By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
But maybe not until then. That 2009 mayoral election will precede the post-decennial-census disclosures, and also there‘s the nascent, post-term-limits convention of a two-term, eight-year incumbency to reckon with.
Thus term limits, which were intended to eliminate career politicians, have instead, unintentionally, created a new form of career official. This serial office holder of the 21st century may well end up holding five or more separate offices in a 40-year career. For instance, by 2009, Councilman Mike Feuer, who proposes to run for city attorney in 2001, would be termed out of that office and (let us presume) looking for his next political challenge. As, conceivably, would be Councilwoman Laura Chick, who is a strongly rumored candidate for city controller in 2001. Either might be tough to beat in the 2009 mayor’s race.
So Los Angeles might actually have to wait until 2017 for its first Hispanic mayor. By which point, one might hope, candidates‘ ethnicity will matter less than their other qualifications for office. Who knows, maybe even the shy, but by-then-totally experienced late-60ish Zev Yaroslavsky will finally file papers to run for mayor that year. But by that time, I plan to be retired, reading the L.A. election returns on the Internet from some faraway place with decent fishing, food and bookstores. Y’all drop in sometime.
Suppose you‘re a Los Angeles city councilman who’s lost your plum committee-chair assignment and been handed a prune -- like Mark Ridley-Thomas, booted from his Information Technology and General Services Committee the moment that said committee became the public center of the current broadband-telecommunications controversy.
Due to his longstanding feud with council president John Ferraro (who makes committee assignments), the 8th District veteran forfeited the choice chair to freshman (and Ferraro fave) Alex Padilla. Instead, Ridley-Thomas got handed the down-and-dirty Environmental Quality and Waste Management Committee -- that means sewers, folks.
But it turns out you literally can‘t keep a good councilman down. Last week, Ridley-Thomas came up with a clever-sounding plan to combine his past responsibilities with those of his present committee. Since the city needs both new sewers and new fiber-optic data cables, why not combine the projects to create what the councilman insists on calling “smart sewers”?
Building both projects tears up streets and makes for much public inconvenience; so the councilman suggested that fiber-optic cable be laid in the new sewer trenches. This would bring fast Internet service to parts of the city that otherwise might never get it, and even garner some much-needed new revenues.
I like the concept. But not the name: If a sewer were smart, would it be a sewer?
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