EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published in the North Valley Reporter.
F or better or worse,
is in the hands of Austin Beutner, a Wall Street wizard who made his
taking over distressed companies and bringing them back to life.
or better or worse,the fate of
DWP General Manager and de facto mayor in charge of a dozen key
He is a
man who says the past doesn’t matter, it’s what you’re doing now to solve
problems that count. Yet, the past corruption at the DWP, a renegade utility
that has operated outside of public control, and the long-time overspending
throughout city government haunt his every move.
clubs, drinking on the job, theft at the DWP and our elected officials
commitment to protecting city workers while cutting services and squeezing more
money out of the public – Beutner seems powerless and not very interested in
delving deeply into what’s broken, or carrying out the dramatic changes needed
to turn LA around.
isn’t like anything Beutner has ever faced before. He has no political experience nor shown any real
sense of the understanding that government isn’t just a business.
everything he’s done in his six months of building his power base at
Beutner seems to think the public is like customers and the interests he
align are the politicians, managers and unions.
result is its pretty much business as usual at City Hall.
The mayor’s budget just adopted by the City
Council is no different than the budget last year. It is based on
projections; cuts that are unlikely to achieve expected results in a
manner, the possible sale of parking lots and meters and heavy
as Beutner is, there are no indications that his plan to get the city
the financial crisis is any different than it has been for several
Survive the next month, the next quarter, the next year and hope for an
miracle. Maybe it will happen but few believe the economy will rebound
soon, especially LA with high unemployment and soaring poverty rates.
change is to come, it is going to take a massive grassroots rebellion.
new leaders, a new vision and a new deal for the public and city
provide stability for business to grow, security of workers and
Clean Sweep Campaign 2011 (lacleansweep.
com) is trying to do just that by lining up challengers for the
even-numbered Council seats on the ballot next March. Success depends on
ordinary citizens getting involved and contributing what they can. This
city where we live and work. Our futures depend on it.