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NEWS FLASH: Nick Patsaouras Will Run for City Controller

Nick Patsaouras, president of the DWP Board of Commissioners and a long-time watchdog on public spending, disclosed Monday that he will run for City Controller in the March 3 primary.


Patsaouras, who played a key role in the Villaragosa Administration keeping costs under control and overseeing construction of the new LAPD Headquarters as well as performing similar roles for the County-USC Medical Center and Harbor-UCLA Hospital, will challenge Councilwoman Wendy Greuel for Controller for the right to succeed Laura Chick, who is termed out.

In recent months, Patsaouras has emerged as an advocate for DWP ratepayers and championed creation of an office within the utility specifically to serve as the equivalent of an ombudsman or inspector general.

“I don’t believe in coronations. We need to discuss the issues,” he said a phone interview.

“We need someone in the Controller’s Office who has the experience, technical knowledge and ability to make sure we’re using the best management practices and look after the public’s money..

“We have to think about our kids and the future of the city.”

Greuel, a two-term councilwoman from the East Valley, appeared to be headed towards an easy primary victory without significant opposition until Patsaouras entered the race.

His decision to run for controller caught City Hall insiders by surprise.

“There’s a lot of very surprised people tonight — especially Wendy Greuel,” said one source. “This is not the way it’s supposed to work in LA nowadays. Wendy and Nick travel in the same circles and have many of the same friends and political allies.  Given Nick’s personality, this will be a helluva of a race.”

A Greek immigrant who worked his way through community college and CSUN, he brings 30 years of experience in key roles in city government from the Tom Bradley years through to today.

He runs a successful electrical engineering company and is president of Polis Builders, a developer of mixed use projects.

Patsaouras was a key figure in the MTA and its predecessor transportation agencies and helped drive the subway and light rail projects. The Patsaouras Transit Plaza near Union Station is named in his honor.

He and his wife Sylvia are long-time residents of the Valley and have two grown children.

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14 Responses to NEWS FLASH: Nick Patsaouras Will Run for City Controller

  1. Jack Humphreville says:

    What a great day for Los Angeles. Integrity, practical experience, common sense, years of dedicated public service. A Tax Payers Advocate!

  2. meterman says:

    At last the bright light at the end of our city tunnel. He will bring experience, perseverance, tenacity in oversight for the City of Los Angeles. Thrilled to see him step up and block the Mayor and Wendy Greuel’s potential slam dunk for city control. The sad item will be the absence of ratepayer oversight on the DWP Board of Commissioners. You have my vote Nick.

  3. Silver Lake Resident says:

    Are you kidding? He’s a complete has been with a track record of protecting traditional city hall special interests. You mean to tell me our city can’t do better than someone who’s been part of the problem for decades?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, Wendy has actually been part of the problem for decades. She just had you all fooled for a few minutes.
    Now she will have to work especially hard to fake her opposition to that Home Depot over there.
    Nothing is worse than an uncontested race unless you have a perfect candidate. We’ve not seen a perfect candidate in Los Angeles in forever. I’ll keep my opinions to myself.
    Now Ron Kaye would make the perfect elected of some sort. What office would you like?
    Nick has a much better chance of beating Wendy than that silly Caruso has of beating the mayor. That will never, ever happen.
    So where will Laura go?
    Council. Council. Council. We NEED her.

  5. meterman says:

    Silver Lake Resident: What have you done lately for the city except complain? Nick Patsaouras at least steps up for the taxpayers more than most bureaucrats.

  6. Nick is a good man and a real American success story. He came here from Greece as a young man and worked his way through Valley College (my cousins went to school with him and he would visit their home) and CSUN becoming a very succesful engineer. Along the way he has given tremendous time as a civic leader having served many years at the RTD/MTA and now the DWP. Nick and his wife Sylvia have done many good things for the community.
    It’s true he is an insider and it’s true that Wendy is a nice person. However I think we need to shake up some of the status quo with how politics have been done in LA the last 5-10 years and Nick could be one person to do that.
    Kind of screws up Laura Chick’s plans to run for CD2 though.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Go, Nick, Go!!!
    And Ron, believe me that the communities are organizing!!! Slowly but surely, the electorate is awakening.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hate to break it to you, but the electorate is not awakening. They have too many other worries right now. People in the entire nation are economically wounded. There is a long, drawn out presidential election that is draining everybody’s energy, patience and time. The average Los Angeles resident is clueless about what is going on within the city and can’t even figure out how to vote on the confusing props. If they don’t even know how the city really operates, they can’t possibly jump on board with or oppose candidates for city controller. Do any of you realize what a small, small, small majority of voters you are? If you are here, you are either a Valley activist or a Daily News readin’ hardcore Republican. No matter how important you are, the tone of the nation is having a serious effect on the tone of our city.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We can save millions within city hall. We need you Nick.

  10. IN Regards to post: By Anonymous on October 28, 2008 1:12 AM
    Well, Wendy has actually been part of the problem for decades. She just had you all fooled for a few minutes.
    I say “AMEN BROTHER”!
    Lets get Nick in there, his history is being a WATCHDOG! He even has a Bust of his head dedicated to him. He is the Man, Greuel doesn’t need rewarded for causing the city to go BANKRUPT. Her misusage of 5 million dollars for special election for Prop “S”. Yea that is the kind of controller we want, one who tells you she will discount your tax and actually, there was not a legal tax to pay.
    Go nick Go! I have been a Victim of Greuel’s misuage of power, I am hoping your not next!
    Charles Peyton

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for the last minute post, but I’m wondering, how can the same person be Controller and also head of the DWP board?
    Isn’t that rather a conflict of interest?

  12. Awsome content. Bookmarked for future referrence

  13. סמס says:

    Always a pleasure reading a post of yours.

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