The Council of Granada Hills, California works to improve the community by collaborating with stakeholders to increase their influence on City legislators and departments. The Plan sets minimum standards to ensure that neighborhood councils represent all community members, hold fair and open meetings, and are financially responsible. Neighborhood councils are groups of people who, once certified by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, will elect or select their own leaders, determine their own agendas, and set their own boundaries. This flexible framework allows people in neighborhoods to create neighborhood councils that meet their needs. Neighborhood councils are free to hold their open neighborhood elections and continue with an approved organizing statute.
State and local conflict of interest laws that currently apply to the Neighborhood Council Funding Program also apply when considering grant applications for neighborhood purposes. The Community Plan is the long-term land use plan for the area that will shape the future of the community, guide future growth, protect the character of the neighborhood and improve the quality of life for those who live, work and invest in the area. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) and the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners reviewed years of extensive studies on neighborhood councils and received months of public comment before presenting a plan proposal to the mayor and city council in December 2000. Neighborhood councils are first formulated to integrate coherent neighborhoods within the city, based on a process of electing a council certified by the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners. Board members are elected or selected for office by the neighborhoods themselves. The vision of a municipal system of independent and influential neighborhood councils throughout the city, and the creation of a municipal department to guide that process, was approved by voters in June 1999. There are currently 99 neighborhood councils within the city limits and the corresponding Neighborhood Empowerment Department within City Hall. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment organized 16 public workshops across the city to begin teaching people about participatory grassroots democracy and listening to the public's needs, dreams, and suggestions.
This helps promote public participation in government and make it more responsive to local needs by creating, fostering and supporting a municipal system of grassroots, independent and participatory neighborhood councils. The mayor must “inform certified neighborhood councils of the submission deadline so that opinions can be considered in a timely manner.