In the summer of 1999, Fran Reichenbach organized meeting in the Beachwood community to discuss the boundaries and structure of a neighborhood council. At each meeting the area to be included grew (in light of the Hollywood Secession movement) to become the same as that of the proposed City of Hollywood and the name Hollywood Neighborhood Council was taken.
Discussions were then focused on the structure of this large council. An idea of a council insisting of many committees and a board to reach consensus proposed by Dan Bernstein was widely accepted. Fran Reichenbach, Dan Bernstein and Paul Ramsey developed a conceptual outline of this structure and submitted to Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) on July 5, 2000. Copy available.
Hollywood Neighborhood Council (HNC) utilizing funds donated by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, began distributing a brochure design by Richard MacMinn. That brochure listed the individuals on the organization team: Nidal Barakat, Argyle Civic Association; Fran Reichenbach and David Schlesinger, Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Association; Dan Bernstein and Richard MacMinn, Cahuenga Pass Property Owners Association; Leron Gubler and Todd Lindgren, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; John P. Connolly, Hollywood Heights Association; Kendrick Okuda, Hollywood Homeowners Association; Paul Ramsey and Gary Smith, Hollywood Knolls Community Club; Andrew Ettinger, Lake Hollywood Neighborhood Association; and Nick West, Outpost Estates Homeowners Association. In several months, HNC organizers at locations in Hollywood outreached to thousands of stakeholders.
In late 2000, the City Councils began talking about funding of neighborhood councils. After a few meeting of the committee discussing funding, it became clear that all neighborhood councils would receive the same amount of funds without regard to size. The HNC organization team determined that a large council like HNC would be at a significant disadvantage and began discussions of how to divide the HNC area. During these discussion, because of shared love of Runyon Canyon, Darren Gold and Dan Bernstein joined together to create a neighborhood council for the western hillside and flats of Hollywood.
During the council district 4 elections to replace John Ferraro, leaders in our community got together to present forums between the candidates. As a byproduct of working together, a committee was created and that committee became the organizing committee for Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council. Participating on the organizing committee were: Arron Epstein, Amy Aquino, Darren Gold, David Tait, Gary Smith, John Connolly, Mel Remba, Michael Meyer, Nick West, Patricia Price, Richard MacMinn, Schelley Kiah, David Tait, and Dan Bernstein as Pro Tem Coordinator.
The application for certification was submitted to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment on December 13, 2001. The application was prepared by Dan and Darren, with assists from David Tait and Richard MacMinn. The certification application was not approved at the first hearing on February 26, 2002 due to objections filed by four members of the Cahuenga Pass Neighborhood Association. After an arbitration with those individuals, Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council was certified on May 7, 2002.
On September 19, 2002, HHWNC stakeholders elected its first officers; Dan Bernstein, President, Darren Gold, Vice President, John Connolly, Secretary, Iris Gelt, Treasurer, and David Tait, Parliamentarian.