EDITOR’S NOTE: In a letter Thursday to City Council members (antonio-veto.pdf), Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spelled out his reasons for vetoing a March 8 ballot measure that would give the Council the power to fire DWP Commission members and the General Manager. He declared his support for a separate measure creating the Office of Public Accountability/Rate Payer Advocate with scaled down authority and urged the Council to examine the governance structure of the DWP, Harbor and Airport departments.
When she is bad, she is very, very bad. But when Jan Perry is good, she is very, very good — the best of the lot.
On Friday, Perry was great.
With a mix of sarcasm and irony, Perry smiled all the way as she mocked her colleagues for knuckling under to intimidation DWP union bully Brian D’Arcy and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the question of overriding the veto of the March 8 ballot measure that would give the City Council the power to fire the DWP general manager and commissioners.
Last week, the measure passed by a 10-1 vote but within hours the mayor vetoed it with a brief statement that said the DWP should not be singled out for reform.
It is any wonder since he has destroyed its credibility with huge rate hike demands while looting its funding with massive increases in transfers of hundreds of millions of dollars to the general fund and creating chaos in policy and management by going through six GMs in six years.
Perry began by looking out into the audience at D’Arcy, who like his pal the mayor opposes any interference with the IBEW boss’ ability to run the municipal utility for the benefit of his members and their astronomical salaries and benefits and to use their dues to make and break city officials.
“In the interest of being diplomatic, gsod morning, Brian, good morning. Let’s give him a hand, friend of most,” she said with the smile of angel.
She had a little fun noting that as the fiercest fighter for DWP reforms, D’Arcy failed to invite her to his Christmas party Thursday night.
A little later, she had some sport with presiding officer Dennis Zine — who insiders say has rolled over to the pressure in his ambition to get IBEW support in his bid for higher office — pressure Bill Rosendahl declared he was not giving into despite a browbeating for an hour by the mayor himself.
“I was looking back over the 10 votes we had and I was trying to figure out where those two votes went, and I realized one of them was you. You went away,” Perry said.
“We have eight today. We had 10 the other day I say where did you go, Mr. Zine and why?”
Rather than answer, Zine — well known by his colleagues as an untrustworthy ally — bantered stupidly and finally said:
“Miss Perry, let me inform you are accusing me of something prior to the act.”
The vote to override the veto was put off until next Wednesday when all 15 members — not just the 12 present Friday — are scheduled to attend the Council meeting.