LA OBSERVED - Nice to see Mayor Eric Garcetti focus on a back-to-basics approach to city governance in last night's address, especially as it relates to business and the economy. Another good sign was a low-key inauguration ceremony that fit well with Garcetti's restrained style, not to mention a city that's still in recovery mode from the recession.
Of course, there's no way to know how things will play out - on the first day of a new job, we all tend to look at the bright side. Then reality comes into focus. In LA's case, reality is a hacked-up government that desperately needs effective leadership. Some areas to keep an eye on in the opening months:
Growth: As we saw with the monstrous Casden mixed-use proposal at Sepulveda and Pico (significantly downsized last week after heated opposition), developers are anxious to find out what they're able to get away with under the Villaraigosa-led disaster known as "smart growth." Not to belabor the obvious, but developers do not care about making LA a more livable city - they care about making money.
Balancing priorities: Making it easier for businesses to get past the city's burdensome permit process is a no-brainer, but the real trick is streamlining the system while not rubber-stamping developments that require real scrutiny.
Business taxes: The issue is not so much eliminating them (a tough fiscal proposition), but making the city's overall tax code more coherent. And before bringing down any tax in the name of a friendlier business climate, city officials must figure out how to recoup the resulting lost revenue - and make no mistake, there will be lost revenue. (Read the rest … including some thoughts on job creation … here)
Vol 11 Issue 53
Pub: July 2, 2013