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Sun, Dec

Is the Los Angeles City Council Capable of Implementing Real Reform?

LA WATCHDOG - In a word, NO.

The Los Angeles City Council approved the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee on City Governance Reform by a 10 to 1 vote, with Councilwoman Monica Rodriquez being the lone dissenter. 

This committee will be “charged with implementing reforms to increase transparency, limit corruption, and make City leadership more representative of our communities – with the aim of restoring the faith of the people of Los Angeles in their city government.” 

Reforms include “expanding the number of City Councilmembers, removing the City Councilmembers’ direct discretionary power over land use decisions in their districts, reforming City rule concerning lobbyists (as proposed by the City Ethics Commission), and establishing a truly independent redistricting commission.” 

Is the City Council capable of implementing real reform?  NO.  

According to Rodriquez, while she respects the need for greater transparency and accountability, she does not believe that the City Council will be able to police itself and make meaningful reforms based on past performances. Rather, she is calling a “truly independent process” that can recommend and implement comprehensive reform that is needed to begin the process of restoring Angelenos’ trust and faith in our corrupt City Council.   

My recommendation is for the City Council to form an independent commission headed by Controller Ron Galperin.  He knows the City inside and out, having been a member of a Neighborhood Council, having chaired the Committee on Revenue Efficiency, and having served as City Controller for the last nine years.  Most importantly, he is our most trusted elected official (that might not be saying much) and is respected by Angelenos for his direct manner, his insightful audits that were often not appreciated by the Mayor and City Council, his openness and transparency, and making tough and timely decisions on many controversial matters. 

Real reform is too important for our City to be left in the hands of the Los Angeles City Council.

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate.  He can be reached at:  [email protected].)