Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Public Square: December 3–5, 2012

A brief look at items of interest to Hollywood residents that are on upcoming agendas at City Council, City Council Committees, Neighborhood Councils, various City Boards and Commissions, and County Board of Supervisors. LA City Agendas can be found here and LA County Board agendas can be found here.

As always, the meeting times, locations, and agendas are subject to change, so be sure to check and confirm.

Monday, December 3:

  • No meetings of note.

Tuesday, December 4:

  • Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Council Committee (8:30 AM)
    • Item 4 (Council File 11-1150-S5)
      • LA for Kids Steering Committee report (.pdf) relative to scope and budgetary modifications for the East Hollywood Public Garden and Achievement Center Project.
      • The East Hollywood Public Garden and Achievement Center Project is a proposed community garden that will be developed on the rear portion of a 0.56 acre City owned, and currently undeveloped, park property located at 1171-1175 Madison Avenue in East Hollywood. The rest of that park site will be developed with a small neighborhood park.
    • Item 19 (Council File 12-1178-S1)
      • Motion (.pdf) relative to a proposed Ordinance to amend Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 17.12 E to remove reference to the outdated Public Recreation Plan and allow for the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners to create policies, procedures, and standards for new parks and open space.
  • County Board of Supervisors (9:30 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • Item 4 (Council File 12-0967)
      • Continued consideration of a Planning and Land Use Management Council Committee report, Mitigated Negative Declaration, and related California Environmental Quality Act findings, relative to an appeal (.pdf) from a determination of the City Planning Commission to approve a Mitigated Negative Declaration in connection with a project proposing the construction of a 49-unit mixed-use residential/commercial project at 5241-5247 West Santa Monica Boulevard.
      • The Committee report recommends that the appeal be denied and the Mitigated Negative Declaration, and associated findings, be adopted and approved.
    • Items 19 & 20 (Council Files 12-0395-S5 and 12-0395-S6)
      • Motions relative to Los Angeles Fire Department Response Times.
      • Viewpoints: Expect lots of fireworks and grandstanding. What gets me is how the City Council members are now all of a sudden concerned with LAFD’s response times when they were the very same people who voted for cutting tens of millions in funding from LAFD’s budget. Come on now, what did they expect would happen?

Wednesday, December 5:

  • Housing, Community, and Economic Development Council Committee (8:30 AM)
    • Item 7 (Council File 12-0049)
      • Los Angeles Housing Department report (.pdf), and CAO and CLA to report, relative to the transfer of the housing assets and functions of the former CRA/LA to the City.
  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • Item 31 (Council File 13-1100-S5)
      • Continued consideration of a motion relative to a proposed ballot measure to change the City Charter in order to permit the CLA (which works for, and reports to, the City Council) to employ its own attorneys.
      • Request that the City Attorney draft the appropriate ordinance and resolution so the proposed measure could be on the ballot for the May 2013 election.

Its Curtains for Cirque du Soleil’s “Iris” Show

The weekend the LA Times reported that Cirque du Soleil’s “Iris” show at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland will be closing down on January 19, 2013. From the article (emphasis mine):

Cirque du Soleil announced Friday that the demand for tickets to "Iris" had not "met expectations," but it declined to provide box office figures.

"Iris" opened in September 2011 at an estimated cost of nearly $100 million in production expenses and theater renovation, helped along by a $30-million loan from the city's Community Development Department to a partnership set up by the CIM Group, which owns the theater and the rest of the Hollywood & Highland Center.

[snip]

Renee-Claude Menard of Cirque said by phone from Montreal that the company spent $50 million to $55 million to produce the show. She said the cost of renovating the theater, reported to be $40 million, was paid by the CIM Group. "We put a huge effort into marketing and overseas marketing, but nothing would tilt the needle," Menard said. "The L.A. market is not ready for a permanent show."

As you may recall, back in 2009 the LA City Council approved a $30M loan from the City, using funds borrowed through the HUD Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program, to an wholly owned subsidiary of CIM Group, for capital improvements to the Dolby Theater to support the production of the new Cirque du Soleil show. In exchange for that loan, CIM committed that Cirque du Soleil would (1) stay in Hollywood for 10 years, (2) perform a minimum of 368 shows per year, and (3) create or retain at least 858 new full time jobs, of which, 51% were to be filled by low to moderate income persons. As collateral against a CIM default on the loan, the City was to secure either a 2nd Deed of Trust in the Hollywood and Highland Center or assignment of rents from the Dolby Theater / Hollywood and Highland Center.

