A member of the Westwood Neighborhood Council recently resigned after moving out of the Village.
Shelby Kretz, a UCLA doctoral student in urban schooling, announced her resignation at the council meeting on June 14. The council selected Kretz to fill a vacant seat in January after two council members announced their resignations.
Kretz said she can no longer serve on the council because members on renter seats must actually rent within the council’s boundaries, which are Sunset, Santa Monica, Beverly Glen and Sepulveda boulevards. She said she is moving to Culver City because she felt she could not afford the rent in Westwood.
“Finding (an affordable) place in Westwood can be very challenging,” she said.
During her time on the council, Kretz said she tried to improve Westwood for students and address homelessness in the Village.
“I focused a lot on the student experience in Westwood and just making it a place where people want to and can afford to live,” she said. “A place where they can afford to do their shopping and do their dining in that area.”
Lisa Chapman, council president, said the council selected Kretz to fill one of their vacant seats because they felt she was able to look at issues from all sides and could articulate her views well to other council members.
“She was very thoughtful,” Chapman said. “She seemed like she was well-spoken and like she would put a lot of thought into the process of what we were deciding or debating.”
Chapman said she posted the vacant seat on the council’s website on Monday and will continue advertising it online and in their newsletter for at least 60 days before the council selects a new council member. She added that she will introduce an agenda item at the council’s next meeting to extend this selection process to October so students can run for the position after their summer break.
Kretz said she thinks students should run for the vacant council member position because she thinks their concerns are not always heard.
“I think it would be great for more students to start to get involved on the neighborhood council or even their own councils if they don’t live in Westwood,” she said. “It would be exciting to see more students go out for those positions.”