News Column

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Won't Second Guess Successor

Jan 14, 2013

Rick Orlov

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

As he looks ahead to life outside of politics -- even if it will be temporary -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is making himself one promise: Not to second guess what the next mayor does.

"I don't know if I will ever do anything more in public service," Villaraigosa said in a recent interview. "I hope I do, but I know there will never be another job like this.

"I do know I won't be like (former Mayor Richard) Riordan and comment on everything they do. I will be supportive of whoever the next mayor is."

Riordan and Villaraigosa have had an on-again, off-again relationship.

Villaraigosa received Riordan's endorsement in his runs for mayor and re-election, but Riordan has been like a shadow over the administration, offering frequent criticisms including his call for the city to declare bankruptcy and, more recently, his failed pension reform proposal.

And, Villaraigosa is still sensitive to criticism of his work habits.

During his recent trip to Latin America, Villaraigosa said he was in constant touch with City Hall over issues and, toward the end of his trip, in trying to resolve the strike at the Port of Los Angeles.

"I was up 62 hours straight," Villaraigosa said. "I was on the phone all the time and then, when I got back, I became involved immediately in the talks and was involved for 30 hours straight."

Eyes on the Board of Supervisors prize In this land of perpetual elections, candidates are already lining up for 2014 and the two open seats on the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina are being forced out due to term limits and the list of potential candidates has already started.

Former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl announced she is planning to run for Yaroslavsky's seat, but that could be a crowded field depending on what happens in the city elections this spring and what officials might want to move up to the county level.

Molina's seat drew a high-profile prospect last week with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stepping down from her Cabinet post to prepare to run for the Molina seat.

Other potential candidates include former Sen. Gloria Romero -- who could have a difficult time with labor because of her support for Proposition 32 on last November's ballot -- and Assembly Speaker John Perez.

Perez has strong labor ties and he also is the cousin of Villaraigosa, who would be expected to support him.

Broken-parking meter battle brewing The Los Angeles city plan to issue tickets to people even at meters that are broken has drawn ridicule and anger across the state.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Burbank, introduced a measure last week that would prohibit the practice and give a small break to motorists.

"It's just wrong for cities to ticket people who want to park at a meter that the city has failed to fix or to force a motorist to drive around or park in a paid lot when a perfectly good spot on the street is available," Gatto said.

City traffic officials said it is not a major problem with the new digital meters that send in messages when there is a problem and crews are able to fix them quickly.



Source: (c)2013 the Daily News (Los Angeles). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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