Below, via the LA Times, is what CIM had to say about the status of that $30M loan:

The company that owns Hollywood's Dolby Theatre said Saturday it will comply with the obligations of the $30-million loan provided by Los Angeles city officials to lure Cirque du Soleil to the Hollywood & Highland shopping center.

One day after Cirque du Soleil announced it will close its lavish production "Iris" due to disappointing ticket sales, CIM Group spokeswoman Karen Diehl issued a statement saying payments would be made as scheduled on the city loan, which was approved by the City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. CIM Group owns both the mall and the theater.

"The loan is current, and CIM will repay the entire obligation of the loan in full," the company's statement said. Neither CIM Group nor city officials could describe the payment terms or say when the loan is scheduled to be paid off.

I’d note that if CIM ultimately does default on the loan the City would be obligated to use its current and future Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program allocations to cover the loan amount as security for the loan. That means the City would have less funding for critically needed social programs, services, and economic development projects in its low income / high poverty communities.

If you’re interested, below are several posts I wrote concerning this deal back in 2009 wherein I raised a lot of questions about the economics of this deal and whether or not this was a valid and appropriate use of the City's current borrowing capacity under the Section 108 Program:

Can’t wait to see how this story unfolds over the coming days and weeks. More importantly, I can’t wait to see CIM pay back the $30M loan so the City is not stuck holding the bag for this flop.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Public Square: November 19–21, 2012

A brief look at items of interest to Hollywood residents that are on upcoming agendas at City Council, City Council Committees, Neighborhood Councils, various City Boards and Commissions, and County Board of Supervisors. LA City Agendas can be found here and LA County Board agendas can be found here.

As always, the meeting times, locations, and agendas are subject to change, so be sure to check and confirm.

Monday, November 19:

  • Budget and Finance Council Committee (2:00 PM)
    • Item 7 (Council File 11-0086-S4)
      • CAO Report (.pdf) and Department of City Planning report (.pdf) relative to proposed staffing and funding associated with the potential transition of land-use authority that was previously managed by the former CRA/LA to the Department of City Planning. The Department of City Planning is proposing to establish a new 11 person unit to oversee these activates.
      • Per the CAO Report (emphasis mine): “It is in the best interest of the City to move forward with the transfer of the CRA/LA land-use authority to ensure that City economic development goals can be achieved. The City is preparing a new model for economic development that may include the creation of a new department and nonprofit entity. For economic development to be successful, it is important for the City to control land-use responsibilities for the entire City”.
  • East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Governing Board (6:30 PM)
    • Agenda (.pdf).
      • Meeting will be held at Armenian Youth Center (1559 North Kenmore Avenue).
  • Hollywood United Neighborhood Council Board (6:30 PM)
    • Agenda.
      • Meeting will be held at Seventh-day Adventist Church of Hollywood (1711 North Van Ness Avenue).

Tuesday, November 20:

  • County Board of Supervisors (9:30 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • Item 5 (Council File 13-1100-S6)
      • Ordinance relative to a proposed ballot measure to add a half cent transactions and use (sales) tax in the City, which would be placed on the March 5, 2013 ballot.
      • Per a CAO/CLA joint report (.pdf) the proposed tax would raise up to $215 million in additional revenue for the City’s General Fund.
      • Viewpoints: If residents want the City to provide them with services they will need to pay for them. Simple as that. A sales tax is not necessarily the optimal option, but at this point it is the only reasonable option being put out there.
    • Item 8 (Council File 12-1604)
      • Consideration of items related to the Target Shopping Center project proposed for the corner of Sunset and Western (5520 Sunset Boulevard) in East Hollywood:
        • Planning and Land Use Management Council Committee Report.
        • Consideration of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and associated findings.
        • Various discretionary approval requests, including several exceptions from the Vermont/Western TOD Specific Plan, a Site Plan Review, and a Conditional Use Permit for alcohol, and associated findings.
        • Various appeals.
      • The Target Shopping Center project proposes to construct a 163,862 square foot Target store along with 30,887 square feet of other smaller retail, food, and associated uses in a 3-level building. The first floor of the building would have retail (along both Sunset and Western) while the Target store itself would be located on the structure's third level. A total of 458 automobile parking spaces would be provided in two parking levels, on ground floor and one above ground
  • Planning and Land Use Management Council Committee (2:30 PM)
    • Item 1 (Council File 11-1735)
      • Department of City Planning Report (.pdf) relative to potential planning tools (such as a Fence Height District or Variances) that could be used to address the desires of some East Hollywood residents to have higher fences than normally permitted.
  • Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council Board (7:30 PM)
    • Agenda.
      • Meeting will be held at the Los Feliz Community Police Center (1965 North Hillhurst Avenue) in the second floor meeting room.
    • Item 6 (Appointment)
      • Appointment to vacant District B Representative seat.

