DeDe Audet, an Oxford Triangle resident, has been elected president of the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council.

Naomi Nightingale, an Oakwood resident, was elected vice president and Yolanda Gonzalez, a Venice resident, second vice president.

Other officers elected include L.J. Carusone, government relations officer; Phil Raider, secretary; C.J. Cole, treasurer; and Richard Myers, communications officer.

Nearly 1,200 Venice community stakeholders went to the polls last weekend to vote in the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council election to fill all 21 seats on the council.

The Grass Roots Venice election was held Saturday and Sunday, September 10th and 11th, at Venice High School in Mar Vista.

Jerry Kvasnicka, independent election administrator, said 1,190 Venice stakeholders, including absentee ballot voters, voted in this year’s Neighborhood Council election.

Thirty provisional ballots of persons who had insufficient proof that they were stakeholders had not been included in the counts at Argonaut press time, as the deadline for submission of provisional ballots was Wednesday, September 14th.

Fifty-four candidates ran in the election to fill 21 open seats on the council, including seven executive committee seats, seven at-large seats and seven district seats.

Seven executive committee seats and three district seats have already been decided, but seven at-large seats and four district seats remain undecided until provisional ballot verifications, Kvasnicka said.

“It went very well,” Kvasnicka said of the two-day election. “I’m very pleased with the turnout.”

While the turnout goal for election organizers was about 1,500 stakeholders, Kvasnicka said he was not surprised at the number of stakeholders who took part in this year’s election.

Greg Nelson, City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) general manager, said he was also not surprised at the turnout, considering that “outreach is not difficult in Venice.”

“It’s an impressive number as far as the amount of people turning out to vote,” said Nelson, who called the election a “roaring success.”

The Grass Roots Venice council was certified by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment in March 2002.

The department had ruled last year that the former Grass Roots council had no quorum for its last election. The city Board of Neighborhood Commissioners instructed the department to draft election procedures for a new election rather than abolishing the Neighborhood Council.

Kvasnicka attributed the high election turnout to the outreach effort of the volunteer election committee and the candidates.

Dante Cacace, election chair, also gave credit to the all-volunteer election committee for a “phenomenal job.” This year’s turnout was only slightly lower than the record turnout at the 2003 election, Cacace said.

The two-day election went very smoothly, except for some minor difficulties with parking at the high school, he said.

All votes at the booth and absentee ballots have been counted, but the 30 provisional ballots are yet to be verified, Kvasnicka said.

According to preliminary election results, not including the 30 provisional ballots, the seven candidates elected to the seven executive committee seats and the number of votes they received were:

– President (one-year term)

DeDe Audet — 575

– Vice-President (one-year term)

Naomi Nightingale — 765

– Second Vice President (one-year term)

Yolanda Gonzalez — 595

– Government Relations Officer (one-year term)

L.J. Carusone — 579

– Secretary (two-year term)

Phil Raider — 613

– Treasurer (two-year term)

C.J. Cole — 587

– Communications Officer (two-year term)

Richard Myers — 602

The three candidates elected to the three decided one-year term district seats include:

– District 1 (Penmar/Lincoln Place)

Ingrid Mueller — 69

– District 5 (Central Venice/Milwood)

Sylviane Dungan — 112

– District 7 (Canals/Peninsula)

Brett Miller — 86

Seven two-year-term at-large seats and four district seats, including Districts 2, 3, 4 and 6, have not been decided pending provisional ballot verifications.

Cacace said the candidates elected to the Neighborhood Council represent a “cross section of the community.”

“It seemed that the community did not want the divisiveness that has gone on before,” Cacace said.

Final election results, including the provisional ballots, for all 21 Neighborhood Council seats, were to be posted sometime Thursday, September 15th, Kvasnicka said.