If you were surprised to read that City Hall has once again put off the issue of whether to ask the owners of Staples Center to reimburse taxpayers for its Michael Jackson memorial show, or if you're angered after finding out that after two years of deliberations at least one City Council member thinks there won't be a pot-shop law until next year, this might help explain it: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is going to Europe. Cue “Holiday Road.”
That's right folks, as the city faces a $400 million deficit, fire stations are closing intermittently and the Los Angeles Police Department is looking at another month of turning away new recruits, the mayor is touring the world like a rock star. Last week — Guadalajara. The next two weeks: Copenhagen, Berlin and London. Yeah, baby — yeah!
Who needs to deal with the nuts and bolts of local policy — you know, those 545 pot shops operating in neighborhoods without much regulation about how the sticky stuff comes in the back door — when you can attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Denmark and then jet around Europe for a few more days?
In mid-December Mayor V. will meet with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Groovy baby! Then he's going to tear-down-this-wall for the “LA-Berlin Green Exchange Panel Discussion.” Unfortunately, no, it's not a how-to on regulating out-of-control marijuana dispensaries.
Last month the mayor was in San Antonio for the annual National League of Cities conference. Since July he's also been to Iceland and South Africa. Now, we know if you were at your job and you had a full plate that included a stressed police department, a budget in the red, neighborhoods temporarily without fire stations, and quasi-legal drug sales in full view of communities, you'd be fired for jetting off to yet another foreign land.
But Villaraigosa isn't you. But ultimately, you are his boss. Rock on.
Got a news tip? Email us