There's a need for more Neighborhood Watch groups as residential and has increased along with burglaries from vehicles, Los Angeles Police Officer Matt Cartwright told the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council Wednesday.
“We need your help. It’s so much better to have 90 sets of eyes versus two or four,” Cartwright told the two dozen who attended the meeting held in library.
“Burglaries are on the rise and so are burglaries from vehicles,” he said, adding that GPS units, wallets and purses are hot ticket items. “Make sure your vehicles are locked and nothing is inside of them.”
Cartwright suggested anyone wanting to create a program should contact the Devonshire Area Police Station at 818-634-0362.
Cartwright was followed by Lawrence Middle School teacher Brent Smiley.
Smiley warned of a possible shift in school management by next year, transferring the authority over the campus away from downtown administrators and placing it under the purview of the school’s faculty and staff.
Smiley said Los Angeles Unified District superintendents come and go, and with that, education promises go out the window.
He said the community needs to support the school and a plan is under way to reach out to residents, private school leaders, PTAs and the business community to implement a plan to keep Lawrence strong when changes take place in the future.
“A strong school is predicated on the idea of a strong community … all members of the greater Lawrence community … coming together to support Lawrence Middle School and Lawrence Middle School supporting the community,” Smiley said.
He said he’ll return to the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council in the near future to solicit what its members want for the school and its 1,700 student body over the next decades.
In other action, the Council approved expenditures of taxpayer money totaling $19,085.
The unanimous votes from 15 of the 20 elected officials in attendance included:
- $2,460 to buy an air conditioner for fire station 107.
- Up to $150 for a new state flag for the community room of the train depot.
- Up to $2,000 to buy graffiti removal equipment for the volunteers at the Santa Susan Park State Historical Park.
- Up to $1,700 for new sun shades in the community room of the train depot.
- Up to $4,200 for the Council-sponsored “,” festival scheduled for April 22.
The Council voted to spend $1,000 on the upcoming June “Valley Festival” being organized by the office of Councilman Mitch Englander at Northridge Park. Member Diana Davis-Dixon objected.
Another $850 was approved to remove two dead pine trees on Chatsworth Street between DeSoto and Lurline avenues. Members Judith Daniels and Dixon-Davis opposed and Lucy Volotzky, Linda van der Valk, Vicki Briskman and Jelena Csanyi abstained.
The Council voted to spend $525 for three months of advertising during April, May and June on the Chatsworth Patch website. Daniels recused herself since her husband is the editor and Briskman opposed the motion.
And finally, $4,200 was approved to buy foliage for the concrete planters on the corner of Devonshire Street and Canoga Avenue. The project is in connection with the area's Business Improvement District (BID). The Council will pay for drought-resisting plants, while the city does the rest. Council member Erik Pampalone recused himself since he is a member of BID and Dixon-Davis objected. Dixon-Davis questioned whether there were alternative bids.
After the meeting Council member Kamesh Aysola explained that
the vote was only to secure the funds before the end of the fiscal year and
that alternative bids will be secured before planting takes place.