Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Weekly: Gail Goldberg "can't plan a cup of coffee"

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Joseph Mailander a guy in laelsewhereemail

I've been on Gail GPS Goldberg's case for a long time, but today Steven Leigh Morris at the Weekly caught the fever. All it took was one meeting with the City's most dependable developer doormat.

Sure, a month ago I found it odd that our Planning chief couldn't get to Los Feliz from downtown without a map. But it gets even worse for Steve:

"Looks like we made a mistake," she concedes. "Sorry ... She's got a 9 a.m. appointment, so you'd only have half an hour."

"That," I say, "would be a good start," pondering how the Planning Department could have so much trouble planning a cup of coffee.

If you missed it in Red Spot's earlier item, the article starts here. San Diegan Gail Goldberg cares about as much for the City of Los Angeles as an organ harvester cares for an anesthetized patient. Give her a couple more years, and she'll turn your City into Sao Paulo (above).

Read our earlier work on Goldberg here.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Gail Goldberg has driven planning department into ground. First she fired or forced out all the planning experts and people who got things done such as Bob Sutton, Frank Eberharht, Jon Parika, Dan Green, etc. Then, she demoted the only african-american manager in the department, Gordon Hamilton. Then, failed to replace Bob J. Now, Gail and a bunch of yes persons

February 28, 2008 1:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cheap shot by a cheap writer at the Weekly. First of all the secretary got the date wrong, GAil didn't plan the meeting herself -- then she agreed to see him on the spot and gave him half an hour anyway. Even though she may have had something to do, awaiting her next appointment.

So many Weekly and now even Times writers are trying to score at the expense of some city official, that they're all getting pretty snarky, thinking they're all Steve Lopez or Rutten. (And look were that got them -- their victim the Mayor won't even meet with them at all.)

This isn't a defense of Goldberg's planning -- she should have put her foot down over Woo/Reyes and gang's "plan" to build high-rise "affordable housing" units with no parking, and shove them into (formerly) good areas, even next to R1 single-family, as well as R2, low-density duplexes and such.

Saying that if there's a bus stop anywhere nearby, the new residents will take it, is absurd. You need the much-needed and talked about mass transit before that's even a possibility. And even then, there's nothing to prevent those tenants from parking cars, maybe old junky ones, on the already crowded streets. In general building housing designed with transit in mind is a good idea, but having no parking at all is crazy.

That's where she should be worried, not just about turning downtown into housing, hoping that industry will eventually locate there. Who knows if that will even happen.

February 28, 2008 1:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Planning under Goldberg is the worst it has been in 30 years. And it has never been very good to begin with.

February 28, 2008 1:56 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:


That is one scary picture of what this city may become. 2009 will weigh heavy on the future of this city. Here is one hoping for a field of candidates who will see that runaway growth inperils our quality of life.

February 28, 2008 2:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The problem with Gail Goldberg is her lack of planning experience. She was a housewife until her 50's when her husband died of a heartattack. Then, she went to UC San Diego and studied something like political science. Then, in her senior year became interested in planning and finally got an undergraduate degree in planning. Then, by smooth talking, moved up very fast in the City of San Diego planning department in a few years. In San Diego, she had a staff of around 15 as oppossed to 300 in LA. In San Diego, although she was the planning director for a couple of years, she was never in charge of current planning, planning implementation, panning review, zoning administration or case processing.

She is simply over her head in LA, and the only reason she has survived this long is because of her being good talker, and having support of Mayor, until now,

February 28, 2008 2:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Gail Goldberg said " Zoning Code must mean something". Then, unilaterally, without public comment or process destroyed the long standing zoning code which has allowed rejuvanation of downtown. I guess zoning code is important only if it implements her vision, otherwise, it is disposable.

February 28, 2008 2:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

When is Mayor going to realize Planning is damaging his reelection chances?

February 28, 2008 2:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio is in love with his own appointees (and family members, and latinos, and liberals, and unions, and ....). He will support Goldberg until he realizes what damage is being done to his reelection chances.

Zev, are you there?

Bob, where are you?

February 28, 2008 2:27 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

I don't know. Sao Paulo is a pretty cool city with lots of hot women. Maybe I'll move there instead; my trip to Yosemite in January proved I can not handle cold climates.

