The League of Women supports parts of SB 1512, but has reservations about parts already discussed for the previous bill HB 849.
I have attended various neighborhood meetings where, at some time, attendees are invited to present their concerns. In the main, they are neighborhood matters like the need for a crosswalk on some street or the uncared for property by an absentee owner, etc. but then there are some serious issues. As long as everyone understands that there is this time set aside for the airing of concerns that are not on the agenda, I do not believe that there is any problem. And as this bill provides, there will be no discussion or action taken on the issue at this meeting. Some board member or members could be assigned to look into the matter and to report back to the board at the next meeting where action may or may not be taken. All of this should be duly noted in the minutes and the matter placed on the agenda of the next meeting.
The Neighborhood Board should remain a place where everyone feels welcome and where the district issues are discussed. Some who would air their concerns would not participate if they needed to be put on the agenda
Having said that, the NBs do have great influence on decision makers. The City Councilmembers are frequently heard asking would-be developers of certain projects, “Have you consulted the neighborhood boards in the area of development.” A favorable decisions by the NBs concerned seem to carry great weight.
We have the same concern about the section, Permitted interactions of neighborhood board members on the second page. The phrase “including discussions among themselves” which
appears on line 15, we feel, should be deleted.