RantZ and RaveZ - Some members of the Los Angeles City Council have developed a new form of municipal governance which I refer to as “The Crazy Train” method of establishing policies and delivering services to the people of Los Angeles.
Keep in mind that L.A. Councilmembers are the highest paid in the country with an annual salary of $218,328 as of 2022 in addition to many job perks and a host of benefits. Job benefits such as a new car, national and world-wide travel, conventions in regions around the country, invitations to VIP events and a host of other job perks.
Councilmembers set the local ordinances and establish the quality of life for the people of Los Angeles including residents, business and visitors. The traditional suit and tie councilmembers have been joined by a new group of councilmembers known as the “Crazy Train” representatives. They have demonstrated by their demeanor, public comments, actions and off the wall votes that they are out of touch with reality in a variety of categories with voters, other members of the council and elected officials in general who govern Los Angeles and beyond. It is a situation that has caused the city’s work force to have hundreds of vacancies in most departments which is causing the tax-paying public to become victims of an ineffective and negligent government that fails to move projects forward and be responsive to the basic needs of residents, business owners and visitors throughout Los Angeles.
The roster of the current 14 of 15 councilmembers is as follows: Paul Krekorian, Curren Price, Eunisses Hernandez, Bob Blumenfield, Nithya Raman, Katy Young Yaroslavsky, Monica Rodriguez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Heather Hutt, Traci Park, John Lee, Hugo Soto-Martinez, Kevin de León and Tim McOsker.
The “Crazy Train” members are identified by various sources as Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Hugo Soto-Martinez. Other possible “Crazy Train” council members are only marginal at this time and not included in the count. If they cross the “track” and board the “Crazy Train” you will be informed.
An example of what the “Crazy Train” councilmembers believe and promote is the call to Defund the Police Department and direct that uniform LAPD officers surrender their weapon when at city hall while on duty protecting council chambers and those in attendance at council meetings.
Another example is the call to police to provide extra patrol in the area where a private car with mechanical problems connected to a “Crazy Train” council office was left parked in a neighborhood.
A recent example of comments by two “Crazy Train” councilmembers followed the killing of a 48-year-old man who was fatally stabbed in the process of stealing a Catalytic Converter from a motorist’s vehicle parked at his residence. While this incident occurred out of Los Angeles, it is reflective of thefts inside the communities of Los Angeles. Four “Crazy Train” councilmembers voted against the establishment of a $1,000 fine for being in possession of a Catalytic Converter without proof of ownership. For the record, while I don’t condone the killing of a person stealing a Catalytic Converter, I do support the arrest of a person in possession of a stolen Converter or engaged in other sorts of illegal activity. Such as Robbery, Burglary, GTA and a host of other crimes as defined in the California Penal Code and other California laws designed to keep people safe. One “Crazy Train” councilmember recently blamed car manufacturers for making Catalytic Converters TO EASY TO STEAL. For those of you not familiar with the Converters, they are attached under the vehicle to the exhaust system. You need to get under the vehicle to get access to the device. Not what you would think is an easy task. Another “Crazy Train” councilmember stated the ordinance is a costly one for the city and that “It will lead to more cases for the city attorney.” The four “Crazy Train” councilmembers appear to be more concerned about suspects that steal Converters than victims of the thefts. How many of you have had your Converter stolen? Think how much it cost you to replace if you could find one. With thousands of Converters stolen in Los Angeles annually, the cost to the victim is in the thousands of dollars in addition to not having the use your vehicle to go to work, school or other activities.
To not support the Ordinance is another example of the mindset of the “Crazy Train” councilmembers who don’t care about the working people who pay the excessive taxes to live in the under-policed, Rat infested Homeless overpopulated City of Los Angeles.
Mayor Bass and the 2023-2024 City Budget
I listened to Mayor Bass present her budget to the council and Los Angeles residents. I then appeared on Spectrum TV to discuss the proposed budget. With the proposed budget totaling $13 Billion dollars and $1.3 billion dedicated to address homeless, the message was very clear. Mayor Bass wants to do whatever she can to put a shine on Los Angeles and invest wisely to improve all areas of Los Angeles. Is this possible with the members of the city council approving the budget? Will the council support additional funding for the LAPD and LAFD and other city departments? Only time will tell. I remember dealing with the annual budget when I was a member of the council. Those were interesting and exciting times in Los Angeles.
As we move forward with council budget talks, it will be interesting to watch what the members of the council do with adjusting budget allocations. Will the council support Mayor Bass with her goal of expanding the LAPD and other proposals she discussed. Will the “Crazy Train” representatives derail the mayors plan to improve living and other conditions in Los Angeles? We will see and RantZ and RaveZ will let you know what you will be in for living, working, and playing in Los Angeles.
(Dennis P. Zine is the author of RantZ and RaveZ. The column is published twice a month to keep you informed and updated of political and community activities in and around Los Angeles. Dennis is a retired member of law enforcement and the L.A. City Council. Email comments to Valley News Group at gmail.com.)