LA is not the home of the blue hair or the granola yuppie anymore. Los Angeles is a Mexican city as said James Hahn so its time to start acting like one. Bring me a margarita and go up 42 stories on those condos.

February 28, 2008 4:19 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

BTW, JSM Capital LLC wants to build two 42 story towers one block from me and I say bring it on. What's there now is a seed lot for old couches. We need more people in this area to support the wine bar!

February 28, 2008 4:24 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Likely Candidates for LA Mayor in 2009:

Antonio Villaraigosa
Walter Moore
Zev Yaroslavsky
Herb Wesson
Laura Chick

February 28, 2008 4:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Density" is a four letter word.

February 28, 2008 5:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Herb Wesson is a flaming fool. IF he thinks that removing his district from the Pico-Olympic plan shows good leadership, he's dreaming or already going senile. (He's always admitting to "senior moments," where he can't remember, and he should know.) That intersection of Pico/Olympic has 6 streets coming together in a tangled mess, whenever I have to drive by to the museum or just heading over to downtown, I avoid that stretch of Pico and choose Wilshire. You can only walk south of there on Pico, in Little Ethiopia, where they have kosher and Ethiopian restaurants. They have their own parking on that street and alley parking in back.

His stretch of Pico is dangerous and looks third-world, there's a pizza shop and some ugly buildings along there, and people just want to move along faster. If he wants a walking street, he's got that south on Fairfax and on other side streets.

I got the sense he was doing this just to make the Mayor look bad, to bring traffic to a screeching halt on the ugliest stretch of it. He's doing that to spite the city as a whole. He's done nothing of any note and comes off as a stubborn, forgetful, even passive-aggressive nonentity. No way can he be Mayor.

(The people further west wanting to stop it are the same NIMBYs who got Zev to stop the subway 22 years ago and they just want to put up road blocks against everything, so they can keep screaming about traffic. They say they're concerned that the city can't afford the plan, but demand a much more expensive EIR and have no qualms suing the city if they don't get their way. Shows what hypocrites and whiners they are. I've seen these same handfuls of people at over a year's worth of meetings, always complaining and never proposing solutions. Wesson should have the vision to see what is happening here.)

Anyway, he said he'd stay in his CM job with term limits available, by the time he runs, he really may be too old and not want to bother.

February 28, 2008 5:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam: Sao Paolo, like every big city in Brazil, not only has gangs, but even vicious child homeless gangs as bad as the child soldiers in Africa. Did you ever see the HBO series, "Children of Men?" (Or was it called "City of Men," anyone know?) A series by the excellent director of The Constant Gardener with Ralph Fienes and Rachel Weiss.

He knows the streets and it's based on fact. Kids terrorizing each other and shooting their toes off or shooting them just dead for fun.

HUGE slums in Sao Palo full of them. No, don't wish that upon us.

Why do you think the buildings are so tall there, for the rich, while the "scenic hills" are abandoned to these vicious little vermin, way too far-gone to reform? It's not safe to walk the streets anywhere.

February 28, 2008 5:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jon Perica retired before Gail got here and Bob Sutton was one of the worst people to ever work for the planning department. Dan Green is gone?

February 28, 2008 6:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

A planning director can only be as good as her boss allows her to be.

All of you who are complaining about planning will still vote for the person who has the worst record on planning issues. You'll pick out the one little, itty-bitty, teeny-tiny thing that the person has done wrong or not to your liking and you'll jump ship in a minute, forgetting their record on planning issues.

I've been watching you all for years.

Besides, you're all bloggers instead of either campaign contributors or door knockers/phone bankers, therefore even if you were really serious about not getting someone elected or preventing them from getting elected, you would have to do much more than blog about it. You would have to reach the masses.

Remember - the average IQ is only 100.

February 28, 2008 6:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I would love to see a debate between Gail "GPS" Goldberg and Joseph "PMS" Mailander.

February 28, 2008 8:54 PM  

Blogger bgfa said:

Too bad the Weekly didn't notice they were being used as a shill for Zev's mayoral bid. For a paper that was once quite lefty they swallowed some ugly right wing nonsense.

Pathetic. Anti-growth is not a position, it is a fear. Move aside. Los Angeles is changing. Change hurts, but it's not always all bad.

February 28, 2008 11:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is what Zev doesn't want you to know.

