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Why a Veteran Community Leader is Running for President of the Neighborhood Council

Michael Nogueira says he wants to make Eagle Rock safer and ensure the continuity of several key community events he has been involved with.

Michael Nogueira is a longtime resident of Eagle Rock who heads the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce and whose organizational stamp can be seen on everything from the neighborhood's weekly Farmers’ Market to the annual Concerts in the Park series.

Nogueira, who owns Sir Michael’s Party Rentals, lives in a picket-fence house on the southeast corner of Hill Drive and Eagle Rock Boulevard that arguably features the most eye-catching decorations on Halloween in all of Eagle Rock. Currently vice president of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, he is also its sole business director (a second business director position has been vacant for the entire past year).

As one of the five candidates for president in elections to the ERNC, scheduled on Oct. 13, Nogueira took some time from his busy schedule last Friday to talk about what he hopes to do if he’s elected to lead the community. Excerpts:

Eagle Rock Patch: Why are you running for president?

Michael Nogueira: I was urged by a lot of people to run because there are some names out there that are not quite known throughout the community. And I want to continue doing the same things that I have done—it’s in my blood—the Concerts in the Park, the Farmers’ Market, and just getting involved in Eagle Rock, making it safer for our families and being the voice of City government.

What would you do differently as president?

Nogueira: I would probably like meetings to go a lot smoother and quicker—because we’re all volunteers. I’d have an agenda ready to go and expedite it after letting everybody have their say-so. I feel we need some strong leadership. I don’t need to go into what I want to do or promise what I want to do—I’ve already been there, done it and have the experience doing it.

Michael Larsen’s done a fabulous job [as outgoing president], and we need to take the Neighborhood Council to another level, get a grip on the community and get people who are really involved—teachers and stakeholders who live here and have a meaningful position about what they want to do—not for a certain agenda but for the overall community.

Do you think “Green Slate” candidates will be able to do an equally good job on the Neighborhood Council?

Nogueira: Well, we’ve already seen the opposition after our Councilmember [José Huizar] worked so hard to push this medical marijuana ban ordinance. It went through, and now they’ve got enough signatures to put it [the ordinance] on the ballot. I feel that there are just a handful of people who are dominating the discussion, and that we should get more people involved from the families in the community. I feel we should do what’s right for the larger community.

You have [Green Slate] people like Tim Ryder [ERNC Public Safety Director candidate]—the man has some great ideas but who’s to say that they’re not going to push their own causes such as their little [Daydream Festival] concert over at Richard Alatoree Park. That’s not something dedicated to wholesome families. I just don’t want to see that kind of change, and I think that if I can get enough people who think and feel the same way as me we can continue doing what we’re doing.

How do you view medical marijuana dispensaries as a member of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council as well as in your personal capacity as an Eagle Rock resident?

Nogueira: I get calls all the time from people who live on College View Avenue about what’s going on in that area [near a noted dispensary]. Go out there and see for yourself. People in a car pull in and they’ve got four guys inside there. Once they go into the dispensary and buy their stuff, they go up on the hill and they divvy it up. So, whoever has the medical marijuana card sells the contraband on the streets—and it’s clearly illegal what they’re doing. People have seen it, the neighborhoods have seen it.

Last March, you again took over as president of the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce, a position you held in 2011. Why did Mike Tolj pull out as the 2012 Chamber president?

Nogueira: I don’t think he was prepared for a lot of the pressure that’s involved. You have to enjoy what you’re doing. I enjoy what I do—I live here, I work here, I do a lot in this community. I’ve work too hard, and I have to step in if somebody new finds that they don’t want to take the job. I can’t see the legacy go by.

What’s your take-away message for voters in the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council elections?

Nogueira: I feel that everybody should see what I’ve done in the community—the Friday night Farmers’ Market, 16 years going strong; Concerts in the Park—a wide variety of music concerts that we have throughout the year in collaboration with Councilmember José Huizar; July 4 fireworks, which we’ve never had in Eagle Rock—and now we have that yearly and hope we can continue doing it yearly.

I just want to do bigger and better things for the community, make it safer, help our schools, our churches, and see what we can do next to help the homeless and find shelter for them during the upcoming Holiday season. People are struggling out there and we need to see what we can do any which way to try to help them.

Related:

Are Pro-Pot Supporters on the Verge of a Coup in Eagle Rock?

‘Green Slate’ Candidate for Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council Running on a Platform of Collaboration.

‘Last-Minute Surge’ Candidates for Neighborhood Council Elections.

