Springtime in Chatsworth brings with it new life and a diverse array of color on our hillsides. It also brings the annual election for the Equestrian Committee of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council (CNCEC).
A special meeting was called for the Equestrian Committee on April 27th to vote in new members and to say thanks to the hardworking dedicated members who were stepping down from their positions.
At the prompting of one of my friends, I decided to attend the election this year, something I haven’t done since the committee was first formed several years ago. I remember that first election like it was yesterday -- half the town showed up to vote for their candidate out in the parking lot of the Chatsworth train depot. There was lots of excitement as we all looked forward to our equestrian community’s first ever official acknowledgement by the city. Our voices were finally being heard and we were being given a chance to weigh in on decisions that effected the community.
In addition to weighing in on issues that effect the horsekeeping community, the Equestrian Committee oversees community events such as the Day of the Horse held each spring, and also works to educate the community about horses and the benefits of Chatsworth’s horsekeeping element. According to Charlotte Brodie, a past voting stakeholder on the committee, “The Equestrian Committee provides a place for the community to bring equestrian ideas, needs and concerns, and where people understand what your talking about.”
Leaving our committee are Charlotte Brodie and Bill Lander.
Brodie, a voting stakeholder on the committee, is best known for her work with ETI’s Corral 54 and for championing the cause of trail preservation. Brodie’s regular reports in the ETI newsletter keep us up to date on the latest news with regard to trail closures, changes and improvements due to development. Brodie said, “I believe that the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Equestrian Committee is a vital element to Chatsworth's success as a cohesive community. In Chatsworth, the equestrian lifestyle is not just for the person that owns or rides a horse, a major portion of the people here like being part of the 'cowboy' era.”
She went on to say, “Seeing horses walking down the trail/street usually puts a smile on your face. I was honored to be thought knowledgeable enough to serve as a stakeholder member of this committee for the past few years and would be happy to do it again.”
Lander, also an elected member of the Neighborhood Council, will long be remembered by his presence behind the grill at this year’s Day of the Horse celebration. He and his wife, Tammy, put in many long hours feeding hundreds of visitors over the course of the day. Lander’s presence will be missed both on the committee and around town as he moves on with his family to settle in the Paso Robles area. Lander spoke highly of his fellow Council and committee members, “They are a group of very dedicated people.”
The 2011/2012 board is comprised of Mary Kaufman, chairman; Pat Updegraf, secretary; Susan Eskander (yours truly), Jan Languevin, Carol Lucas, and Bill Updegraf.
Our CNCEC is comprised of a group of hardworking volunteers who do their best to stay on top of equestrian issues in the neighborhood. Sitting in on the meeting last evening, I learned that our councilman has not only ridden our Chatsworth trails several times, but has another outing planned in the near future. If seeing is believing, then no wonder the Council Office has provided more support for equestrian issues! I think that the lines of communication between the Council office and the community have been strengthened by these types of efforts by the CNCEC.
The Committee also discussed plans to support the 91311 celebration to be held at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church on Sept. 13th, 2011, as wells as some budgetary plans for the coming year.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get your voice heard in the equestrian community, I invite you to attend the next CNCEC meeting. Charlotte Brodie said it best, “Chatsworth equestrians are truly fortunate to have a Neighborhood Council that values and supports their way of life.”
The meeting dates and times can be found at the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council website at www.chatsworthcouncil.org.