Question: Should new section be added to require establishment of Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts represented by a commission made up of ex officio members of Council, elected representatives of the district and representatives of bona fide nonprofit community associations, that review and oversee implementation of annual service plans for the districts all as set forth in the Charter section?

Proposed Language:

§ 48-1 Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts [NEW]

(a) The Council shall establish, by ordinance, no less than one Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts for every three wards in the City. Each district shall contain contiguous wards, provided however that one district may be limited to the boundaries of the downtown business district as defined by the Council.

(b) Each Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service District shall be represented by a district commission consisting of the members of Council representing the wards located in the district as ex officio members; an equal number of district residents elected to two-year terms in a district-wide, at-large race in a November election conducted in odd-numbered years; and a district resident or business proprietor representing each bona fide nonprofit community association located in the district selected by each association. Candidates for election to a district commission must file nominating petitions with the election authorities signed by 1% of the district’s registered voters. Bona fide nonprofit community associations in a district shall by determined through standards established by ordinance of Council. Each district commission shall hold a regular monthly meeting at a location in the district, with notice of the place and time for the meetings provided to all district residents. Commission members shall serve without pay, provided however that Council may authorize the reimbursement of expenses incurred by commission members in the performance of their official duties up to a maximum amount per member per year as determined by the Council.

(c) The City departments that provide direct services, such as safety, community and economic development, recreation, utility, community relations, code enforcement and right-of-way services, to residents or businesses throughout the City shall prepare an annual service plan for each Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts. Each annual service plan shall include an organizational table identifying the City employee or employees in each service department with direct authority and supervisory responsibility for the provision of services within each district. To the maximum feasible extent, each service department shall adopt an administrative structure consistent with, and responsive to, the Neighborhood Development, Planning and Service Districts. The Mayor shall submit the annual service plan to each district commission by no later than November 30th of each year. Each district commission shall conduct a public review and evaluation of the annual service plan, including conducting at least one public hearing in the district with the time and place of the hearing advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the district. Based on this review and evaluation, each district commission shall submit written comments on the annual service plan to Council within 60 days of receipt of the annual service plan from the Mayor.

(d) In addition to the review and evaluation of annual service plans, each district commission shall monitor implementation of the plan and the general delivery of services by City departments in their district; receive and investigate complaints or recommendations from district residents and businesses regarding City services; and recommend legislation or administrative policy measures to improve service by City departments to their district. The director of a City department, or a person designated by the director, shall attend each commission meeting at which his or her presence is requested by an authorized representative of the district commission at least seven days prior to the meeting date.