Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants 51 assistants of Los Angeles fire commanders to get on the front lines and fight fires as a result of the city's tight budget situation.

After LA Weekly's own Patrick Range McDonald suggested that the mayor should maybe offer 51 of his own 200-plus staffers to do much-needed work around here such as fixing potholes, a couple of commenters stated that what the leader should do is stay out of the way when it comes to running the LAFD.

Commenter du jour Chris Saris says Villaraigosa shouldn't be getting into the LAFD's daily operation (any more than he should be getting into the LAPD's):

Credit: Fire Monkey Fish via Flickr

Credit: Fire Monkey Fish via Flickr

When money is short, tempers flare and fingers point. While Chief Peaks reports to the Mayor, it would make sense that the city's “CEO” would allow the Fire Chief to manage the department with a budget target. That doesn't seem to be the case. Firefighting in today's complex world is exactly that: complex. Let the Fire Chief and the department deliver a balanced operations plan based on a fixed budget from the Mayor's office. When the Mayor makes statements that he can't back up about the functions of specific firefighters, it sounds not only like Mayor Riordan's failed plan, but also like a political endorsement of the firefighter's union, which has attempted to promote elimination of command support (and been rejected by the City Council). The public deserved appropriate protections and careful use of limited funds. Let the LAFD's management determine best practices (and hold them accountable).

What do you think?

LA Weekly