By the end of 2013, Mayor Eric Garcetti will finish his active service in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
In a press statement on Tuesday, Garcetti said that by year's end he'll transfer to Inactive Ready Reserve, which means he'll no longer leave town once a month to do Navy “drilling.”
During the mayoral campaign, Garcetti thought about the possibility of extending his naval service, but the Trayvon Martin protests that suddenly erupted across the city while Garcetti was out of town may have changed his mind. He wasn't performing naval duties at that time, but it could have been a poignant lesson in how the mayor's job is a 24/7 duty.
In fact, in April, weeks before the Trayvon Martin protests caught Garcetti flat footed, L.A. Weekly laid out a whole bunch of reasons why Garcetti should most definitely quit the naval reserve.
For starters, we wrote, “as mayor, Garcetti will be chief executive over 40 city departments and bureaus with some 40,000 employees and a $7.7 billion budget. He will handle complex issues including the environment, education, job creation, the city's terrible finances and public safety.”
With such a heavy work load, leaving town once a month for a weekend of naval drilling wouldn't have been the smartest thing for a mayor to do. And he just happens to be in the middle of a two-week training stint with the naval reserve right now.
In his press release, which L.A. Observed reported, Garcetti writes that Inactive Ready Reserve “members have no drill obligation, but retain their rank in the Navy and are able to resume drilling in the future.”
So he can still change his mind and head back into the Navy.
Garcetti also came under heat from longtime Los Angeles Daily News reporter Rick Orlov, who noted after the Trayvon Martin controversy, “If nothing else, Eric Garcetti came to realize last week how much his life has changed now that he is mayor. No longer can he go off and hook up with college buddies in Pittsburgh prior to meetings in Washington, D.C.– not, at least, without letting the city know where he is. And a Twitter post condemning the violence following the George Zimmerman verdict doesn't really cut it either.”
For his part, Garcetti said in the press statement, “I have been honored to serve alongside some of our nation's finest men and women and am grateful for the skills and experience I have gained, which have strengthened my work as an elected official.”