Saturday, August 8, 2020
Home News Harbor City Neighborhood Council Stakeholders Meeting Gets Little Done, Ends in Chaos

Harbor City Neighborhood Council Stakeholders Meeting Gets Little Done, Ends in Chaos

By Adam R. Thomas, Reporter

The elected officials of the Harbor City Neighborhood Council could not keep order amongst themselves on the Wednesday night of Oct. 16 when they met at the Harbor Gateway Library for a stakeholders meeting. The three-and-a-half-hour affair started calm but quickly got out of hand once the chair members got past public comment, and they were not able to get through their listed agenda before they had to vacate the premises at the maximum allotted time of 9:30 p.m..

It started simply enough shortly after 6 pm, with Harbor Division Police Department liaison Frank Lopez addressing attendees with a report on crime in the neighborhood. According to Lopez, thefts in the neighborhood were down 10 percent, robberies down 20 percent, burglaries down 33 percent, and grand theft auto is down 76 percent from the last time he reported to the group. Indicating that generally, property crime has been down generally in the neighborhood, although he also added that there were more aggravated assaults than normal due to domestic violence calls.

After answering some questions, Lopez left and Caitlin Muldoon, a Field Deputy from CouncilJoe Buscaino’s office addressed the council and attended stakeholders with a report from his office. News out of Buscaino’s office that she spoke on related to a motion to seek waivers for building codes in place for safety against seismic activity in the construction of temporary homeless shelters, an event announcement for an outdoor screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas on Oct. 25 at the Normandale Rec Center in Harbor Gateway South, and request that stakeholders be patient with the Mayor’s Office as it began rolling out its solutions to the ongoing homelessness crisis through an initiative called the Care program.

There was a minor confrontation when a homeless man attending the meeting confronted Muldoon on the lack of hygienic utilities provided to an encampment at W. 253rd St. and McCoy Ave after they had been promised by city officials a month prior. Muldoon stated that there were jurisdictional issues that prevented the request from being fulfilled before Harbor City resident Joe Zacher began criticizing the city for their lack of action due to seemingly endless bureaucracy. Neighborhood Council Chair Danielle Sandoval brought the minor row to order by requesting Zacher send emails to Buscaino’s office, a notable difference in her methods of conflict resolution in the hours to come.

After Muldoon finished, Octaviano Rios with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment spoke about a series of updates related to the Neighborhood Council business, and public comment was taken. The public comment section at meetings such as this is often the source of drama, and this night was no exception. First, Olive Reed, a former board member admonished the council for its inability to accomplish many of their listed agenda items over the prior months before receiving a standing ovation from several stakeholders in attendance.

The tension in the room increased as Lori Bordenave-Arnold, Neighborhood Council board member and widow of Caney Arnold who was also on the board until committing suicide in August, broke protocol and took the microphone to tearfully thank members of the board in regards to them consoling her at the time of her husband’s death before admonishing them for having to be told to hold a moment of silence for Arnold at a prior meeting she could not attend. She continued on to make oblique references to events over the past months that were difficult to discern the nature of while pointedly requesting that whatever interpersonal conflicts there were between board members to be buried in the wake of Arnold’s death.

The moment foreshadowed further conflict to come primarily between Bordenave-Arnold and fellow council member Deseray Sarcona in one faction and chair Sandoval and board Treasurer Karen Ceaser in the other once they began addressing old business in the Treasurer’s report after public comment ended over an hour into the meeting.

Starting with a terse exchange between Sarcona and Ceaser regarding a disagreement over who could have access to the Neighborhood Council credit card, members of the board began snickering and rolling their eyes at objections brought up by Bordenave-Arnold. After the ensuing discussion dragged on for 15 minutes, attending stakeholders requested the board move on and the topic was tabled in the first of a series of disorganized votes that the board awkwardly attended to, often begun with a voice vote before stopping and starting again as roll call votes.

This pattern continued throughout the night with mounting tension: Sarcona and Bordenave-Arnold would voice their frustration with conduct by Sandoval, Ceaser, or other board members and in return the other board members would grumble, sarcastically quip, and occasionally cut off Sarcona and Bordenave-Arnold. There were prolonged debates and arguments over almost every single item on the agenda, especially over motions put forward by Sarcona in regards to her Outreach and Beautification Committee requests that required financial appropriation. Parliamentary procedure generally seemed to poorly understood by board members, motions to amend other motions were seemingly perceived as attacks, and Chairwoman Sandoval didn’t keep order among council members so much as continue to express personal frustration that in turn escalated tensions.

At over two hours into the meeting, Ceasar moved to adjourn the meeting, but this motion failed. This cause tensions to further escalate and voices to raise in volume for another ten minutes when just before 8:30 p.m., the lights in the room shut down as part of the library’s power-saving measure. Shortly afterwards Bordenave-Arnold and Sarcona briefly walked out of the room after Bordenave-Arnold motioned for a five-minute recess in the middle of another vote. For a few minutes and completely exhausted, the board was able to vote on a few of Sarcona’s motions before the minute taker had to leave shortly before 9 pm.

After bemusedly laughing at the disorganized meeting that could barely get through Sarcona’s committee motions, Ceasar suddenly left at 9:09 pm in apparent disgust and without explanation during a long discussion over a “Welcome to Harbor City” sign. A pair of stakeholders that had been waiting all night to hear about the council’s Homelessness committee asked when that would be addressed, but as this was Ceasar’s committee, it would never be gotten to this night.

