To establish a "town meeting for the Third District," county Councilman Carl "Dutch" Holland, R-Pasadena, is calling together the presidents of community associations he represents to form an umbrella organization.
Holland says he has had a positive response from "more than 60" of the 80 active community associations in his district, "and the responses are still trickling in."
The first meeting of the "Community Council Committee" will be 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in the Long Point Community Hall.
"This was born out of the complaints I heard on the campaign trail from the people of this district that the previous councilman (Edward "Buddy" Ahern) was inaccessible," Holland explained.
One of the key planks in Holland's campaign platform last year was a promise to open up the political process to groups beyond the well-organized Mountain Road corridor.
Last month, the councilman sent letters announcing the group to the heads of all the civic associations in the Third District, which stretches from Brooklyn Park south to the Magothy River on the east of Ritchie Highway.
Holland did not invite the GreaterPasadena Council, though he has invited the presidents and delegatesfrom each of the 26 Mountain Road communities that constitute it.
GPC President David Williams said it was "strange that he didn't want the Greater Pasadena Council represented," but reserved further judgment.
"We'll have to see how it goes. As I understand it, Holland's council is going to be strictly concerned with county problems while (the GPC has) state issues to deal with as well," Williams said.
Williams said he will attend Wednesday's meeting, representing the Lake Shore Improvement Association.
"I didn't want to include the GPC because it would be repetitious. I wouldn't call it a political decision," Holland said.
"I just want to bring the people together that's all. This is the basis of representative government -- it's like a town meeting."
Holland is working out rules and plans for thecouncil to meet once a month, he said. He described his title as "moderator" at the meetings.
"I don't want any 'head' or anything like that associated with me. I'll be the moderator of the meeting, I'llgive a district report at every meeting," he said.
Any disputes over policies that come up at the meetings, he said would have to be settled "by compromise."
Unlike other umbrella associations there will be no votes or proactive positions taken by the council.
"I don't know what we'd be voting on. Sure, there will be some disputes, but sometimes they are caused by lack of knowledge. I know I'm going to lose some of the fights but I want to at least bring the principlestogether and show that I have their best interests at heart.
"There will be detractors but at least there will be a forum for them to raise their complaints now that there never was before."
After hisopening remarks, Holland will introduce new Eastern District Police Capt. Tom Shanahan.
Also speaking at the meeting will be Kathleen Koch, the head of Planning and Zoning's Community Development Program, David Chessler of Planning and Zoning's Environmental Resource and Special Projects division, and Miriam Stanicic of the County's Community Services department department.
One president and one delegatefrom any legitimate community association is welcome to attend the meeting, Holland said.