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
And the governor‘s budget also provided a useful $4 million to advance the Baldwin Hills Recreation Area -- the biggest new park project in the region. This would become what some have termed “a new Griffith Park” with over 2 square miles of recreation space available to park-starved Southwest Los Angeles.
All of which makes one willing, perhaps, to forgive our governor the odd brownout. Unfortunately for Davis’ reputation in other areas, California‘s own Disneyland Electrical Parade continues to march, even though consumer demand is down and Southern California Edison may elude bankruptcy. Along comes the disclosure, in Saturday’s paper, that five of Davis‘ energy advisers got the sack because, guess what, they owned stock in companies, particularly Calpine Corp. of San Jose, from which the state is buying power.
According to a governor’s spokesperson, the Davis policy that limits what certain consultants must disclose about their financial holdings is based on the ethical guidance of an unlikely source: none other than L.A.‘s own veteran citizen-commissioner Raquelle de la Rocha. It was she whom Richard Riordan six years ago appointed to the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, so that she could neuter its rambunctious then-director for being too, well, for being too ethical when it came to policing local pols.
Good Bye to All of That
One of the weightier objects I had to personally move from my temporary office back to the original pressroom in the renovated City Hall was a 5-inch-thick sheaf of official papers -- many of them (to my discredit) as yet unread.
The papers, to be fair, do not promise diverting reading: They have titles like “Department of General Services Fuel Card Audit Report,” “Report on the City Attorney‘s Petty Cash Funds” and the last I have, the June 21 “Audit of the Department of Animal Services Dispatch Process,” this one by itself nearly an inch thick.
They represent but a fraction of the copious and worthy outpourings of the city Controller’s Office, under its just-departed occupant, Rick Tuttle. In the past five months, Tuttle and his staff seemed determined to audit every conceivable portion of city governance -- and to advise those scrutinized portions what they‘d best do to clean up their acts. Tuttle’s pre-departure mega-audit leaves his successor, Laura Chick, a high mark to hit during her own career to come, as well as a priceless trove of information on what to keep an eye on. It‘s also a tribute to Tuttle’s two top assistants, Tim Lynch and Louisa Lund, who made many of these audits happen and who departed with Tuttle. Most of all, it‘s a tribute to Tuttle himself, who made sure that the new city charter included a strong Auditor’s Office. Because of term limits, no future controller will serve as long as did Tuttle, whose 16 years of service leaves a legacy of effective diligence, honesty and openness that no other recent citywide official has equaled.