Wednesday, November 21:

  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • Item 29 (Council File 12-0011-S29)
      • Motion to transfer $3,125 from the CD 4 portion of the Street Furniture Revenue Fund to pay for tree trimming at the Hollywood Civic Center.
      • Viewpoints: In my eyes this is a legitimate use of Street Furniture Revenue Funds, however this work is the type of work that really should be funded out of the City’s General Fund – not out of dedicated special funds.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Public Square: October 29–31, 2012

A brief look at items of interest to Hollywood residents that are on upcoming agendas at City Council, City Council Committees, Neighborhood Councils, various City Boards and Commissions, and County Board of Supervisors. LA City Agendas can be found here and LA County Board agendas can be found here.

As always, the meeting times, locations, and agendas are subject to change, so be sure to check and confirm.

Monday, October 29:

  • Budget and Finance Council Committee (2:00 PM)
    • Item 2 (Council File 12-0600-S166)
      • CAO's First Financial Status Report (.pdf) for Fiscal Year 2012-2013. Per the report, the City is, just four months into the fiscal year, already projecting a budget shortfall of $16.6 million. The shortfall is due to “expenditure shortfalls and unbudgeted expenses” primarily at LAFD, LAPD, City Attorney, and the General Services Department.
      • CAO has also prepared an addendum (.pdf) to the First Financial Status Report that lists 209 “temporary” positions (of which 186 are filled) that the Mayor has the authority to eliminate after December 31, 2012. The First Financial Status Report states that (emphasis mine) “In light of the City's current budget status and projected deficits identified in the Four Year Budget Outlook, there are no ongoing funds available to keep the 186 filled positions through the end of the fiscal year. Delaying this action makes solving the 2013-14 budget gap even more difficult as the Outlook already assumes elimination of these positions after December 31, 2012”.
      • CAO is also recommending, supposedly as a cost-saving measure, the elimination of 50 positions in the City Attorney’s Office (specifically in the Criminal/Special Litigation branch) in response to on-going challenges of the legality of mandatory employee furloughs for certain positions in the City Attorney’s Office.
      • Viewpoints: As noted in a recent LA Times story, the bulk of these 208 positions are civilian administrative employees in the LAPD. While I don’t doubt the need for these types of positions, every City Department, including LAPD and LAFD, must learn to live within its adopted budget, especially during these next few lean years. If Department General Managers, including the Police and Fire Chiefs, can’t manage their Departments given annual budget constraints and staffing allocations then they should step aside (or be removed) and replaced with someone who is up to the task.

Tuesday, October 30:

  • County Board of Supervisors (9:30 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • Item 9 (Council File 13-1100-S2)
      • Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Council Committee Report relative to a proposed ballot measure to raise $39 dollars per parcel for city parks and park programs.
      • Per the report, and pending City Attorney’s drafting of the appropriate resolution, the proposed measure could be on the ballot for the March 5, 2013 election.
    • Item 12 (Council File 13-1100-S4)
      • Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Council Committee Report relative to a proposed ballot measure to increase the documentary transfer tax through the implementation of a new tiered tax structure.
      • Per a CAO/CLA joint report (.pdf) the proposed tiered tax structure would be a “progressive tax structure based on sales price (rates ranging from $2.25 to $9.00 per $1,000 of the sale price)” that would “generate between $76.1 million and $82.4 million in additional revenues, while reducing property sales by 283 transactions per year”, which is only a 1% reduction in annual property sales. The City’s current documentary transfer tax rate is $4.50 per $1,000 of the sale price.
      • Per the report, and pending City Attorney’s drafting of the appropriate ordinance and resolution, the proposed measure could be on the ballot for the March 5, 2013 election.
    • Item 20 (Council File 12-0011-S27)
      • Continued consideration of a motion to transfer $250,000 from the CD 4 portion of the Street Furniture Revenue Fund to the CD 4 office salaries account to pay for CD 4 Council Office staff salaries.
      • The motion states that “there is a great need for additional Council staff to focus on transit related projects, sidewalk projects, curb / sidewalk improvements, beautification projects needed to improve conditions for public transit patrons, and all expenses relating or incidental thereto in Council District 4”.
      • Viewpoints: As I’ve previously noted, Street Furniture Revenue Funds must be used for the specific purposes identified in Los Angeles Administrative Code Section 5.121.7, which includes improvements to public streets, public transit systems, and the beautification of public right-of-ways. These purposes do not explicitly include the funding of general staff salaries nor funding for "general services" to the community. Also, as I noted the last time CD 4 raided the Street Furniture Revenue Fund to pay for staff salaries, if these funds are transferred into the CD 4's general salary account then they absolutely cannot be used "for any aspect of efforts" as the Motion states as these funds will be only be available to pay for Council staff salaries.
    • Item 21 (Council File 13-1100-S5)
      • Motion (.pdf) relative to a proposed ballot measure to change the City Charter in order to permit the CLA (which works for, and reports to, the City Council) to employ its own attorneys.
      • The motion states that (emphasis mine) “Our budgetary limitations have stretched the abilities of the City Attorney to provide legal services in a variety of areas while still maintaining a focus on public safety. In the case of the City Attorney's role as advisor to the City Council, this has resulted in the delay of many key ordinances which the Council is waiting to adopt as well as in other legal services necessary for the Council to proceed with its duties and responsibilities”.
      • Per the motion, and pending City Attorney’s drafting of the appropriate ordinance and resolution, the proposed measure could be on the ballot for the March 5, 2013 election.
      • Viewpoints: If its just an issue of staffing, then the City Council could easily fix the situation by providing the the City Attorney with more funding. Of course, this issue isn’t so much about funding and staffing issues at the City Attorney’s Office as it is about the Council attempting to chip away at the authority and independence of the City Attorney’s Office.

Wednesday, October 31:

  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • No items of note.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Public Square: October 15–17, 2012

A brief look at items of interest to Hollywood residents that are on upcoming agendas at City Council, City Council Committees, Neighborhood Councils, various City Boards and Commissions, and County Board of Supervisors. LA City Agendas can be found here and LA County Board agendas can be found here.

As always, the meeting times, locations, and agendas are subject to change, so be sure to check and confirm.

Monday, October 15:

  • Budget and Finance Council Committee (2:00 PM)
    • Item 5 (Council File 12-0600-S164)
      • City Controller report (.pdf) relative to the Preliminary Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2011-12, which provides detailed information regarding fiscal year-end closing results for the City’s Reserve Fund along with the status of the City’ General Fund and the City’s bonded indebtedness.
      • Viewpoints: I generally wouldn’t highlight this type of report, but I think its important to note it only because during this Mayoral election season we’re going to hear a lot a talk about how the City is about to go bankrupt. It isn’t. Not yet at least. The City does face some long term challenges (revenues, services, pensions, job growth, etc.) but its finances, and financial management, are relatively stable.
  • East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Community Forum & Board Meeting (6:30 PM)
    • Agenda not yet available on the web. Check here for the Agenda. 
      • Meeting will be held at L.A. City College (855 North Vermont Avenue) in the Faculty & Staff Center.
  • Hollywood United Neighborhood Council Board (6:30 PM)
    • Agenda (.pdf).
      • Meeting will be held at Seventh-day Adventist Church of Hollywood (1711 North Van Ness Avenue).
    • Item 7 (Board Nominations)
      • Nominations for four vacant Board seats.

