STNC Budget Committee Discuss December Expenses and Funding Requests

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The Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council Budget Committee met on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 as per their regular schedule to meet on the last Wednesday of the month. On the docket this meeting was a review of the Monthly Expenditure Report (MER), a review of the overall budget and the implications through the end of the fiscal year, a discussion and vote on a request for chairs for McGroarty Arts Center on behalf of the Council, a motion to approve payment of a recurring invoice for staffing and a request from the Land Use Committee for funds to cover the cost of postage for informational mailers.

After the opening announcements, committee Chair Ed Babakhanian opened the meeting for public comments, and two guests attempted to derail the meeting with irreverent and vulgar comments. Neither guest provided their name upon entering the meeting, and spent their allotted time for each item repeating those tactics. The committee moved on to the MER, and after brief discussion and an amendment to remove personal information from receipts provided to the committee, the MER was approved unanimously by the members of the committee. Committee member Pati Potter then shared the detailed budget breakdown, and expressed that after all outstanding invoices the STNC would have $5,121 for the remainder of the fiscal year which ends in June 2022.

The item on the agenda that brought significant discussion was a request from the Sunland-Tujunga Arts, Recreation and Culture (STARC) Committee for new chairs to be provided to McGroarty Arts Center on behalf of the STNC. The request stated the chairs would be a gift from the council, which is not allowed per city guidelines. The Committee agreed to amend the request so that the chairs would not be a gift of public funds. Ms. Potter stated that the estimated cost of the chairs, $2,785 would represent a large portion of the remaining budget, and she was not comfortable voting in favor of that amount. Committee member Bill Skiles wanted a clearer idea of when the McGroarty Arts Center would be reopening before being comfortable supporting the item. Currently there is no announced date for reopening. The committee subsequently voted 3-1 against the motion. Mr. Babakhanian confirmed afterwards that the STARC committee could revise and resubmit the request, and that their rejection of the item did not preclude it from being discussed by the STNC General Board.

The next item was an invoice for staffing that works on the minutes for the STNC General Board, and it was approved unanimously. The final item on the agenda was a request for up to $100 to cover the cost of postage for mailers inviting residents near the old Denny’s site on Foothill and Plainview to join the Land Use Committee meeting on January 10, 2022. The Land Use Committee will be discussing the proposed 46-unit apartment complex for that site.

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