Mark September 24, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Frankly, this profile does not inspire readers to vote for Mr. Nogueira. His track record shows a clear inability to inspire and lead which is what the ERNC desperately needs at this point. As both the ERNC Vice President AND the sole Business Director, he acknowledges that he has been unsuccessful in outreaching and filling the second Business Director position. How are we to expect him to be any more successful in his promises to get more folks involved if he were electerd President? He also acknowledges that he stepped back in as the Chamber of Commerce President when the current one resigned. Mr. Noquiera has a weak track record on expanding his organizations and seems to repeatedly take over the leadership role as a result. (Frankly, denigrating community members as the "opposition" is not effective nor inclusive leadership.)
Ajay Singh (Editor) September 24, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Mark—you got it right the first time around but slipped on the spelling of Mr. Nogueira's name the second time, switching vowels and substituting a consonant that literally makes the name sound like a knock on the head.
Michael Larsen September 24, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Mark, you wouldn't also - happen - to be running for ERNC would you?...
Mark Haskell Smith September 24, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Michael, that Mark is not me. And I am running for the Council. No offense to Mr. Noguiera, I'm sure he is dedicated to the neighborhood, I just think it's time for some fresh ideas.
Michael Larsen September 24, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Thanks for the quick response Mr. Smith.
Lightnapper September 24, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Talk about putting your foot in your mouth. Nogueira’s comments say it all… and. If you analyze it, what it says is kinda scary. The quotation marked sentences are what I believe he’s actually saying. I’d have an agenda ready to go and expedite it after letting everybody have their say-so. “Ok, people speak-up, and then I’ll do what I want.” I don’t need to go into what I want to do or promise what I want to do—I’ve already been there, done it and have the experience doing it. “I’m going to keep status quo and further divide the community?” Michael Larsen’s done a fabulous job… get a grip on the community and get people who are really involved—teachers and stakeholders who live here and have a meaningful position about what they want to do—not for a certain agenda but for the overall community. “I and my cronies will decide who’s worthy and what?”
Lightnapper September 24, 2012 at 06:32 PM
You have [Green Slate] people like Tim Ryder… the man has some great ideas but who’s to say that they’re not going to push their own causes such as their little [Daydream Festival] concert…. That’s not something dedicated to wholesome families. I just don’t want to see that kind of change, and I think that if I can get enough people who think and feel the same way as me we can continue doing what we’re doing. “Those other evil people are threatening to my view of what is proper and good.” ...Councilmember [José Huizar] worked so hard to push this medical marijuana ban ordinance. It went through, and now they’ve got enough signatures to put it [the ordinance] on the ballot. I feel that there are just a handful of people who are dominating the discussion, and that we should get more people involved from the families in the community. I feel we should do what’s right for the larger community. “40,000 plus people are a handful of people, and Democracy only works for our side.”
Ajay Singh (Editor) September 24, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Lightnapper—the word "agenda" is a technical term during Neighborhood Council meetings and Michael Nogueira is using it in this Q&A to refer to NC proceedings, not to any "personal agendas" that you're alluding to. All *items* up for discussion or voting during a NC meeting are listed on the evening's *agenda.* Hope that clears up any confusion.
Lightnapper September 24, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I get calls all the time from people who live on College View Avenue about what’s going on in...[near a noted dispensary]. ...People in a car pull in and they’ve got four guys inside there. Once they go into the dispensary and buy their stuff, they go up on the hill and they divvy it up. So, whoever has the medical marijuana card sells the contraband on the streets—and it’s clearly illegal what they’re doing. "It's a law enforcement issue, but they don't enforce the law and help the neighbors, but i can't say that, so I'll blame an unanmed MMD."
Michael Larsen September 24, 2012 at 06:45 PM
@Lightnapper, like many well-meaning Eagle Rockers, you might be confused about the status of the MMDs. They are all operating illegally. In many ways they are exactly like an unpermitted liquor store or bar. We wouldn't tolerate such places in our community, yet we have a whole set of folks like those on the "Green Slate" who advocate in favor of these illegal businesses. Tim Ryder makes this position clear on his web site: "In fact we welcome them (MMDs) in, give them some friendly hospitality and thank them for choosing our little city for their business commerce." http://www.ccuwc.org/who-is-ccuwc.html If you replace "MMD" with "unpermitted liquor store" or" bar", would you support him and his "Green Slate"? I can't see how anyone would.
