City Council President Herb Wesson is no pushover. He's really set the tone, during this whole redistricting mess, for how he plans to run the city as new council president: with an iron fist and no tolerance for wussies. Unlike his predecessor, the lovey-dovey family man Eric Garcetti (excellent parody Twitter account here)...
... Wesson lets more contentious votes play out and opposing parties go head-to-head. Unless they go against him -- in which case, it's a lost cause.
After a series of contentious land garbs by Wesson's appointed redistricting commissioner, the king's new City Council District 10 has gone from an unassuming puddle of Thanksgiving gravy (below, orange) to a the main course: A fat turkey that could feed a lifetime of election campaigns.It was all over when Wesson chose Andrew Westall, a former CD 10 staff member, as his commissioner. (And the head of the entire commission, to boot.)
"From the day Andrew Westall retired, it was clear that Herb Wesson was really in control of this process," Douglas Johnson at the Rose Institute recently told LA Weekly reporter Hillel Aron.
Among the many politicians and residents that Wesson has pissed off in pursuit of his ideal CD 10 is Koreatown, who much prefers not to be cleaved down the middle so that Wesson can snatch its booming business district. From Aron's print story on that shouting match:
The next speaker in Koreatown was Jimmy Chai, 35, who asked, "Is this process a sham?" to a big burst of applause.
Chai publicly accused Wesson and his deputy, Michael Bae, of corruption, declaring: "We are being terrorized by our leadership. ... We have a deputy city councilman that's threatening business ownerships [to donate] fundraising dollars in exchange for conditional-use permits."
"We have a councilman who funnels money from the Wilshire Center-Koreatown district to developer friends and his personal agenda -- with no gain to any of the communities."
Big applause -- and shouts of approval.
"Koreatown needs cleaner streets, more parks ... but [Wesson] uses this as leverage for his personal agenda!"
The second loudest rally cry against Wesson comes from Bernard Park's City Council District 8, which has been rendered into a U.S. army tank so that Wesson's massive plumage can ruffle all up into Baldwin Hills. And, consequently, from Bill Rosendahl's Westchester, who has been severed from LAX and pawned off to Parks as a consolation prize.
The redistricting commission will vote on a series of vague, self-contradicting changes to these original maps this evening -- including some that would swallow the entirety of Koreatown into Wesson's turkey head, possibly in exchange for giving Parks his favorite neighborhood back.
But it seems that no matter the vote, Wesson comes out of this hunting trip fat and happy.