[Update: Huizar's flack is very right to scold us this afternoon for taking another blogger's word; City Clerk attendance records clearly show the councilman was in fact absent for 20 percent of meetings, not 50 percent. Headline has been updated to reflect this fact. Instead, feel free to direct your rage toward Councilman Herb Wesson — or, better yet, Council President Eric Garcetti — who each missed near 40 percent of meetings. Or just stay mad at Huizar, because 20 percent is still ridic.]
Leave it to Ron Kaye, former editor of the LA Daily News (til' he got too crazy — read: too Valley — for that shit), to comb through the L.A. City Council's abysmal attendance records for the last couple months, callin' out councilmembers on their devil-may-care, “too cool for school” summer laze.
“Near the end of every City Council meeting, the clerk announces that there are 'excuses on the desk,' meaning various members intend to be absent from future sessions,” Kaye blogged yesterday, fuming off an approved request by Councilman Tony Cardenas to miss eight freaking meetings in September “due to personal business.”
But Cardenas isn't the AWOL king. That dishonor goes to another of our faves:
District 14's Jose Huizar, “who missed 13 of 25 meetings” in June and July. [Update: Again, like we mention at the top, Huizar in fact only missed six meetings, not 13.]
Holy scumbag. Huizar recently fought a rough, moneyed battle with newcomer Rudy Martinez to keep his seat in the 2011 municipal election. Voters told us at an LA Weekly exit poll in Eagle Rock that they felt more comfortable with Huizar because he was “up to speed” and “knows people to get things moving.”
But how is anything supposed to move — much less speedily — when Huizar can't even drag himself out of bed three times a week?
We admit: L.A. pols aren't as hilariously pompous as, say, West Hollywood City Councilman John Heilman, who's been in office so bloody long that he actually thought it was OK, this summer, to vote on city items via Skype from Spain.
But in giant, 15-district Los Angeles, where our councilmembers make more than any of their U.S. contemporaries at $180,000 per year (plus shady perks), we expect more. We deserve more. We pay for more.
Huizar happens to be present at today's high-profile meeting on the NFL stadium slated for downtown. Many congratulations to His Shadiness for that. But, as @TheCityMaven so kindly Tweeted, the council as a whole could barely get it together for a quorum on the summer's hottest issue:
In a word: Embarrassing.