Lightnapper September 24, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Ajay, not to argue with you, because technically you are right, and with all due respect to your all-powerful position, as well as your excellent grasp of the English language, Mr. Nogueira-- did I spell that correctly?-- is a big boy and can defend himself regarding my "personal opinions," and how I personally interpret something he says." Even if it is your article, and you are just clarifying a singular word for the record. Which I do appreciate. (Fragment Sentences) However, my BA and MA in English, and my extensive background as a writer and lately a political pundit, also allow me some modicum of interpretation. As I understand the NC, the "agenda" is already established prior to a meeting, the people then speak, and a NC member vote is taken-- and then, and only then, is the topic shelved, approved for further study, or a NC recommendation is sent to the appropriate parties. See, I do know what an agenda is. I also know what "an agenda" is. Nice "story" though, I enjoyed reading it. But you broke my continuity of thought with your "Quick Draw" coming to the defense of a "candidate" who terms those disagreeing with him as "pursing their own causes," versus labeling him a fellow candidate. Next, they will be the "opposition?" And do you qualify all commenter’s use of a particular word when offering personal opinions, or just the ones perceived as dissenting voices. I'm working on the word "bias” for next week’s sermon. Good job though.
Lightnapper September 24, 2012 at 07:25 PM
@ML…you've lost all credibility with me, and you're beating the same drum over and over. The Federal Court and then the Supreme Court will eventually decide the issue of MMJ and MMD not ERNC, and certainly not you. It's a nationwide and statewide issue, with only the local issue in the forefront. Endgame. But you're entitled to your opinions and to support your cause. So have at it. Personally, I find you to be tedious, boring, and a bit of fanatical in your approach in attempting to shut down MMD. The issues you continually present are LE, B&S, and Office of Finance issues. If they actually did their jobs, nobody would mind-- except perhaps a handful of MMD not operating on the up-an-up. Perhaps, you should address your histrionics and penchant for legalese to the "Citizens of Eagle Rock," rather than "lightnapper," like the guy who peaked my interest when he offered that MJ use leads to Post Traumatic Psychosis and induces face-eating cannibalism. You Anti-guys are too much, but thankfully at least 40,000 plus rational people have seen through the Reefer Madness nonsense. It’s the big picture that matters in the end. Good day, sir.
John September 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Michael Larsen - the voters clearly want MMDs to be legal, they clearly cannot be completely banned as a nuisance, and just because the city can't find a consitutional way to put regulations on something that should be completely legal and unregulated is not a legal reason to stop for profit or non profits from operating. An article in today's Wall Street Journal noted that fulll legalization is on the ballot in three states this November, and an initiative sponsored by public television travel host Rick Steves will legalize marijuana in Washington State. The recent vote to overturn the city ban on MMDs should be evidence enough that the community wants fair, equal, and sensible local zoning. Throughout the long debate about the impact of MMDs on the particular neighborhood addressed by Michael Nogueira, I have not seen any dialogue or plan with the offending dispensary. I don't know, but I would think the dispensaries would want to assist with any solution? I would like to see Mr. Michael Nogueira be more oriented toward a solution that doesn't involve limiting commerce or safe access. If people loitering in the neighborhood is the problem, I support permit parking, red zones, and meter maids. As far as unpermitted land use goes, the city must permit MMDs, so the big issue is parking and signage. Almost every item sold at 7-Eleven will kill you faster than non-lethal marijuana, so the liquor store argument doesn't fly with me.
henk friezer September 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I have known Mike since he was an enterprising high school teenager. Even at that early age when most of his peers were goofing off and doing youth things, Mike was hustling with innovative ways to make money. Even though his father was a popular community leader, who led chambers of commerce,city commisssions, BLEND and was involved in a host of community organizations, Mike was in the shadows learning about involvement in his community. He started his current business at an early age and hustled to make it successful. I have marveled at his vigor and young success as his business grew. He has always been active in the town he grew up in and has been devoted to make ER a better place. I guess if he has a flaw is that he works too hard at what he does to make sure it succeeds. Running for the neighborhood council, with his insight, will only enhance the organization. His devotion to our community is unsurpassed, he would be a true asset and only continue what he has been doing all along, on the outside. So I guess you could say that I support Mr Nogueira in his effort to win a seat. PS: Mike did not endorse this message, since he is unaware of my writing this.
Lightnapper September 24, 2012 at 09:02 PM
@HF... well, articulated, and useful information to share. Thank You. He sounds like he would be a good fit for a "Business" seat on the NC.
Michael Larsen September 24, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Glad I could help clear up your misunderstandings of the reality of the situation.
Mary Tokita September 25, 2012 at 09:50 AM
