LA WATCHDOG - My recommendations are influenced by my fiscal conservatism (hate deficits, debt, deferred maintenance, and unfunded pension liabilities) and my lack of trust in our elected officials, especially when it comes to budgets. They place their interests and those of the public sector unions ahead of what is best for Angelenos and Californians. I have a bias against measures that are placed on the ballot at the last minute, are too complex, and lack of transparency, public input, and adequate time to analyze the impact of such measures. I support efficient delivery of services and public safety (including limited unarmed response), key responsibilities of the City, County, and State governments.
Measure HLA. NO. City Mobility Plan. This City’s Mobility Plan and this special interest ballot measure does not address the repair and maintenance of our 6,500 miles of streets, our 10,750 miles of sidewalks, and our 900 miles of alleyways. According to the City Administrative Officer, it is not affordable given its projected budget deficit of $400 million and the $2.5 billion cost over the next ten years. It will divert resources from the City’s Pavement Preservation Program and increase the deferred maintenance liability.
Proposition 1. NO. $6.4 Billion Bonds for Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Homeless. This 65,000-word, 69-page measure was placed on the ballot by our elected officials who occupy Sacramento. Without doubt, there are many loopholes for our politicians to drive a convoy of trucks through. It diverts precious mental health dollars. And it adds to the $80 billion of State debt and the many hundreds of billions in unfunded pension and other retirement liabilities that we are dumping on the next generations of Californians. This is better known as Intergenerational Theft.
District Attorney. Jeff Chemerinsky. He has the best chance of beating current District Attorney George Gascon in a runoff election. As an experienced prosecutor with the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, he has never lost a case. He works well with law enforcement but recognizes the need for reform in law enforcement, the County jails, and juvenile detention centers. Importantly, he has an excellent relationship with Hydee Feldstein Soto, the Los Angeles City Attorney, who has also endorsed him. Anybody but George Cascon.
US Senator. Adam Schiff. Anybody but Steve Garvey who is a spoiler, has no platform, and whose personal life leaves much to be desired.
US House of Representatives. 30th District. Nick Melvoin. We need new young representatives in Washington who are not tainted by their experience in Sacramento. Fiscally responsible and understands the need for educational reform given his experience on the Board of LAUSD.
Republican Presidential Primary. Nikki Haley. Send Donald Trump a message.
Los Angeles City Council
Council District 2. Adrin Nazarian. He understands his district and the City because of experience as a staffer at City Hall for Tom LaBonge, the king of constituent services, and Paul Krekorian, the former chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. Also, a respected member of the State Assembly.
Council District 4. Ethan Weaver. As a deputy city attorney and a neighborhood prosecutor, he understands the importance of our neighborhoods, public safety, and constituent services. He is a supporter of the Police and Fire Departments and the removal of homeless encampments that are near our schools, parks, and libraries. His opponent, an extreme left wing idealogue and a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, wants to defund the police and densify our neighborhoods. She has poor record for constituent services.
Council District 6. Imelda Padilla. While the jury is still out on this recently elected member of the City Council, she understands constituent services. There are no other qualified opponents.
Council District 8. Marqueece Harris-Dawson. This fiscally irresponsible councilman has no meaningful opponents.
Council District 10. Grace Yoo. She is a long-time advocate for ethics reform and has an excellent understanding of the needs of her district. She is conversant with the City’s budget and finances, Anybody but Assemblyman Reggie Sawyer-Jones.
Council District 12. John Lee. While he has his issues, he brings a different perspective to the City Council, especially as it relates to the budget and the City’s finances.
Council District 14. Wendy Carillo. Anybody but Kevin deLeon. Miguel Santiago is owned by the public sector given their overly generous independent contributions supporting his candidacy.
Judges of the Superior Court
A trustworthy and knowledgeable friend supplied the following recommendations except for one candidate.
Office No. 12. Judge Lynn Olson
Office No. 39. Steve Napolitano
Office No. 48. Renee Rose
Office No. 93. Victor Avila
Office No. 97. Sharon Ransom
Office No. 115. Keith Koyano
Office No. 124. Kimberly Repecka. She is challenging a sitting judge, Emily Spears, who both the Met News and the LA Times agree (strangely) is unfit for the job. Rare to see anyone with a valid challenge to a sitting judge, but perhaps this will serve as a lesson to Spears and others like her.
Office No. 130. Leslie Gutierrez
Office No. 135. Steven Mac
Office No. 137. Tracey Blount
County Board of Supervisors
Recommendations are work in progress. The major issues facing the Board of Supervisors are operational. Its delivery of services leaves much to be desired, especially for homeless services, the Men’s Central Jail, and juvenile detention centers. There is also the issue of reform: expanding the size of the Board and the need for an elected Chief Executive Officer.
Los Angeles Unified School District
Recommendations are work in progress. The major issues facing the Board are the need to improve the education of its students, many of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds, charter schools, the maintenance of its facilities, its Structural Deficit, its unfunded pension and other retirement liabilities, and the upcoming requests for tax increases.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].)