The Mar Vista Community Council voted 10-2 Tuesday night to change the organization's bylaws in response to what board members alternately called "the event," "the situation" and the "fine mess" that occurred several months ago.
The board members were, of course, talking about the abrupt resignation in November of board chariman Albert Olson, who resigned mid-meeting because of a dispute on selecting a director for an open board seat.
Olson in a letter sent out to Mar Vista community members shortly after his resignation urged the council to update its bylaws and decide whether it wants an election process or appointment process to replace board directors.
The new rules shorten the time for qualified candidates to submit a statement of candidacy from 45 days to 25 days after a vacancy is announced. Candidates may address the board during the next meeting after the announcement. Afterward, the chair will appoint someone from the list of qualified candidates subject to approval by a majority of board members, which lowers the threshold from the previous two-thirds requirement. If the chair's first appointed stakeholder does not receive a majority of the vote, the chair can appoint a second stakeholder. If the second appointee is not approved, the chair will make the appointment from the list of candidates and it will not be subject to approval from the board.
In other action, the council voted unanimously to set aside $11,221 from its 2011-2012 budget to conduct outreach for Neighborhood Council elections. Elections are tentatively scheduled for the last weekend in October.
The board also voted unanimously to approve $1,000 in funding for the Mar Vista Fall Festival 2012. Olson, who was honored after his resignation and remains active in the community, presented the request to the board and initially asked for $500 for banners, but the board voluntarily raised the amount to $1,000 to help spread the word. The Fall Festival on October 20 will have a "Creative Connections" theme and former board member Laura Bodensteiner, who started the Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee, will be the honoree.
The board also voted to approve funding of up to $100 to pay for fliers to advertise the upcoming Cal Fresh Assistance Program at the Mar Vista Farmers Market on May 6. Cal Fresh, which used to be commonly known as the food stamp program for the poor, issues debit cards that are accepted at the weekly Sunday market.