I find certain aspects of this "interview" most disturbing...why is the location of the Nogueira home revealed???? That is unnecessary and totally irresponsible. The Patch should remove that information and apologize to the Nogueira family. I have known MN for many years and although we don't always agree, I do know that he is completely devoted to this community. I also think that most people who elect to serve on NCs are mostly political and community service neophytes. In the past, we have had people with their own personal agendas who want access to the City funds for their own reasons. Michael is hardly naive and he has long proven his devotion to Eagle Rock. And Lightnapper, he WAS the business rep in the past. I personally abhor the way that NCs tend to operate and my personal experience with them as a community activist was mixed. At worst, they failed to deliver promises due to their own incompetence. At best, they can advise our City Councilmember on issues. Larsen has been most effective with Mr. Huizar -- but most deceptive -- in his view that MMDs are always bad for communities. And the Patch seems dedicated these days to stirring up controversy over reporting information accurately. Michael N. should run for the hills but I know he cares too much.
EagleRockMom September 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM
I am pleased that Mr. Nogueira is running for ERNC President and I look forward to voting for him in October. He cares about the future of Eagle Rock and will truly represent all stakeholders.
Mary Tokita September 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM
PS - John's comments are right on the money...to my knowledge, with all the complaints about the errant dispensaries, no one has ever had a dialogue with those few who allow their customers to smoke in public. These customers should be controlled by the store and told that this will not be allowed or they will lose their privileges immediately. Put cameras in the parking lots. Nor should their be any smell of marijuana outside the facility. Doors should be locked and secure at all times for everyone's safety. If the dispensaries want to become stakeholders in the community, they should do more than make money here and try to take over the NC. How about taking some of those profits and giving back to the community? That commitment would win alot more support then current strategies. Sponsor the Music Festival, a bike security patrol, or help our schools. As for those who oppose MMD, let's drop the hypocrisy of prohibition. As Jack Herer once said, you are naked emporers. Alcohol is far more dangerous to our community, especially when even our town "leaders" get schnockered at Colombo's and drive home anyway. More checkpoints, pls? Also: If DONE allows casual pot smokers outside our area to vote in the ERNC election, they are further proving to me that the NC system is worse than it already is. To say that kind of "stakeholder" represents our community is a JOKE. Let's move on and fix the real problems in town...there are far worse threats to our quality of life.
Ajay Singh (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Mary—the Nogueira house is hardly a secret. Besides being a major Halloween attraction and a noted filming location, it is a venue for community gatherings, which are routinely mentioned, by address, on Eagle Rock Patch, as this Event listing shows: http://patch.com/E-lCr6
Mary Tokita September 25, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Well then, Ajay, if you think that is ok, let us all know where you and your family live! And BTW, what is up with the lead story...community gardens have not ONE thing to do with the ERNC elections.
Mary Tokita September 25, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Please remove your reference to community garden advocates in today's lead story. Thank you!
Duff Strong September 25, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Question: How do you view medical marijuana dispensaries as a member of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council as well as in your personal capacity as an Eagle Rock resident? Answer: College View Way to represent everyone.
henk friezer September 25, 2012 at 08:44 PM
If the Nogueira's do not object to public knowledge of their home's location why would you?
Duff Strong September 25, 2012 at 09:13 PM
NOPEgeira: I would probably like meetings to go a lot smoother and quicker—because we’re all volunteers. Nice. Get 'em in. Get 'em out. Now that's democracy!
Mark September 26, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Ajay - An Editor should address the content of the message instead of attacking the messenger. Interesting that you chose not to address the misspelling of Mr. Noggy's name in later posts, including Mr. Haskell Smith immediately below this one. Michael - Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep, it starts when you're always afraid... Clearly my logic was unassailable - this article paints Mr. Noggy as someone who does not inspire others to join his efforts. I would love to hear Mr. Tolj's opinion of Mr. Noggy who apparently lacked the leadership skills to properly mentor the new Chamber President, but instead denigrates Mr. Tolj as unprepared and unwilling.
ERHS Moms September 26, 2012 at 08:47 AM
Please let's not resort to name calling; it won't accomplish anything.
Duff Strong September 26, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Every time I read this interview, I see another reason why NOT to vote for NOPEgeira. "I just don’t want to see that kind of change, and I think that if I can get enough people who think and feel the same way as ME we can continue doing what we’re doing." So basically, he wants the neighborhood people to be his minions. This has ZERO to do with representation and COMPLETELY to do with him. Think like him and only ask for changes he approves and you'll be fine.
ERHS Moms September 26, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Are they going to have any kind of meeting where we can hear them all speak?
Michael Larsen September 26, 2012 at 07:51 PM
We're working on a couple events for candidates - Details to come.

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