Make no mistake about it: City Hall is a closed system.
Attorney Carmen Trutanich found out how you toe the line or you get
punished. Paul Krrekorian figured out you go along to get along or you
go nowhere unless you lend your ample skills as lawyer to rationalize
the unjustified and justify the irrational. Both Trutanich and
Krekorian, like a handful of others before them, owed their elections to
grassroots community support but found you can’t get anything done
trying to do the right thing.
Like Wesson, Villaraigosa is a
former Speaker who wielded the enormous power of that position for
political advantage without regard to whether his actions were for the
public benefit or private benefits.
As mayor, he and his staff
have bullied and abused every top manager who dared to suggest that what
they were doing was not serving the public interest. Obedience became
the only real quality that was considered important.
turning his power on members of the pension boards as he previously did
the presidents of the commissions overseeing Planning and the Department
of Water — namely Jane Usher and Nick Patsaouras who told him to go to
hell — and every other commission whose members have been more quietly
Villaraigosa sacked civilian pension board president Roberta Conroy
in advance of today’s decision to lower the expected rate of return
from 8 to 7.75 percent in light of the poor investment performance and
economic troubles, a move state pension boards already have made and are
still finding it should be even lower.
The trouble the mayor has
with even a modicum of sane fiscal policy is it requires the city to
pay $27 million more to LACERS next year, adding to the expected deficit
which is rising rapidly.
His answer is the same as it has been
throughout the economic crisis: Take out more credit cards, put off
payments until he’s out office. It is nothing but a cover up of the
fundamental economic problems
Three days before she was replaced,
Conroy said she was called on the carpet and asked how she was going to
vote on lowering the pension fund’s rate of returned. “I indicated that
it would be difficult” to ignore the agency’s
actuarial firm, which concluded an 8% annual return was unrealistic, she
said. That firm warned the board that the figure may have to drop to 7.5% next year.
The mayor’s response: “This
(delay) request is completely reasonable … given our own financial situation.”
pension board member, Rick Rogers, said the mayor was hinting to other
board members what he wanted. “The message is, you follow my direction
or you’re off the board,” he said.
This has been going on throughout the Villaraigosa Administration’s time in office.
The abuse of power when power is held as closely as it it at City Hall is despotic and tyrannical.
all the good intentions of tens of thousands of engaged people in the
city, nothing will change until there is a balance of power that
restrains the greed and self-service that have become all that City Hall