periods will be provided at all regular meetings of the Council so that the public may comment on any specific agenda items or on any other matters. Unless otherwise determined by the Council, the Chair or presiding officer at any regular or special meeting will determine the format and amount of time allowed for public comment.
Section 3 – Notice of Meetings
Notice of all meetings of the Council will be given in such manner as the Council may prescribe, in compliance with the Brown Act and the requirements of the Neighborhood Council Agenda Posting Policy.
Section 4 – Reconsideration
Any stakeholder may petition the Council to reconsider any matter on which the Council has previously taken an action. The petition must be submitted to the Council in writing prior to the regular meeting of the Council next following the meeting at which the Council action was taken. The petitioning stakeholder shall be afforded an opportunity to address the matter in person before the Council. The matter shall not be reconsidered unless a majority of the Council members vote affirmatively to take up the matter.
ARTICLE IX – FINANCES
The Governing Board shall review its fiscal budget and make adjustments as needed to comply with City laws and City administrative rules, and to keep in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the City’s mandate for the use of standardized budget and minimum finding allocation requirements. The Board shall adhere to all rules and regulations promulgated by appropriate City officials regarding the Council’s finances, where the term “appropriate City officials” means those officials and/or agencies of the City of Los Angeles who have authority over Neighborhood Councils. All financial accounts and records shall be available for public inspection and posted on the Council website, if available. Each month, the Treasurer shall provide to the Board detailed reports of the Council’s accounts. At least once each quarter, the President and at least one (1) other individual other than the Treasurer, who is designated by the Board, shall examine the Council’s accounts and attest to their accuracy before submitting the documentation to the Department for further review. The Council will not enter into any contracts or agreements except through the Department.
ARTICLE X – ELECTIONS
Section 1 – Administration of Election
The Council’s election will be conducted pursuant to any and all City ordinances, policies and procedures pertaining to Neighborhood Council elections.
Section 2 – Governing Board Structure and Voting
The number of Board seats, the eligibility requirements for holding any specific Board seats, and which Stakeholders may vote for the Board seats are noted in Attachment B.
Section 3 – Minimum Voting Age
All stakeholders at least eighteen (18) years of age shall be allowed to vote in a Council election and shall have the ability to participate on the Governing Board.
Section 4 – Method of Verifying Stakeholder Status
Voters will verify their Stakeholder status through written self-affirmation.
Section 5 – Restrictions on Candidates Running for Multiple Seats
A candidate shall declare their candidacy for no more than one (1) position on the Council Board during a single election cycle.
Section 6 – Other Election Related Language
ARTICLE XI – GREIVANCE PROCESS
Neighborhood Council grievance review process will be conducted pursuant to any and all City ordinances, policies and procedures pertaining to Neighborhood Council grievance review process.
An individual stakeholder or group of stakeholders shall have a right to assert a grievance with respect to any act by the Council. Grievances shall be handled in a manner that is consistent with rules and regulations adopted by the City of Los Angeles through its Charter, its ordinances, and the rules as communicated by its agencies, including the Department. Disagreement with legitimately determined policies or positions of the Council shall not be considered a grievance for the purposes of this section. An allegation that the Bylaws or Standing Rules has been violated shall be the legitimate subject of the grievance procedure system. For this purpose, the stakeholders at the annual meeting shall elect a Grievance Committee, consisting of three (3) persons, none of whom shall be a member of the Council. A vacancy on the Grievance Committee may be filled temporarily by the Council, but that position shall be filled by election by all stakeholders at the next regularly scheduled meeting of stakeholders. Persons who wish to claim a grievance may do so by communicating with any member of the Grievance Committee, and the Grievance Committee shall invite the persons claiming a grievance to present arguments and evidence, which may include testimony, to the Committee. The Grievance Committee shall act to hear a grievance within thirty (30) days of the initial communication and shall prepare a report and recommendation to the Council to be presented at its next meeting, or at least no later than the following meeting. The Grievance Committee may on its own volition communicate its findings directly to the Department in addition to reporting to the Council. The Council shall include Grievance Committee reports in its agenda and shall hear the reports in a timely manner as described above. An aggrieved stakeholder may appeal a decision by the Grievance Committee to the Department.
ARTICLE XII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Except as set forth below, and unless suspended by a vote of the Council, Roberts Rules of Order (Revised) shall be the parliamentary authority at meetings of the Council, to the extent the Brown Act is silent. Motions before the Council shall generally proceed, as follows:
A. Prior Discussion. At the discretion of the Chair, discussion on a matter may occur before a motion is made.
B. Presentation by the Moving Party. The presenter of the motion may make a brief statement, summarizing the issue and the salient points for discussion.