Tuesday, October 16:

  • County Board of Supervisors (9:30 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • Planning and Land Use Management Council Committee (2:30 PM)
  • Personnel and Animal Welfare Council Committee (3:00 PM)
    • Item 3 (Council File 12-0307-S3)
      • City Attorney Report and Ordinance (.pdf) to amend the Los Angeles Municipal Code’s section on Equine License Fees, in order to create a multi-year licensing option with a discounted fee schedule for multi-year registrations.
      • The Equine License Fee is $14. If this proposed ordinance is approved, horse owners would receive a discount of 10% for one year, 20% for two years, 30% for three years, 40% for four years, and 50% for five years.
      • Viewpoints: The fee per horse is only $14, but apparently the City is willing to give horse owners a 10% discount simply for registering their horse for one year. Yes, you read that right: A discount just for registering their horse, which they are already legally required to do, for one year. Does the City think that the extra $1.40 discount will get people to rush and register their horses? Really? It is this type of small silly stuff that is a clear sign that the City’s elected officials have their priorities all screwed up. What a waste of City staff time and resources.
  • Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council Board (7:30 PM)
    • Agenda (.pdf)
      • Meeting will be held at the Los Feliz Community Police Center (1965 North Hillhurst Avenue) in the second floor meeting room.
    • Item 5B (Rules And Elections)
      • Continued discussion of the proposed change of the official name of the Neighborhood Council from “Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council” to “Los Feliz Neighborhood Council”.

Wednesday, October 17:

  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • No items of note.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Public Square: September 24–26, 2012

A brief look at items of interest to Hollywood residents that are on upcoming agendas at City Council, City Council Committees, Neighborhood Councils, various City Boards and Commissions, and County Board of Supervisors. LA City Agendas can be found here and LA County Board agendas can be found here.

As always, the meeting times, locations, and agendas are subject to change, so be sure to check and confirm.

Monday, September 24:

  • Budget and Finance Council Committee (2:00 PM)
    • Item 6 (Council File 12-1436)
      • Motion instructing the CLA to work with various Department to implement a searchable database of names of individuals owed a refund for parking violation citations refunds, but who have not collected it, so those individuals can collect the refund owed to them by the City.
      • Viewpoints: Good idea, but the thinking here is too small. Why not expand this idea to create a master database of all refunds owed to all individuals regardless of what type of fine they originally received. This is a good, smart move, and should just be limited it to refunds of parking citations.
  • Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council Board Meeting (6:15 PM)
    • Agenda
      • Meeting will be held at the Hollywood City Hall (6501 Fountain Avenue) in the Large Conference Room.
    • Item 7.B.V.A (Planning Committee Report/Presentation)
      • Motion from the Planning Committee recommending that the Board not support a request for a zone change for a proposed 76-unit residential development project at 1411 Highland Avenue (CPC-2012-2405-VZC-ZAA-SPR), “as this location on a major commercial corridor requires a commercial component in order to meet the findings for good planning practice”.
      • Backstory: In 2006 the City approved the development of a mixed-use residential commercial, with 56 residential units and approximately 6,800 sqft of commercial space, at this site (Council File 05-2628). The owner of the site is now proposing a change in those approved entitlements and a revision of the project in order to develop a 76-unit residential-only project.

Tuesday, September 25:

  • County Board of Supervisors (9:30 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • Item 6 (Council File 10-1942)
      • Public Hearing of Protests relative to the proposed vacation of a public alley located just west of Vine Street and between Santa Monica Boulevard and Eleanor Avenue.
      • Backstory: The City Council approved this alley vacation on August 15th. They did so even though The Bureau of Engineering recommended (.pdf) that the vacation be denied because the proposed vacation is not in conformance with elements of the City’s General Plan (i.e. the Hollywood Community Plan and the General Plan Transportation Element) and “the purpose of the vacation request is to provide a private gated driveway for the petitioner's property”.
    • Item 12 (Council File 11-0305).
      • Planning and Land Use Management Council Committee report relative to the reappointment of Mr. George Hovaguimian to the City Planning Commission for the term ending June 30, 2017.
    • Items 16 & 23 (Council File 12-1504)
      • Energy and Environment Council Committee report, and Ordinance, relative to the approval of the LADWP’s Incremental Electric Rate Ordinance, which would amend existing LADWP power rates and raise those rates for the next two fiscal years.
    • Item 17 (Council File 12-0967)
      • Planning and Land Use Management Council Committee report, Mitigated Negative Declaration, and related California Environmental Quality Act findings, relative to an appeal (.pdf) from a determination of the City Planning Commission to approve a Mitigated Negative Declaration in connection with a project proposing the construction of a 49-unit mixed-use residential/commercial project at 5241-5247 West Santa Monica Boulevard.
      • The Committee report recommends that the appeal be denied and the Mitigated Negative Declaration be adopted and approved.

