Thu, Jun

Herb Wesson: The Man Who Would be Mayor


THE VIEW FROM MID CITY--Herb Wesson, the man who would be king, recently appointed himself Councilman of District 7 in the San Fernando Valley (17 miles north of his home in CD10) after Councilman Felipe Fuentes stepped down to become a lobbyist for the Associated General Contractors of California. Wesson loves to bend rules but may have gone too far with this one. 

A CityWatch article by Eric and Joshua Preven reports that "according to Section 407, [of the City Charter] only individuals who live in the district are eligible to fill the seat. The Charter also makes clear that appointments are not made by the Mayor or Council President but by the Council as a whole." 

Typically someone from the chief legislative analysts office would step in to run things until the March election but ever mindful of what it takes to "move on up" Herb grabbed control of the district rather than follow the City Charter requirements. Why? Doesn't he have enough responsibilities handling Council District 10 AND Council President? 

One scenario has it that when and if Garcetti is re-elected he may leave midterm in 2018 to run for Governor. In this case, the Council President (Wesson) steps in to complete the term. Becoming mayor in this easy slide to power puts him in a very favorable position to run for re-election as an incumbent mayor. Incumbents are typically difficult to unseat. Herb is very good at avoiding truly competitive elections. So this little power grab is seen by some as a way to ingratiate himself with the valley folk in preparation for an eventual run at Mayor when he fights for a second term. Why else would he want the job? Well ... maybe it's because he needs the money. 

Daniel Guss writes in CityWatch about Wesson's inability to meet his mortgage obligations many times over. The article clearly exposes a critical weakness in Wesson's thinking and a financial management style that raises serious concerns about his ability to control the city. 

With one of the top government salaries in the country and income from rental property why can't he make his mortgages? Why does he keep defaulting and more importantly, who keeps bailing him out? 

It appears as if one of his favorite political strategies has been the concept of being “beholding”. If he is considered a top power player in our city, isn't it important for us to know if he is beholding to anyone? 

Even better why not just start playing by the rules and follow the City Charter and let a new leader be legally appointed, take a step back and start focusing on his own district.   He could start by visiting small local businesses and asking what he could do to help. Something he hasn't done in 8 years in the district.


(Dianne V. Lawrence Is publisher and editor of THE NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS … founded in 2008 to cover the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10. She is an important voice in her community and will soon help launch a new online section in CityWatch: Neighborhood Politics.)




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