The LA Weekly reports (emphasis mine):

City leaders first learned of plans to mandate denser California cities in a 1996 memo from the State Department of Housing and Community Development. But Yaroslavsky insists he didn't hear about SB 1818 until last summer, when a mole from the city's Planning Department leaked him a draft of the plan for apartment buildings 35 percent bigger than allowed.

On 8/8/06 Zev approved an SB 1818 ordinance for the County unincorporated areas similar to the one adopted by the City.


Great "investigative journalism" STEVEN LEIGH MORRIS.

February 29, 2008 12:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Here is a message to Gail Goldberg and her planning commission boss Jane Usher:

"GET REAL, PLanning!"

Forget that old slogan of "Do Real Planning". You have not done any real planning and won't be doing any real planning! Wake up and smell the mess you have created.

February 29, 2008 1:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Goldberg's attempt to take the control of land use decisions away from each of the city councilmembers in their districts is foolish.

It reflects her lack of understanding of the politics and role of councilmembers in Los Angeles (or any other big city for that matter).

Does she really think she is going to shove her version of the world down each councilmember's throat?

February 29, 2008 2:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Gail needs a history lesson on the land use issues and how they came about in Los Angeles. Exactly the kind of information that those old-timers that she fired could have given her.

February 29, 2008 2:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Trujillo is here spinning with the same effective strategy that worked so well for Hillary. What a shame to already be a dinosaur as your career is just getting started. A Death of a thousand cuts doesn't cut it anymore Mike. Try and reason to the people about how Zev read a memo...or didn't read the memo, or whatever. Zev is saying what people want to hear, and he hasn't been proven to be a complete fraud. Your boy Antonio is simply un-electable. Move on and try and find another horse to ride like the rest of his supporters. Your old, outdated methods don't work in the case of Antonio. (Oops, sorry I used the word "case.")

February 29, 2008 3:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

3:46: You don't know anything about city history when it comes to planning, but if Zev tries to run, he's going to have to do some pretty fast explaining.

Yes, there are people like YOU who willfully ignore his checkered past, being the person who stopped and forbade tunnelling and federal funding for the subway back in 85, as long as he is against Antonio.

But more people aren't so dumb -- even Alan Mittelstaedt of CityBeat who doesn't like Antonio much, gave him a B- for transit issues and Zev only a C-. At least the Mayor is trying to push his subway to the sea consistently, and is pushing for local, immediate solutions like Pico-Olympic (which Zev proposed in a more radical form, but typical of him, ran like hell before he could take any consequences or follow through) and the Wilshire bus lane, synchronized lights, no parking/ towing on some other major streets.

Zev has been in office 33 years and has been all over the place, creating the problems he's now claiming he wants to solve. I'm glad he's questioning the density bill -- any attention to it is good -- but he knew about AB 1818 for a decade, and has created the problems that are hitting the fan.

But at least he's pointing out that our quality of life, L A as he knew it, with suburban areas in the middle of an urban city, is an endangered and quickly vanishing species.

(What's dumb is that the NIMBYs on the westside who justifiably worry about this, are attacking the very politicians who could help them -- alienating them and making war. So they are making it inevitable that what they fear will happen, and that they will be ignored the way rude, combative people always are.

Too bad they didn't take a page from the friendly, neighborly and cooperative activism, respectful to their councilwoman, that worked in Sunland-Tujunga.)

March 01, 2008 1:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Any staffer who worked on the planning department before Gail came on the scene to debate circles around her. She may sound good when she speaks but she backs nothing up with facts. when she says something that appears to be facts she pulled it from her arse. one comment I recall from a public meeting (youtube has some of her speeches) she says no many cases are filed for density bonus. Oh really? how does she no this? where did she get this idea? By the way she's wrong on that, but no one in the audience will call her on her BS and they should. She all fluff and no substance. Also she violated a lot of union mous and there are are many grievances filed against her and rumor is a lawsuit as well by a lot of planners. Is this what the mayor wants? Also rumor is she is PISSED at her bad publicity. She has a BIG ego!

March 08, 2008 1:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

to the person who thinks Goldberg took planning away from the council... au contraire! What we have rather is goldberg's hand picked lackey Chief ZA, LoGrande, doing the bidding of the councilmenbers. Apparently rumor has it LoGrande spends the bulk of his time in their offices.

March 13, 2008 6:29 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home