Well, the folks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors have decided to make Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa their new president — guess they don't read the L.A. papers!

It wasn't too long ago Los Angeles magazine blared the word “Failure” across his mid-section for a now famous cover, and his nickname is the “11 percent mayor” because of an L.A. Weekly story that found he works on nuts-and-bolts issues only 11 percent of the time.

We emailed U.S. Conference of Mayors Director Elena Temple, requesting an interview to find out how Villaraigosa was chosen, and why. She didn't back to us, but who an aide who couldn't go on the record did.

In a nutshell, Villaraigosa got the job because he's the vice-president of the conference. Whoever's the V.P. at the end of one president's term, gets to automatically be the next prez. It's that simple, really.

So the 11 percent mayor will now have even less time in his busy schedule of flying around the world, holding press conferences, and cutting ribbons to do any real work for Angelenos.

With the U.S. Conference of Mayors gig, Villaraigosa is the official spokesman, which means he'll probably be taking a lot of interviews about the plight of American cities. Then he has to appoint committee and task force chairs and set the organization's agenda.

Wonder what Villaraigosa plans for the conference's future? Lessons in how to write a city budget by obscuring important facts and figures. (Check out this Weekly article: Los Angeles: Broke and Broken.)

Anyow, it's all precious time away from the job in L.A., where it's still dealing with a financial crisis. But, hey, we expect it, by now, right?

Good luck U.S. Conference of Mayors! He's all yours.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly