By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Members brave enough to stand against Ferraro included Ruth Galanter, who had authored the council recommendation that Stein be admonished, Rita Walters, Jackie Goldberg and Mike Feuer. Feuer recalled the argument of ends and means: Even if Hubbell had got the millions for the city, the way it was done was unconscionable. But Feuer was outside the ugly consensus, which oozed a stench you could cut with a cleaver, nine stories above the council chamber in City Hall East.
Now we have the prospect of the council's confirming Mayor Riordan's appointment of Ted Stein to the Harbor Commission, just as the agency moves to coordinate the execution of the $2.2 billion Alameda Corridor plans. The day after Stein's council vindication, Svorinich was appointed chair of the Alameda Corridor agency. Everyone ready for MTA II?
You may not go for Chief Bernie Parks' aggressive, flog-the-troops style, but he did the right thing when first he took office. He got cops out from behind their desks and onto the streets. Fewer papers were pushed; more bad guys got caught.
So it surprised me last week to see the chief haggling with a joint City Council committee for a multibuilding replacement that's twice the size of the LAPD's Parker Center headquarters. Figures were vague, but the new police pentagon was the heart of a $600-million-plus proposed bond issue that also included replacements for outlying stations.
Onlookers were calling the proposal "Parks Center." It seemed to me, however, that what was most wrong was not so much the egregious cost of the headquarters, but the probability that a double-size Parker Center would suck back downtown the officers Parks sent out to the field.
In one respect, the chief prepared superbly for his presentation. Parks is by far the best-dressed Los Angeles police chief of the past 30 years. Daryl Gates, in his linen-jacket-and-tie mode, looked like a second-string Palm Desert golf pro. Willie Williams, and I'm speaking as one who's been there, had that CLR - clothier of last resort - look you get when you buy your suits off the middle of the rack at the Big and Tall Guys shop.
Parks, on the other hand, always looks right. Before the council's Ad Hoc Committee on Capital Improvements, he wore a three-piece, blue-stripe outfit that was at least as elegant as the suit British Prime Minister Anthony Eden wore back when he apologized to President Eisenhower for that little Suez-invasion misunderstanding.
Sadly, however, Parks lacked Lord Eden's diplomatic skills when it came to swaying elected officialdom. It's all necessary for law enforcement, he bluntly said, and patronized Councilwoman Rita Walters when she asked why the LAPD headquarters now needed its own 112-bed lockup, with two county jails just blocks away. Different needs, he admonished. Say what? Since when does the LAPD have its own criminal code?
Parks' sartorial elegance belied his apparent lack of political preparation. The committee flatly asked the chief for a cheaper proposal. But their coolness, it turned out, was the least of Parks' problems. The next day, Mayor Richard Riordan announced his support for a $160 million library bond issue that was on the same council committee meeting agenda. But Riordan, Parks' key backer, said he wouldn't support the bonds for the new Parks Center until Parks could show some public support for it. Sometimes, it seems, you have to do more than dress for success.