Wednesday, September 26:

  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • The City Council is on recess on Wednesday September 26th for the Yom Kippur Holiday.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Public Square: September 17–19, 2012

A brief look at items of interest to Hollywood residents that are on upcoming agendas at City Council, City Council Committees, Neighborhood Councils, various City Boards and Commissions, and County Board of Supervisors. LA City Agendas can be found here and LA County Board agendas can be found here.

As always, the meeting times, locations, and agendas are subject to change, so be sure to check and confirm.

Monday, September 17:

  • East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Community Forum & Board Meeting (6:30 PM)
    • Agenda (.pdf)
      • Meeting will be held at L.A. City College (855 North Vermont Avenue) in the Faculty & Staff Center.

Tuesday, September 18:

  • County Board of Supervisors (9:30 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • Planning and Land Use Management Council Committee (2:30 PM)
    • Item 1 (Council File 11-0305)
      • Communication from the Mayor (.pdf) relative to the reappointment of Mr. George Hovaguimian to the City Planning Commission for the term ending June 30, 2017.
  • Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council Board (8:00 PM)
    • Agenda (.pdf)
      • Meeting will be held at the Los Feliz Community Police Center (1965 North Hillhurst Avenue) in the second floor meeting room.
    • Item 9A (Green & Neighborhood Improvement Committees)
      • Motion to approve a board resolution stating that the Neighborhood Council supports increasing green space and the addition of a recreation center in Los Feliz.
    • Item 10B (Rules And Elections)
      • Motion to consider changing the official name of the Neighborhood Council from “Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council” to “Los Feliz Neighborhood Council”.

Wednesday, September 19:

  • City Council (10:00 AM)
    • No items of note.
  • Energy and Environment Council Committee (2:00 PM)
    • Item 1 (Council File 12-1504)
      • LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners report and Resolution (.pdf), and joint CAO, CLA, and DWP Office of Public Accountability (Ratepayer Advocate) communication relative to LADWP’s Incremental Electric Rate Ordinance.
      • Per the report, “Approximately 76 percent of all residential customers will see an annual average rate increase less than or equal to the system average of 5.5 percent over the next two fiscal years” and residential customers “who consume four times the monthly system average (roughly 2,000 kWh) will see an increase of 8.1 percent…”.
  • Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Board Meeting (6:30 PM)
    • Agenda (.pdf)
      • Meeting will be held at the Women's Club of Hollywood (1749 North La Brea Avenue).

Saturday, September 15, 2012

LA City Elections 2013: Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti Gives First Major “Policy” Speech on his Vision for Los Angeles

This past Thursday Councilmember Eric Garcetti gave what LA Observed called “his first major speech as a candidate for mayor” at Los Angeles City College in East Hollywood.

The LA Times’s take (emphasis mine):

In one of the first major policy speeches in a mayoral campaign that so far has been dominated by fundraising pitches, Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti laid out a plan to create jobs and reform a City Hall system he called "broken."

[snip]

Speaking to a crowd of about 200 at Los Angeles City College on Thursday, Garcetti pledged to bring computer programming classes to schools and to create an office that would partner with universities to encourage entrepreneurial graduates to stay in the city.

And here’s the report from the LA Weekly (emphasis mine):

Garcetti spoke in broad themes, and offered relatively little in the way of concrete proposals. He did, however, signal that he will distance himself from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, saying that he will force all of the mayor's department heads to reapply for their jobs.

[snip]

Garcetti vowed to evaluate City Hall staffers based on a concrete metric: "the number of jobs you create." He did not, however, give a jobs figure by which his own performance could be judged.

He also did not say how he would address the city's persistent deficits, saying only that the debate about cuts and tax increases is "wrong."

So Garcetti has a vision. His vision is nice and all - full of the requisite platitudes and promises – but essentially no different than what has been said by the other candidates for Mayor. So where is Garcetti’s actual plan? You know: The set of policies and initiatives that he would fund and implement as Mayor in order to create jobs, reform City Hall, and do all those other things he says he wants to do. Yes it is early in the race, but it is never too early for candidates to lay out where they stand, where they want to go, and how they intend to get there. Having a vision is great, but having a plan is better.

The Primary Nominating Election for Mayor will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.


Postscript: Don’t bother checking Garcetti’s campaign website for any insight on what he plans to do as the website does not have “policy”, “platform”, or “issues” pages, so there is nothing there to give you any real indication on how he plans to address the challenges facing Los Angeles.