Joan Pelico, Chief of Staff
Joan is the Councilmember’s main advisor on community and policy matters and oversees all operations of the Council Office including the West Los Angeles and Valley District Offices, providing direction and strategic assistance to all Field Deputies. She works closely with the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Field Deputy and handles more of the district's time sensitive long term projects. As well, she works closely with the city departments and is involved in every aspect of community outreach.
Joan grew up in New York and moved to Los Angeles in 1978. She has been a Valley resident since 1987, and is the proud mother of a beautiful teenage daughter. She has an extensive background and experience in problem solving, creating solutions, motivational speaking, communications, producing workshops and events, marketing, sales, fund raising, management, and as an innovator and educator. She was discovered by the CD 5 Office in 2005 when she was the Director of Development for the Sherman Oaks Elementary School. Joan is driven by her desire to help people in their time of need.
David Hersch, Deputy Chief of Staff
David oversees all legislative matters, and manages the councilmember's legislative staff. He is the councilmember's main advisor on the Personnel & Animal Welfare Committee, and the Executive Employee Relations Committee. David works closely with the Chief of Staff to oversee the day to day operations of the Council Office.
David is a veteran of local and state government. In Los Angeles City Hall, David has worked as a legislative staffer for three different Councilmembers over the past 20 years. He previously served as Special Assistant to then-Assemblymember Koretz in Sacramento, and began his political career as deputy to then-West Hollywood City Councilmember Koretz. A native Angeleno, David graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science, and from Loyola Law School.
City Hall Office
Paul Neuman, Director of Communications
Paul is responsible for all communications from the Council Office, including press releases, press advisories, newsletters, website and media relations.
In years past, Paul has worked in three other City Council Offices (CDs 2, 8 and 14) and for Assembly District 42, serving in various capacities – press deputy, legislative deputy and field deputy. As a journalist, he was honored with a “Best Feature Story” award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for a history of Central Avenue. A veteran of many community causes, Paul serves on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, which he has co-chaired, and is a founder of the North East Central Alliance of Neighborhood Councils.
Shawn Bayliss, Director of Planning and Land Use
Shawn is responsible for planning, land use and development issues in the Westside portion of the district. He is a council office liaison to the Planning Department and monitors the Planning & Land Use Management Committee for the Councilmember.
Shawn hails from a family of planning and land use aficionados, so one could say he was born with a set of plans in his hands. Raised in the Midwest, he left the cold weather behind to pursue planning and land use in the best city on earth - Los Angeles. He worked on these issues in neighboring cities prior to joining the CD 5 team. When he isn’t at a planning hearing, Shawn enjoys golfing, cheering on his favorite college football teams and sampling LA’s best frozen yogurt spots.
Brian Perry, Senior Legislative Deputy
Brian is responsible for briefing the Councilmember on Council agenda items and issues, preparing and submitting Council motions and staffing the Councilmember on the Budget & Finance Committee, and the Transportation Committee. Brian also oversees major projects as they relate to legislative implementation throughout the Fifth Council District. Brian works with the Deputy Chief of Staff to oversee all major projects.
Joel Lyle, Legislative Deputy
Joel serves as the Councilmember's liaison to the organized labor community.
Joel recently joined the public sector after having spent more than 30 years working with and for the labor movement as a benefits coordinator and director. He prides himself on having created and managed both health care and consumer benefits that provided cost savings and affordable services to thousands of members of the working class. Joel is a native Californian, and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Economics. He serves on several labor committees, is a delegate to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and recently was elected to the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council.
Andy Shrader, Deputy of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability
Andy advises the Councilmember on issues related to the environment and sustainability, working to ensure the city can meet its present economic, environmental and sociopolitical needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. He staffs the Councilmember on the Energy and Environment Committee.
Andy was elected in 2003 as a founding member of the Mar Vista Community Council, where his most notable resolution instituted the popular Mar Vista Farmer’s Market. He holds both a Masters in Screenwriting and a Certificate in Global Sustainability from UCLA, wrote the celebrity speeches for 10 years for the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women (in support of cancer research, treatment and support), is an accomplished mountaineer, and was awarded Heal the Bay’s “2011 Super Healer Award” for his activist work on marine debris plastic waste issues. When he’s not at City Hall, he can be found in indie coffee shops across the city writing screenplays.
Maria Aguiniga, Office Manager
Maria manages office operations at City Hall, our West LA and Valley district office locations, coordinates youth and senior buses and provides support for legislative staff and field deputies.
Leana Scott, Council Deputy
Leana is likely the first person you will speak with when calling the City Hall office. She provides administrative support for legislative staff and assists with the newsletter and website and monitors a variety of legislative issues.
Leana joined our staff after attending the University of California, Santa Cruz where she majored in Legal Studies with an emphasis on environmental policy. A fifth generation Angeleno, Leana has volunteered and worked with numerous political offices, campaigns, and non-profits. She is also an avid hiker and photographer.
