2016 brought change to the Winnetka Neighborhood Council with April elections and other appointments bringing seven new members to the Board. New members are always a benefit to the Board as they bring new ideas and fresh energy which helps ensure the Winnetka NC continues to provide the highest level of service to our Community. And these new Board members wasted little time in applying that fresh energy and their desire to help make Winnetka Better by jumping right into helping out with our Spring Clean event at the end of April. We met with about 20 stakeholders and Councilmember Blumenfield at the Winnetka Recreation Center and fanned out from the park in groups picking up trash in the surrounding community. We appreciated the Councilmember’s support and the involvement of our stakeholders and look forward to everyone joining us for our next Spring Clean on Saturday, April 22.

The last several years have been tough on California’s water supply and we have been in a drought emergency. With this in mind our Outreach Committee arranged a public lecture on how to landscape in a drought which was a free seminar with a former WNC Board Member and landscaper Greg Sullivan. The talk was well attended and informative.

As you may imagine, the committees are where the work gets done. Our Public Works and Transportation Committee has been wrestling with safety along the LA River, considering an LA River Watch Program, parking of vehicles for sale, and bike lanes. “Vibrant and active Committees are essential to the work the Winnetka NC does,” commented Winnetka NC President JJ Popowich. “The Committees are where issues are discussed in depth and recommendations and plans are put together. If you’re looking to make a positive impact for Winnetka, find a Committee that deals with your passion and join it. We are always looking for more stakeholders to participate. The more we have the more we can get done.”

The Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) and Council attracted a lot of attention as we considered the Promenade proposal for the “Pit” located at Sherman Way and Mason. This proposal generated more communication from both sides of the proposal than any other in the Winnetka NC’s history. The project went to committee in November where the proposal filed with City Planning Department was narrowly supported 3-2. Upon reaching the full Board, the Board voted 6-5 to deny support for the project. In December, City Planning Department indicated that the next step was for the Developer to complete their application.

Moving into 2017 one of the challenges facing the Board continues to be meeting space. An ad hoc committee has been formed to investigate options and pricing. Ultimately the Board decided to continue efforts by Committee Chairs to locate free meeting space within the Winnetka NC boundaries.

Popowich expands on his vision for the coming year, ”I look at 2017 as a year of opportunities for the Winnetka NC to find ways to improve our service to the Community. We’ll be working together to make sure we develop strong Committees that can begin to address stakeholder concerns such as crime, public safety, transportation and smart and appropriate development that maintains the culture and character of Winnetka. We also intend to increase our focus and diligence in ensuring we are fulfilling our core mission which is to make sure the Winnetka NC reviews and discusses any laws or regulations that are being considered in the City Council and provides feedback to our Councilmember.”

We invite you to join us on a committee, at our meetings, and at our events. Sign up for our eblasts and follow us on Facebook.