Everything truly blew up when at 9:20 pm, 10 minutes before the meeting had to end due to the library closing, Bordenave-Arnold gave a short speech about a motion to repaint and dedicate a utility box to her late husband. Sandoval disagreed with the proposed painter for the box, saying that they had gone on Facebook and written “ugly things” about the Harbor City Neighborhood Council. This led to a disagreement that soon had to Sarcona sobbing saying, “the fact that we have to fight for this box for Caney is freaking ridiculous,” and with that, all order in the council ceased in a large uproar between board members.

Bordenave-Arnold briefly walked out before returning after the council barely voted to approve the motion and saying to Sandoval, “You are a stone-cold woman Danielle! You are a cold-hearted woman. I can’t go on, I can’t take this anymore,” before leaving the meeting again.

In the last few minutes of the now completely disordered meeting, Council members Denice Wint and Tamera Taylor tried to give brief announcements for their committees, but it was basically useless at that point as several members were already packing up. Shortly thereafter, the meeting was adjourned before an argument broke out between Sandoval and Sarcona that was difficult to comprehend over the din.

Sandoval could be heard saying to Bordenove-Arnold who had re-entered the room, “You are a hypocrite! 100 percent. I’m tired of taking your bullshit!”

The next Harbor City Neighborhood Council stakeholder’s meeting is currently scheduled for Nov. 20 at the Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Library.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular

Ode to a Bookman

James Bullard Kennedy, July 13, 2020 By Bondo Wyszpolski, Contributor For two decades, Easy Reader and...

Keeping the Beer Taps Flowing During the Pandemic

In this latest edition of Random Lengths, we picked up a column by Beer Paper L.A.’s David Mulvihill, “Navigating the Current Normal,”...

“How Trump Stole 2020,” and What You Can Do to Make It Not Come True

By page 3 of How Trump Stole 2020, where our 45th president is labeled as “an orange-stained, gelatinous bag of malicious mendacity,...

Protestors March in Defense of Portland BLM Activists

As a result of the nationwide solidarity marches, federal troops, under Department of Homeland Security control, have agreed to leave Portland. The...

Recent Comments

Randomly Lengthly Walt on Republicans’ Revolt
Antifa are the real fascists on The Truth About Antifa
Artemis Gordon on The Truth About Antifa
Vicky Palesa Adam on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
J.S on Icarus Falls
Ghost from your past! on Icarus Falls
Lisa Bennett on The Truth About Antifa
Dave on Icarus Falls
Kevin on Icarus Falls
DAVID J LEE on Think: George Floyd
M Mackey on Think: George Floyd
Michael S. Motta on Think: George Floyd
Thomas "HOUSE" Houchens on Think: George Floyd
Eliath Mena on Think: George Floyd
Deidre Powell on Think: George Floyd
Marcia Ladymgirl on Think: George Floyd
Jennifer L on Think: George Floyd
Carlos Fisher on Think: George Floyd
Jose "cheMMa" Rodriguz on Think: George Floyd
Aniza Thomas on Think: George Floyd
David Seay on Think: George Floyd
Marc LJ on Think: George Floyd
andre edwards on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on From Pop Culture to Cop Culture
Sharon Hislop on Think: George Floyd
Fetteroff on Think: George Floyd
Raul Acevedo Jr. on Think: George Floyd
Mel Grayson on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on A Virtual World of Events 
Alice r. Knoop on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Joshua E Chambers on Take me to Sardine
Chad Dorchester on Take me to Sardine
Terelle Jerricks on Change Won’t Be Televised
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Bob Kohler on About
Judie M Barker on About
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Vivian Morales on From War to Lowrider
Robin Doyno on Staff
Publisher on About
Joe Stackhouse on Advertise
Marshariki Haylock on A Stabbing in San Pedro
CARRIE MENDOZA on A Stabbing in San Pedro
Martin Palmiere EMC(SW) ret. on Trouble on the Iowa
Martin A.Palmiere EMC(SW) USN(ret.) on Trouble on the Iowa
John H Winkler on Frequently Asked Questions
J. McVey on Staff
Malou Mariano on Tampering and Collusion
Terrell Williams on The New Gap Band Fills The Gap
Alton C . Thompson, Ph. D. on About
Harold Ericsson on Letters to the Editor
Hillbinkel on Trouble on the Iowa
Ian Gordon on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
larry lebedin on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
Joseph Bianco on Frequently Asked Questions
Deborah Steed on Zerby Family Finds Solace
Don Griffin on Rosenberg
Pete on About
Anne Marie Knudsen on Clem Pennington is the Whole Package
Terelle Jerricks on About
Lyn Jensen on Go Retro with Records
Steven R. Heldt on Fig Trees Are Like Democracies
Joanne Sims on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Dave Borst-Smith on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Charles Traupmann on The Buscaino Report:
james P. Allen on Across the Great Divide
Allyson Vought on Across the Great Divide
PBinLostAngeles on RL NEWS Roundups: June 14, 2016
davehall on Voter Guide
Chris formica Gringos Tacos on Food Truck Blues
Random Lengths News on Iowa Fever
Tinisha Rodrique on IMG_1761
polos fred perry on Less Than a Side Show
cheap soccer jersey on Less Than a Side Show
le mahjong gratuit on The Surrealness of Knives and Breast
Harry and the Gang on Sherlock Holmes at the LB Playhouse
neufert architect s data pdf on IMG_1761
sewing machine reviews on Annie at the Warner Grand