C. Motion and Second. The moving party states the motion (e.g., “I move that . . .”). The motion must be seconded by another member of the Council in order to move forward (e.g., “I second the motion”).
D. Comments by the Council. Once the motion is made and seconded, the Chair will “state the question” (i.e., restate the motion, “It has been moved and seconded that . . .”) and call for comments by Council members. The Chair will determine the order of the speakers. Speakers should address their remarks to the Chair, although the Chair may allow limited and relevant questions to be presented to the moving party (e.g., to clarify aspects of the motion). Members should not engage in a dialogue with the moving party or other Council members, unless specifically authorized by the Chair. No member may speak twice to the same issue until every other member wishing to speak has spoken to it once. The Chair may call upon the moving party at any time to respond to questions or address comments made by Council member
E. Public Comments. Following discussion by the Council, the Chair will call for comments by the public. Each speaker generally will be limited to three minutes, although the Chair may choose to extend that period for any person. The public comment period is not meant to be a dialogue between stakeholders and the moving party or other members of the Council. The Chair may extend or limit the period of public comment and individual comments depending on the number of speakers, the time allocated for the meeting, the number of agenda items, the complexity of each item, and other circumstances.
F. Friendly Amendments. Once a motion has been made and seconded, the maker of the motion may elect to amend the motion (e.g., at the suggestion of another member). This can be done before or after the Chair states the question. If the motion is amended, it must receive a new second in order to move forward to a vote. If seconded, the Chair will restate the motion, as amended, and may allow further comments from the Council and/or the public on the motion, as amended. If an amended motion does not receive a second, the maker may either proceed with a vote on the original motion or may withdraw the motion.
G. Conflicts of Interest. Persons who have a conflict of interest in connection with any motion shall make that conflict known to the Council prior to any vote and shall abstain from any discussion and voting on the motion. A record of the notice of conflict and the member’s abstention on the vote shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting.
H. Closing the Debate and Voting. Any member of the Council may move to close the debate or to limit the number or length of comments. Otherwise, the Chair may ask for closing remarks (if any) from the moving party and/or may “put the question” (i.e., call for a vote) following the comment period (e.g., “All those in favor of the motion, please raise your hands”). The Chair may call for a voice vote or a show of hands.
I. Record of Votes. The number of votes favoring, opposing, and abstaining on a motion will be announced by the Chair and included in the minutes of the meeting.
J. Presiding Chair. The presiding Chair may not enter into the debate of any motion before the Council, except to suggest that a particular motion or second be made by a member of the Council, to seek clarification of the motion, or to request information. The presiding Chair may not vote on any motion before the Council unless his or her vote would affect the outcome, in which case (s) he can either vote and affect the outcome or abstain from voting. The Chair shall be counted in the number of members present in determining whether there is a quorum.
K. Unanimous Consent. In situations where there appears to be unanimity on a matter before the Council, the Chair may ask if there is any objection to a proposed action (e.g., “Is there any objection to . . .”). If there is no objection, the Chair can disregard the steps of stating the question and putting the question to a formal vote (“Since there is no objection, then . . .”).
These meeting procedures may be amended, suspended and/or supplemented from time to time by a vote of the Governing Board.
ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENTS
Any Governing Board member or stakeholder may propose amendments to the Bylaws during any regularly scheduled Council meeting. The President shall direct the Secretary to include the proposed amendment on the agenda of the next duly scheduled meeting of the Council for discussion and potential action. Proposed Bylaw changes require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Council members in attendance. No amendment shall become effective until it is approved by the Department.
ARTICLE XIV – COMPLIANCE
The Council and its members will comply with all applicable Federal, State and Municipal laws, including the Brown Act, the GTLNC Code of Conduct, and the rules and regulations for the conduct of neighborhood councils, as promulgated by the Department.
Section 1 – Code of Civility
Board members will abide by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners’ Neighborhood Council Board Member Code of Conduct Policy.
Section 2 – Training
All board members must take Ethics and Funding training prior to making motions and voting on funding-related matters
Section 3 – Self Assessment
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ATTACHMENT A – Map of Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council
ATTACHMENT B – Governing Board and Voting Structure
Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council – 14 Board Seats
Board Position: At-Large Representatives, Term: 2 Years
# of Seats: 14
Elected or Appointed?: Elected
Eligibility to Run for the Seat: A stakeholder who is 18 years or older.
Eligibility to Vote for the Seat: A stakeholder who is 18 years or older.
Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council Youth Seats – 2 Board Seats
Board Position: At-Large Representatives, Term: 2 Years
# of Seats: 2
Elected or Appointed?: Appointed
Eligibility to Run for the Seat: A stakeholder who is 15-17 years of age.
Eligibility to Vote for the Seat: A stakeholder who is 18 years or older.