Read the scathing L.A. Weekly cover story “Antonio Villaraigosa's Quest for Wall Street, Washington and Wealth.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sure knows how to live it up on other people's money and the taxpayers' time.
Elected in 2005 to be the chief executive officer of Los Angeles — the second largest city in the nation — voters undoubtedly expected Villaraigosa to roll up his sleeves and tackle such issues as traffic, the proliferation of billboards, improving city servies, the city's shaky financial standing, and numerous other things. Instead, he constantly left town, held countless press conferences, and a lived a 1-percent lifestyle.
Here are the three days the mayor slacked off the most between September 1 and December 16, 2012…
On Wednesday, September 12, a few days after he spent nearly a week in Charlotte, North Carolina, attending parties and clumsily chairing the Democratic National Convention, Villaraigosa apparently needed an easy day, even though taxpayers are paying him annually $232,735.
He started September 12, according to his schedule, at 9 a.m. with a 15-minute “briefing” for the Latino Heritage Month Opening Ceremony. He then attended that event for two and a half hours. By 12:30 p.m., on the taxpayers' time, he took two hours of “private calls.”
By 3 p.m., while L.A. city workers were attending to the everyday needs of Angelenos, Villaraigosa went to the “I Have A Dream” event for an hour. Then he took a 30-minute “briefing” on Los Angeles Unified School District issues at 4:30 p.m. and met with an aide for 15 minutes.
By 6 p.m., with very little nuts-and-bolts work accomplished, the mayor attended the “6th Street Bridge Design Competition Presentations.” He decided to end the night at a “Young Presidents Organization City Hall Night” event.
Added up, the mayor actually worked on real issues for 45 minutes over the course of a nearly 11-hour “workday.”
On Wednesday, November 7, Villaraigosa was clearly pooped. He had spent the previous days crisscrossing the country to campaign for President Barack Obama's re-election bid. When he arrived in L.A. at 12:41 p.m., Villaraigosa decided to hold a “media availability” at 1:30 p.m.
The mayor then attended the “Metro Express Lanes Business Roundtable” for an hour, starting at 2:30 p.m. That was followed with an hour-long meeting with L.A. Councilman Mitch Englander.
Villaraigosa's day was over by 4:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, December 4, after spending 10 days in South America for a “trade mission,” where he attended a Forever 21 fashion show in Colombia, Villaraigosa once again needed a day that wasn't too weighty.
At 9:30 a.m., Villaraigosa held an hour-long media availability at the Port of L.A. Then, between 10:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., his schedule literally shows nothing.
He got back into the swing of things with a 30-minute interview with KCRW's Warren Olney, which was followed with a 30-minute press conference.
Between 5 and 7:10 p.m., the mayor took “personal time,” according to his schedule. He wrapped up the day with an hour-and-fifteen-minute “visit” to the Port of L.A.
Villaraigosa's day was spent hanging out at the port for a little over two hours and chatting up journalists for an hour over the course of a 12-hour “workday.”
Check out Villaraigosa's schedule yourself at the Weekly blog post “How L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Spent His 12-Hour Days in 2012.”
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at email@example.com.