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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

While Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spends only 11% of his time on City business and would prefer spending his evenings with celebrities at trendy LA nightspots, South El Monte Mayor Blanca Figueroa is working well past midnight some evenings in her City Hall office, so much so that the South El Monte City Council slapped an 11:00 p.m. curfew on the Mayor.  While the Council members say that its neither safe nor healthy for the Mayor to work alone so late, Figueroa claims the move was part of the petty politics that are part and parcel of the frivolity that is the politics of LA County's many small, independent cities.  Some members of the Council have suggested going as far as confiscating Figueroa's keys to City Hall.

In the meantime, the Daily News prints a list of the salaries of the nearly 100 people who work for Mayor Villaraigosa; all on your dime.  Mayoral flack and spin jokcey Matt Szabo is pulling down an easy 100Gs; chief Villar handler Jimmy Blackman is getting about 1.5 times that.  And, if you will, Lisa "Do Nothing" Sarno is making a good $125K per year to plant trees. 

Zuma Dogg is interviewed by Talk Radio One host Marc Germain about his campaign for Mayor.  Unlike some other local talkradio hosts, Germain does not appear to be impressed by candidate Walter Moore, calling Moore's candidacy "one note."

What is it about museum mergers in LA? The Los Angeles County Museum of Art wants to merge with the soon to be bankrupt Museum of Contemporary Art.  Sounds like a good plan to me and local leaders such as Zev Yaroslavsky agree.  However LA's honorary grandpa Eli Broad and City Clowncil President Eric Garcetti are worried the stronger museum will plunder the weaker museum's collection.  Wait a minute! Haven't we been told that never happens?

City Controller candidate Nick Patasouras unveiled his slick new website featuring high powered endorsements from Sheriff Lee Baca, Supervisor Gloria Molina and former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg. Some of the transit geeks who read our blog might enjoy some of the photos in Nick's gallery from his days as head of the RTD and later MTA's board of directors.

If you want to help out victims of the fires in Sylmar to have a happier holiday, here is an opportunity for you to contribute.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm really surprised David Z didn't do the investigative piece on all those damn mayor aides. Shit...no wonder we have a city deficit and they want to cut other services to pay those assholes!! Where are all the damn media on this story? Everyone should call their local station and ask them why they're not covering all those unbelievable salaries of the Mayor's people?

December 17, 2008 6:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In the interest of fairness, the daily news should print the salaries of all its reporters, editors, and other employees.

Never mind the political flunkies, they published a database with all city employees, the vast majority have nothing to do with politics.

and Mayor Sam, before you go on a libertarian rant about your right to know, I get that, but do you want your salary out there like that?

December 17, 2008 9:54 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor sam, this database is old as hell. Did they reprint names or someting? I can't find any links to anything in today's paper and don't have access to the actual paper version.

Why post this again now? Just bored or something?

December 17, 2008 10:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mr. Nick Patsaouras has accomplished more in his short stay, a non-paid public servant, as LADWP Commissioner than the majority of City Council. You be the judge.

Accomplishments as Member of the DWP Commission:
2005 – 2008

• Promoted Responsible Approach to Environmental Issues
• As President of DWP, led the efforts to fulfill Mayor Villaraigosa's goal of 20% renewable energy by 2010.
• Convinced fellow Commissioners to overrule staff's recommendation to use corrugated metal supported by columns to cover the reservoirs at Stone Canyon and Elysian Park. Instead, the water will be stored in underground tanks, resulting in the creation of close to 65 acres of parkland and hike trails for the public's use, which is desperately needed, considering that Los Angeles devotes a paltry 4% of its land to parks. In comparison San Francisco devotes over 8%, Seattle over 15% and New York City 17%.
• Improved Management of Owens Valley Dust Mitigation Project
• Reduced per tree planting costs, allowing more trees to be planted
• Initiated Joint LADWP/Port of LA Electrification Committee
• Championed CFL and refrigerator exchange program
• Supported Cost Effective Green Power Generation and Purchase Agreements
• Advocated for Long-Term Power and Water Supply Planning

