Op-Ed: How to reform L.A. City Hall to avoid future corruption and scandal
A proposal has been floated on City Council for the first time in years: a City Hall run by a board that is entirely independent of the elected council. The City Council, however, is reluctant to let go of its monopoly on making decisions. With the backing of the mayor, who has a very close alliance with Councilman Mitch Englander, the idea has attracted two City Council members, former Councilman Gil Cedillo, and Councilman Jan Perry.
The only problem is that it is neither fair nor democratic. In fact, this system is far less democratic than if the City Council was able to replace elected City Hall officials with people who had no political connections or ties.
Why is it that we are so reluctant to reform the City Hall?
I don’t have answers. I just know that the system is broken and we need to fix it.
I’ve been a journalist writing about L.A. politics for many years. These days, I help manage a blog, [email protected], at the Times, and write for the Times Opinionator. I’m a native Angeleno, born and bred in Norwalk, and I love it here.
L.A. City Hall has become the poster child for our city’s broken politics, under the leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mitch Englander and Councilman Gil Cedillo.
The city is still waiting for the results of a federal audit called “Audit of the Audit” of City Hall and its staff, which was ordered by Garcetti in January.
The result is expected by the end of April.
It should be a disaster of epic proportions.
The audit report is a damning indictment of Garcetti, Englander and Cedillo, who were all put in place by Garcetti’s predecessor, Antonio Villaraigosa. The mayor had a close friendship with Villaraig