November 12, 2020
Last Revised: June 25, 2020
The name of this organization is “The Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council” (hereafter referred to as the “Council” or “GTLNC”).
The purposes of the Council are to:
- Promote more citizen participation in government;
- Make government more responsive to local needs and requests;
- Provide an effective means of contact with municipal departments that provide services to the neighborhood;
- Foster a sense of community for persons to express ideas and opinions about their neighborhoods and their government;
- Provide neighborhood consultation and input regarding planning, zoning, and budgeting priorities; and
- Provide a means for stakeholders to express their collective will to municipal decision makers with regard to issues involving the
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.]
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Neighborhood Council membership is open to all Stakeholders. A “Stakeholder” shall be defined as any individual who:
(1) Lives, works, or owns real property within the boundaries of the neighborhood council; or
(2) Is a Community Interest Stakeholder, defined as an individual who is a member of or participates in a Community Organization within the boundaries of the neighborhood council.
A “Community Organization” is an entity that has continuously maintained a physical street address within the boundaries of the neighborhood council for not less than one year, and that performs ongoing and verifiable activities and operations that confer some benefit on the community within the boundaries of the neighborhood council. A for-profit entity shall not qualify as a Community Organization. Examples of Community Organizations may include Chambers of Commerce, houses of worship or other faith-based organizations, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations.
[The definition of “Stakeholder” and its related terms are defined by City Ordinance and cannot be changed without City Council action. See Los Angeles Administrative Code Section 22.801.1]
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.”
The Council will consist of fifteen (15) 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 fifteen (15) members shall be 1 youth member to be nominated by the President and approved by a majority vote of the Board Members; youth members must be at least 14 years of age but not older than 17 years of age at the time of appointment. Youth terms may be extended by a majority vote no more than two times for a total of three (3) years. If less than eighteen (18) years of age, the Youth Board Seat member shall be precluded from voting on financial matters, such as neighborhood council expenditures, financial reports, annual budgets, contracts, and recommendations to enter into contracts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See Section 9
The purpose of the censure process is to place a Board member on notice of misconduct and to provide the Board member with an opportunity to correct the misconduct. The Neighborhood Council (“Neighborhood Council”) may censure any Board member at a regular or special meeting open to the public following a good-faith determination by the Neighborhood Council Board that the member has engaged in conduct that is contrary to rules and regulations applicable to the Board or that impedes the orderly business of Board operations. Grounds for censure include, but are not limited to, persistent disruptive conduct at meetings, violations or abuses of the Board’s bylaws or rules, violations of the Code of Conduct, acting on behalf of the Board without authorization, and misuse or abuse of the censure or removal process by acting in bad faith.
The Board shall use the following procedure when censuring a Board member:
- A motion to censure a Board member may be initiated by any three (3) Board members. Those Board members shall not constitute a majority of the quorum of any Neighborhood Council body, such as a committee. The motion shall be delivered to any officer of the Board or a specific officer or member of the Board as may be specified in the bylaws or standing rules of the Neighborhood Council. The motion shall be in writing and provide the specific facts and grounds for the proposed censure including the date(s) and specific conduct relied upon for the motion. The motion shall not be based upon conclusions, e.g., “for alleged violations of the Code of Conduct” but shall contain factual statements that describe conduct only and is not intended to embarrass or humiliate the board member.
- The Board member, group of Board members or committee responsible for setting the final Board agenda shall include the motion on the agenda of the next regular or special Board meeting scheduled at least thirty (30) days following the delivery of the proposed censure motion.
- The Board member subject to censure shall be given a minimum of thirty (30) days prior-written notice, which may include email sent to the last email address on file with the Neighborhood Council, of any meeting at which the motion to censure will be considered. The notice shall provide the specific facts and grounds for the proposed censure as specified in 1 above. The Board shall also provide a copy of the notice to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which the motion to censure will be considered.
- The Board member subject to censure shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the meeting, either orally or in writing, prior to the Board’s vote on a motion of censure.
- The Board shall decide by a majority vote of those present and voting whether or not the Board member should be censured. The Board member who is the subject of the censure motion shall not be counted as part of the majority present and voting and shall not be allowed to vote. For the purpose of censure motions, abstentions shall not be counted as votes.
- In no event shall a motion to censure a board member be heard by the Neighborhood Council within sixty (60) days of the next scheduled Board election or selection.
Any Board member may be removed by the Neighborhood Council (“Neighborhood Council”) for cause, following a good faith determination by the Board that the member has engaged in conduct that is contrary to rules and regulations applicable to the Board or that impedes the orderly business of Board operations. A Board member shall not be subject to removal under this Policy, unless the member has been censured at least once pursuant to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners’ (“Commission”) Censure Policy. Grounds for removal include, but are not limited to, persistent disruptive conduct at meetings, violations or abuses of the Board’s bylaws or standing rules, violations of the Code of Conduct, acting on behalf of the Board without authorization, and misuse or abuse of the censure or removal processes by acting in bad faith.