• Increased Fiscal Responsibility and Transparency
• Performed Detailed Budget Review in Public
• Established Detailed Contract and Program Cost Review
• Established Monthly General Manager Contract Reports
• Established Cost Controls (Contract Committee Review of Change Orders, Etc.)
• Established Board Letter Provision to Disclose Past Contractor Performance
• Detailed Rate Increase Reviews
• Mandated Develop of Contract Template Language Based Upon Best Management Practices
• Eliminated Sub-Contractor Mark-Up

• Developed Workforce Management Strategy
• Streamlined Hiring Processes
• Modified Training Programs
• Reviewed Methods of Retaining Staff, Ensuring Return on Training Investment
• Enhanced Public Outreach Regarding DWP Employment Opportunities
• Introduce Job Training Program as Contractor Requirement
• Improved Supervisor and Management Training
• Supported Sustainable Workforce Development Programs, Including Enhancing Opportunities for Entry Level Positions

• Improved Customer Service and Response
• Established Customer and Community Relations Committee
• Improved Call Center Service and Performance
• Improved Response and Disclosure of Information Regarding Power Outages
• Established On-Line Permit Process Tracking
• Worked to Reduce Permit Processing Time
• Sought to Better Coordinate with Other City Department Permit Processes

• Enhanced Internal and External Audit Capabilities
• Established Audit Committee
• Catalogued Previous 5-Years of Audits and Findings
• Established Monthly Tracking of Implementation of Audit Recommendations
• Initiated External Audit of Contracting Procedures and Processes by the Board and Oversaw Audit
• Improved Internal Audit Capabilities
• Introduced Performance Audit Concepts
• Introduced Contract Provision Requiring Contractor to Disclose Its Internal Contract Audit Findings (In Sierra contract for Purchasing Computer System).
• Introduce Board Letter Provision to Disclose Past Audits Related to Proposed Contractors

• Created Greater Accountability and Fiscal Responsibility for Managers, Supervisors, and Contract and Program Managers
• Requested Direct Dialogue with Project/Program Managers and Contractors During Project Reviews
• Established Procedures to Track Costs Against Original Estimates and Review of All Increases
• Initiated tracking of the purchasing process, contracts, audits, hiring, projects, and costs to determine “bottlenecks,” identify solutions and hold staff accountable

Nick Patsaouras for City Controller

December 17, 2008 10:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The daily news list is over a year old. The numbers are not up to date, neither are the names. new employees are missing. Raises for others not included

December 17, 2008 10:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

L.A. Voters For Change -- March 2009 Election Slate (City of Los Angeles)

Mayor: David Saltsburg (Aka: Zuma Dogg)

City Attorney: Noel Weiss (NOT Jack Weiss)

City Controller: Nick Patsouras

City Council District 1: Jesse Rosas

City Council District 3: Dennis P. Zine

City Council District 5: To Be Announced

LAUSD: Louise Puglise

Ballot Prop: NO on B (DWP)

December 17, 2008 11:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Regarding your comments about helping the victims of the Sayre Fire. Please don't forget about the victims of the Marek Fire. Those who lived in the Sky Terrace Mobile Home Park lost everything and most were elderly, poor and/or disabled. Because there were only 60 homes in a state the size of California, they don't qualify for emergency FEMA funds! Please call Supervisor Antonovich's office and find out how you can help donate to them!

December 17, 2008 12:03 PM  

Blogger Heather said:

How HYPOCRITICAL IS JAN PERRY? Tomorrow she is sponsoring a peace walk in South LA and after food will be provided to the marchers. Who the hell does peace marches during Xmas? NO ONE. Guess who is providing the Food? JACK N THE BOX. I thought Jan said the people in her district are fat and shouldn't be eating fast food. But Jack N the Box is giving food to the people who will march with her.

December 17, 2008 12:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The LACMA proposal to merge with MOCA should be considered with a VERY CAREFUL EYE by the MOCA Board. The Autry Board promised the former Southwest Museum Board to maintain the separate identity and integrity of the Southwest Museum institution under the "protective shelter" of the renamed "Autry National Center."

