The Del Rey Neighborhood

Council wants to find a new community center for meetings.

Acquiring or constructing a new community building in Del Rey was a topic at the Neighborhood Council meeting Thursday, February 10th.

The council currently has its meetings at the Marina del Rey Middle School library, 12500 Braddock Drive, Del Rey, but council members have been exploring the possibility of finding a more suitable meeting place in Del Rey, said Steve Knight, Del Rey Neighborhood Council president.

The middle school is currently an adequate location for council meetings, but not on a permanent basis, Knight said.

“It’s not open during the summer,” he said. The City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) “pays our cleanup fees here.”

Neighborhood Council meetings are supposed to be held in Neighborhood Council districts, but the Del Rey council occasionally has had to meet in areas such as Westchester, he said.

When looking at various options for a community center location, the council has considered the proposed Ocean Walk development project at the Villa Marina Marketplace, at Lincoln Boulevard and Maxella Avenue; and Glen Alla Park, at Glencoe Avenue and Alla Road.

The possibility of constructing a Del Rey community center at Glen Alla Park was raised at the Neighborhood Council meeting last week, which was attended by representatives from the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

“Del Rey is kind of park-poor,” said Michael Stafford, Neighborhood Council communications officer. “We want to explore with the department what the vision is for Glen Alla Park and if it can support a community center.”

Kathleen Chan, Department of Recreation and Parks planning and development division superintendent, talked about the possibility of using state Quimby fees for constructing a new community center at Glen Alla Park.

Quimby funds — fees generated as part of residential development — are collected before the end of each fiscal year and may be used by Neighborhood Councils for different projects, Chan said.

“What we’re looking for are fees accumulated recently that can be set aside for the development of a new community building in Glen Alla Park,” she said.

The Department of Recreation and Parks reviews its capital improvement priorities at the end of the fiscal year and discusses the priorities for each Neighborhood Council, Chan said.

If a priority for Del Rey is to construct a community building at Glen Alla Park, the Quimby funds may used depending if other priorities must be addressed first at the park, she said.

STREET MAINTENANCE —The Neighborhood Council also addressed the proposed $100,000 in additional funds it may receive for street repairs under the proposed city budget of Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn.

Under Hahn’s proposal, $7.5 million in street maintenance fees would be divided among the city’s 85 certified Neighborhood Councils.

“I like the idea of local control, but we have to exercise a lot of wisdom about how to determine where to spend the money,” Knight said. “Neighborhood Councils are a learning process and this will be a learning process for a long time to come.”

Mark Redick, Del Rey Neighborhood Council vice president, felt a little differently about the proposed additional funds.

“It’s too little, too late because it’s giving us the illusion of control,” he said.

“If it results in more actual grass root control, then I’ll be for it.”

According to the mayor’s office, a top priority of Neighborhood Councils is street services, and while Knight said the council hasn’t addressed that issue, Redick said he thinks street services are a priority.

“In my opinion the second largest city (in the U.S.) should have an infrastructure second to none,” Redick said.

If the Del Rey Neighborhood Council does receive the proposed $100,000, the Neighborhood Council will try to determine the priority areas for street repair by holding public meetings, listening to public concerns and visiting the potential areas, Knight said.

Both Redick and Knight acknowledged that politics played a role in Hahn’s decision to announce his street maintenance proposal just prior to a candidate forum.

“I feel it was possibly politically motivated, but if it works out where the Neighborhood Councils can effectively apply it, then I’m all for it,” Knight said.

“I was surprised by the proposal but not the timing,” Redick said. “It’s political pandering.”

CANDIDATE FORUM — The Del Rey Neighborhood Council will hold a candidate forum for the Los Angeles City Council District 11 candidates at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 23rd, in the Playa del Rey Elementary School Auditorium, Centinela Avenue and Juniette Street.

The three District 11 candidates — Angela Reddock, Bill Rosendahl and Flora Gil Krisiloff — are scheduled to attend the forum.