The Board shall use the following procedure when removing a Board member:
- A motion to remove a Board member may be initiated by any three (3) Board members. Those Board members shall not constitute a majority of the quorum of any Neighborhood Council body, such as a committee. The proposed motion shall be delivered to any officer of the Board or a specific officer or member of the Board as may be specified in the bylaws or standing rules of the Neighborhood Council. The motion shall be in writing and provide the specific facts and grounds for the proposed removal action including the date(s) and specific conduct relied upon for the motion. The motion shall not be based upon conclusions, e.g., “for alleged violations of the Code of Conduct” but shall contain factual statements that describes conduct only and is not intended to embarrass or humiliate the board member. The motion to remove shall also include a copy of the prior censure motion and the date it was passed.
- The Board member, group of Board members or committee responsible for setting the final Board agenda shall list and briefly describe the motion on the agenda of the next regular or special Board meeting scheduled at least thirty (30) days following the delivery of the proposed removal motion.
- The Board member subject to removal shall be given a minimum of thirty (30) days prior written notice, which may include email sent to the last email address on file with the Neighborhood Council, of any meeting at which a motion to remove will be heard. The notice shall provide the specific facts and grounds for the proposed removal as specified in 1 above. The Board shall also provide a copy of the notice to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment a minimum of thirty (30) days prior to any meeting at which a motion to remove will be considered.
- The Board member subject to removal shall be given reasonable time to be heard at the meeting, either orally or in writing, prior to the Board’s vote on a motion for removal.
- The Board shall decide whether or not the Board member should be removed by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the currently sitting Board members. The Board member who is the subject of the removal motion shall not be allowed to vote and shall not be counted when determining the two-thirds (2/3) majority vote. For the purpose of the removal motion, abstentions shall not be counted as votes.
- In no event shall a motion to remove a Board member be heard by the Neighborhood Council within sixty (60) days of the next election or selection.
- The Commission may review a Neighborhood Council’s removal decision if requested to do so by the affected Board member. Once the request is made for the Commission to review the decision to remove, the Neighborhood Council voting to remove the board member may not fill the vacancy created by the removal until the Commission has made a decision on whether the removal was proper or the Commission declines to review the matter. The Commission’s decision whether to hear or decline to hear the removal review request shall be sent in writing to the requestor and the Neighborhood Council within 30 days after the request for review is delivered.
- A request for the Commission to review a Neighborhood Council’s removal decision shall proceed as follows:
- The request must in writing and must be delivered to the Executive Assistant of the Commission or, in the absence of an Executive Assistant, to the President of the Commission within thirty (30) days of the date of the action by the Neighborhood Council to remove the Board member.
- The request must state the basis for the review. The request shall not cite or present any evidence not considered by the Neighborhood Council but must address only procedural deficiencies.
- If the Commission determines the request for review raises sufficient questions regarding procedural deficiencies and agrees to hear the review, it will be placed on the agenda of a regular or special meeting of the Commission within sixty (60) days of receipt of the request for review.
- At the review the Commission will determine if the facts as presented support the removal motion and if the procedures set out in this policy were correctly applied.
- If the Commission determines that there were either factual or procedural deficiencies, the Commission may either reinstate the Board member or return the matter to the Neighborhood Council for further consideration.
- If the Commission returns the matter for further consideration and the Neighborhood Council does not act within sixty (60) days of the Commission’s decision the Board member will be considered reinstated.
- During the period of appeal the Board member shall not be counted as part of the Board for any quorum and shall not participate in any Board actions.
- If the matter is returned to the Neighborhood Council for further consideration the Board member shall not be counted as part of the Board for any quorum and shall not participate in any Board actions until the Board takes action as requested by the Commission or until the expiration of the sixty (60) day time period.
- This policy is not intended to restrict or eliminate a Neighborhood Council’s ability to remove or render ineligible to serve, Board members who fail to attend meetings, join committees, maintain their stakeholder status, or perform other duties as may be described in the Neighborhood Council’s bylaws and/or standing rules. Nor is it intended to limit a Neighborhood Councils ability to remove committee chairs or committee members according to the Neighborhood Council’s bylaws and/or standing rules.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Council may establish one (1) or more standing committees to accomplish the purposes of the Council.
The President also may establish one (1) or more ad hoc (temporary) committees to address specific issues.
The Chair and membership of each Council committee shall be determined by the President, unless otherwise determined by the Governing Board.
- Regular 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Council’s election will be conducted pursuant to any and all City ordinances, policies and procedures pertaining to Neighborhood Council elections.
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.
Except with respect to a Youth Board Seat, a stakeholder must be at least 16 years of age on the day of the election or selection to be eligible to vote. [See Admin. Code §§ 22.814(a) and 22.814(c)]
Voters will verify their Stakeholder status through written self-affirmation.
A candidate shall declare their candidacy for no more than one (1) position on the Council Board during a single election cycle.
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.
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:
- Prior Discussion. At the discretion of the Chair, discussion on a matter may occur before a motion is made.
- Presentation by the Moving Party. The presenter of the motion may make a brief statement, summarizing the issue and the salient points for discussion.
- 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”).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Board members will abide by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners’ Neighborhood Council Board Member Code of Conduct Policy.
All board members must take Ethics and Funding training prior to making motions and voting on funding-related matters
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Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council –15 Board Seats