It turns out that widow Jackie Autry is like a Black Widow Spider: sucking the life out of the smaller male. Widow Autry is trying to pull the Southwest's collection and separate existence out of the Southwest Museum before trying to toss aside the National Register Southwest Museum Building. The Southwest COULD be restored as beautifully as the iconic Griffith Park Observatory but Autry is diverting all solcitation of foundation and private donors to Widow Autry's ego driven monster building proposal in Griffith Park.

Is it not ironic that Tom LaBonge is calling hearings to make sure that MOCA's collection continues to be exhibited at the Grand Avenue MOCA building while he is scheming behind the scenes at City Hall how to help Autry get away with taking the Southwest Museum collection exhibition away from Northeast Los Angeles.

(Cricket sounds continue)

(Jose Huizar leaves the room)

December 17, 2008 3:20 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

What's the deal with Grieg Smith and his "Green Energy" plan. He took that overseas trip for a couple months vactaion, I mean to see who he could suck the most money out of, I mean to see which company would be best for the project. I hope the only thing that gets green, isn't Grieg Smith's bank account? He says he has "no idea" which company is going to get the contract. I think the shadiness is in the awarding of the contract.

Grieg just blurted out to me out of nowhere when talking about the project, "and i have NO IDEA which company is going to get it. No idea." But he sounded suspicious when he said it.


Do anyone here trust Grieg Smith with this stuff?

December 17, 2008 3:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Patsouris claims endorsements from the supervisors who oppose the MTA and mass transit for the gridlocked westside/ Hollywood/ mid-city, yet he rails against gridlock. Reason enough for me to oppose him whether or not I like Greuel -- he's BAD for the city and metro L A. It's easy to point out the problems we know, like poor people and gridlock, but he's clearly not on right track.

December 17, 2008 4:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I go to a lot of city (Mayor and Council) sponsored events in South LA.

They ALWAYS serve the garbage they tell (legislate) everybody else not to eat.

Jan Perry is the worst.

December 17, 2008 5:06 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Heather can you email me info on that event?


December 17, 2008 5:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, one Walter note is better than no note at all, just a cacaphony of undecipherable noise.

December 17, 2008 5:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The biggest boondoggle of all is Saltsburg's run for Mayor.

It will net him coffee money, gas money and food money for a period starting now and ending on March 3 2009, at which time he will again be pleading for sustenance.

Anything just not to have to have a job, huh, loser?

December 17, 2008 5:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't worry about Zooma. Should you get a job or do you continue to live off your wife loser?

December 17, 2008 10:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The first two posts really miss the point. The salaries of "aides" and other city employees, unless they are paid by some other source, come from tax dollars. And that is what makes it a proper area for disclosure.

The politician involved here, Tony V., once or maybe more, that there would be transparency in government. Taking it at face value, this would mean we are entitled to know what it going on.

A private sector concern, like a newspaper, unless it takes tax payer dollars for operating, does not need to disclose the salaries as there is not the connected basis for seeing where our money is going.

Tax dollars are compelled to be taken from us, and we should see how they are spent by our government. The newspaper does not compel us by law to cough up money to buy the paper or pay some fee routinely, so there's the difference.

If people don't like items in govenment being revealed, don't be part of it. They come in with eyes wide open (not to mention palms) and they take both the good and the bad from that choice.

As to the incumbent, Tony V., we have yet to see him come up with anything to curb spending in a rational manner. He was off on trips and could have seen the increasing deficits but worried more about campaign funding than the city's well-being.

Now he's lopping off all sorts fo things to make the budget cuts. Yet he still wants the 10,000 officer LAPD to be achieved, AT ALL COSTS to the taxpayers, as a legacy of his. The legacy he is creating is one of the reincarnation of Napoleon without the victories but with lots of battles.

Zuma Dogg's critcs have to swallow all the crap Tony V. dishes out in order to criticize the challengers, since I would say that ANY of them would do more for the city JUST BY BEING AT THE JOB and paying attention to city needs, and not being an MIA that tries to catch up when he locates the city again.

The city is in trouble and it's always going to be the residents to foot the bill as much as the Council can find ways to impose more and greater charges.

In Eagle Rock

December 18, 2008 12:41 PM  

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