The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council for the first time was able to acknowledge the Service Award that was given to them by Empower LA for helping the community in a creative engaging way.
“It was a thrill to get this, it was the first-ever award of its kind,” said the council president Jill Banks Barad.
Empower LA oversees and aids the voluntary neighborhood councils that offer advisory recommendations to city officials and city employees. There are 96 councils throughout Los Angeles, and Sherman Oaks is one of the oldest, also having received an award for being around for more than a decade.
“It is hard to believe it has been 10 years,” said board member Ron Ziff, who was there on the board, like Barad, the entire time.
The award was given to the council for recognizing the desperate need for pothole, sidewalk and gutted alleyway repairs. The group created a Pothole Lottery and invited stakeholders to point out the worst potholes and the worst ones were sent to the Bureau of Street Services.
One resident said he had waited more than half a century to get the pothole repaired in front of his house.
Director of the Bureau of Street Services, Nazario Sauceda, said, “This is the model of what Neighborhood Council participation should be, doing the research and taking action.”
Jeff Ebenstein, vice president of the council, said, “I was at the ceremony with 680 people from neighborhood councils from all over the city, and was proud to watch them applaud Jill for her leadership over this council.”
State Assemblyman Mike Feuer, who has worked closely with the Sherman Oaks council over the years, said, “This council is like part of my family and they have the true spirit of collaboration. The receipt of this award is proof that they are doing the right thing.”
Barad proudly held up the award at a recent council meeting and laughed, “We can share this and it can go from house to house. Me first.”
The next meeting for the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council is Tuesday night for the Executive Committee, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sherman Oaks Library. It is open to all.