Elaine de Leon, Executive Assistant
Elaine is the new Executive Assistant & Scheduler, having performed similar duties for former City Controller/Councilmember Wendy Greuel for over 11 years. Elaine works with the staff at City Hall, the West Los Angeles District Office and the Valley District Office to make sure the CM is properly staffed, prepared for speaking engagements and/or his many activities within the community, and coordinates his external and internal communications.
Before joining the City, she worked at the LA Convention & Visitors Bureau where she helped promote Los Angeles internationally & domestically. Prior to that, she worked in the hospitality industry in the westside and downtown areas where she was responsible for sales, catering, human resources and assisted with engineering operations for 7 years.
West Los Angeles Field Office
Jay Greenstein, Chief Field Deputy
Jay is responsible for briefing and staffing the Councilmember on district transportation issues such as the Westside Subway Extension, the Expo light rail project, and the I-405 Sepulveda Pass HOV lane project. Jay is also responsible for neighborhoods in the Westwood South of Santa Monica Blvd. area of the District. He is the primary contact and provides assistance for residents, businesses and community organizations by helping them navigate the City bureaucracy, as well as representing the council office at any number of Neighborhood Council, homeowners association, neighborhood watch and many other community group meetings.
Jay first met Councilmember Koretz in 1986 when he interned for then-West Hollywood Councilmember Alan Viterbi, and a young Paul Koretz was serving as his deputy. Jay later spent six years as a Field Representative to then-Assemblymember Koretz before joining the staff of CD 5. Jay has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He lives in CD 5, and is married with two children, both of whom attend a local public elementary school.
John Darnell, Senior Field Deputy
John is responsible for neighborhoods of Carthay Circle, South of Carthay, Carthay Square, Miracle Mile, Fairfax, Hollywood and Melrose. He is the primary contact and provides assistance for residents, businesses and community organizations by helping them navigate the City bureaucracy, as well as representing the council office at any number of Neighborhood Council, homeowners association, neighborhood watch and many other community group meetings.
John is a native of CD 5, growing up in Encino where he still resides. He earned his degree in political science, with a minor in urban planning, from California State University, Northridge. He worked his way through university, and was the first in his family to obtain a college degree. John has volunteered with many causes and organizations about which he is passionate, including: serving as a county inspector at the Encino polls from 2004-2008, helping to raise money for high school students wanting to study agriculture in college and working on environmental justice issues in Pacoima. John also enjoys exercising, the beach and animals.
Kate Hennigan, Economic Development Director / Westwood Deputy
Katherine is the Economic Development Director/Westwood Deputy for Council District Five. She has served the City of Los Angeles for more than nine years, most recently as a Senior Policy Director in the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Economic and Business Policy, where she had responsibility for the Hollywood film and entertainment community. She is excited to rejoin the staff of Council District 5, where she previously served as the planning deputy. Katherine oversees the neighborhoods of Comstock Hills and Westwood. She serves as the primary contact and provides assistance for residents, businesses and community organizations by helping them navigate the City bureaucracy, as well as representing the council office at any number of Neighborhood Council, homeowners association, neighborhood watch and many other community group meetings.
Katherine shares Councilmember Koretz's interest in keeping entertainment productions, and the many jobs they create, right here in the entertainment capital of the world, and enjoys working with the entertainment industry to make Los Angeles the most attractive location for film and television productions.
In addition to her work, Katherine is actively involved in the community. Among several volunteer positions, she previously served as Board Chair of Women Against Gun Violence, a nonprofit organization. Katherine earned her masters degree in International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California, and holds a B.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University.
Rachel Koretz, Council Aide
Valley District Office
Noah Muhlstein, Planning Deputy
Noah is responsible for planning, land use and development issues in the Encino and Hillside portion of the district, and serves as a council office liaison to the Planning Department.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Noah has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies and Planning from California State University Northridge, and recently received his Masters in Public Administration with a focus in Urban Planning. He began his career in the private sector in 2006, and as a member of the 5th District office, is eager to help local communities and constituents regarding planning and land use.
Gurmet Khara, Field Deputy
Gurmet is responsible for the neighborhoods of Encino, Beverly Crest, Bel Air, and parts of Hollywood. She is the primary contact and provides assistance for residents, businesses and community organizations by helping them navigate the City bureaucracy, as well as representing the council office at any number of Neighborhood Council, homeowners association, neighborhood watch and many other community group meetings.
Cara Goldman, Council Aide
Cara grew up in New York City and attended the United Nations School until she moved to Los Angeles with her family where she went to Oakwood School in North Hollywood and Beverly Hills High School and graduated from UCSB. She has been married for 18 years and has a teenage son and they live in West Hills. For most of her life she worked in the entertainment industry at Paramount Studios for 20 years and MTM Studios (now CBS on Radford) as a production and script coordinator on such shows as "Newhart", "Sister, Sister" and "Seinfeld". For the last 5 1/2 years she has worked for the former Councilmember Dennis P. Zine as a Case Manager for Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Winnetka, Canoga Park and Reseda until he termed out in June, 2013. In her spare time she plays tennis and loves spending time with her friends and family.