There are three entities that have varying degrees of control over projects in the Melrose Village area, so let’s get to know them!
1. Council District 5 – The most important:
CD5 encompasses a wide area including many Westside communities, as well as our Melrose Fairfax district.
Our currently elected councilman is Paul Koretz. Among his various duties is the very important oversight and review of projects and plans that impact our streets and neighborhood. His approval means things move forward, while his withholding of support means they do not. During his term, he has been willing to consider all sides of an issue before approving projects and grant applications. He has shown consideration of the impact of proposed projects on neighborhoods & been open to residents input. His term expires in 2022, so it is crucial to ensure that whoever runs to replace him is equally considerate of all sides of an issue from public safety to traffic impact, and to balance resident and merchant needs.
2. Melrose Business Improvement District (BID) – not well known:
The Melrose BID manages the stretch of Melrose Avenue between Highland and Fairfax. They are basically a group of commercial property owners (not necessarily the merchants who operate businesses) who agree to pay additional taxes to fund the cost of operations and improve Melrose Avenue. They provide a security ambassador, trash services, marketing, beautification services and supposedly parking, to Melrose Avenue. Their budget is approximately $600,000/year.
Their ideas for improvements do not always consider the impact on the surrounding residential neighborhoods, especially in regards to traffic and parking, of which there is a chronic lack for the patrons of the Melrose businesses. Their outreach to both residents and also merchants leaves a lot to be desired.
3. Mid-City West Neighborhood Council – the one most people have not heard of:
Neighborhood Councils are city-certified local groups made up of people who, live, work, own property or operate a business in the neighborhood. The board members are elected, although these elections are not well publicized and very few people vote in them.
The MCWNC is supposed to be a voice for the neighborhoods in policy making and projects. It receives a $40,000 grant from the City each year. The current board has a number of members who have conflicts of interest, such as also being a member of Melrose BID, personal PAC’s and other special interest involvements and so it is fair to question the judgement and decisions those members make.
Melrose Village (the area between Fairfax and La Brea and 2 blocks north and south of Melrose) is considered Zone 2 of the MCWNC. Our current representative is Nasim Kablan who can be reached at: email@example.com.