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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Garcetti Spends $450K to Renovate Mayoral Manse

Silly Rabbits
While otherwise making a name for himself coast to coast, inserting himself into the sad tale of Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling and his silly rabbit, the scribes at the LA Weekly were quietly gathering the details on rennovations the Mayor and his wife, Amy Wakeland, billed the city for in order for the First Family to move into the city owned, Getty House, Los Angeles' official residence for its chief executive.

The piece by veteran journo Gene Maddaus tabulates a near half a million dollars in changes and fixes to the Hancock Park mansion, a process that was essentially project managed by Wakeland.

Read the piece, but there's a few gems in there, such as:

"Amy Wakeland wanted new light bulbs at Getty House. It was late August, and the wife of new
Mayoral Manse
mayor Eric Garcetti had taken command of renovation work at the mayoral residence. On her list of improvements were LED bulbs — ones that would be friendly to the Tudor mansion's interiors while also advancing the mayor's environmental agenda.

The lighting at Getty House had just been upgraded in 2007, and it already had some LED bulbs and compact fluorescents. In the opinion of the city's building maintenance director, there was "probably not much of an opportunity to save energy by changing the lights."

But Wakeland told city workers she could get some donations, and she tasked the mayor's sustainability officer with rustling up some free bulbs. A private equity firm ended up donating some lights, but that did not cover the full cost. In the end, the city spent $14,000 on new lighting for Getty House."

The Garcetti-Wakelands
And this,

"In November, the project was on track for completion by Dec. 1. One key item remained. The family wanted several wooden signs installed on ground-floor doors, with the word "PRIVATE." But no matter how many samples city workerscame up with, they could not find a font that the mayor liked. Finally, they asked the mayor to sketch the lettering he wanted.

On Nov. 6, he wrote out the word "PRIVATE" on a piece of paper and gave his instructions: a sans-serif font, wide spacing, maybe Art Deco–influenced, on silver/metal backing.

This decision was up to him, and he made it."

More importantly, the piece points out the concerns made by others, including L.A. writer, Joseph Mailander (who was recently blocked on Twitter by the Mayor), as to what precisely Wakeland's role is in the administration viz-a-viz the role she serves

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morning Briefs on the Los Angeles Political Machine for Thursday

Mayor Sam Exclusive: Open Feuding in the Jimmy Gomez for Assembly Campaign Team?
 Sources tell Mayor Sam that the Jimmy "PAC Laundryman" Gomez Assembly Campaign, is in disarray with Amy Wakeland (pictured above with "partner" mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti) sending out panic emails that blame Campaign Consultant Mike Shimpock, for the pending election demise of the Riverside carpetbagging, political transplant. 
 While Wakeland pleads for help in saving the Gomez Campaign, Shimpock has incorporated a robo call message from another carpetbagging politic from San Diego State Senator Kevin de Leon, to attack candidate Luis Lopez for running a campaign of smears. One irate recipient of the robo calls went as far to call Senator de Leon's office in Sacramento. 
But as the Gomez Campaign implodes from within, voters from throughtout the 51st AD are taking a stand against a political machine that has not absorbed the political lesson of 1999, where another machine-backed carpetbagger was rebuffed by the voters, just ask Victor Griego.

** The Old Gray Hag on Spring Street (aka LA Obama/Antonio/Angeles Times) was sad to report that Californians are turning their backs on Governor Moonbeam II's Prop 30 that would raise taxes on the more well to do.
** But in a rare moment of journalistic objectivity, The Old Gray Hag on Spring Street rightfully opines that the voters, not Mayor Antonio Villar, should decide whether to change the fundamental functions of the City Attorney's office.
Lastly, a special message for CD 12 City Councilman Mitch Englander
We want to commend you, along with your fellow councilmembers Bernard Parks, Jan Perry and the "Average Joe" Buscaino, for voting no against Councilman Ed Reyes attempt to place a political litmus test on new business in the City of Los Angeles, by banning Walmart from opening its Chinatown location, we just hope Mitch that whatever pressure is being exerted to change your "No" vote, will come to naught.

Your thoughts ..............
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

Jane Usher has resigned her post as President of the City's Planning Commission. The outspoken advocate who dared to take on City leaders as well as downtown interests on development issues was a growing thorn in the side to Mayor Villaraigosa who appoined Usher to the post.  Though Usher has said she needs to give up the volunteer post to get a job, insiders say she was pushed.  Local neighborhood activists who found an ally in Usher expressed regret at her departure;  Mike Eveloff, president of the Tract 7260 Homeowners Association told the LA Times,."She was someone who seemed to have an understanding that development was getting a little out of control." 

LA Weekly's blog profiles City Controller candidate Nick Patsouras, whose surprise challenge to Council President Wendy Greuel has shaken up local politics a bit.  Various factions are lining up behind each while both are virtual unknowns to most of the City. Should be an interesting race.

The City Council has decided against a plan to provide additional security measures for security at LAX for celebrities.  Stars who wish extra protection from the paps will have to provide their own.  Council Member Janice Hahn told the Daily News "Our airport police are there to protect everyone, and I feel that everyone who comes to LAX should be treated as a celebrity."

A gossip blog reports that Mayor Villaraigosa was the "hit" of the opening of the new Conga Room at LA Live Wednesday night.  Showing how well he spends 89% of his time on activities unrelated to governing the City, the Mayor took a Desi Arnaz turn at the conga drums while hob-nobbing with celebrities Paul Rodriguez, Jessica Alba and Eva Longoria.  Sadly, photos are available.

We really have issues with Council President Eric Garcetti referring to his live in girlfriend, Amy Wakeland, as "his partner."  One wonders if Eric ever makes it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if Ms. Wakeland would be referred to as the First Partner.  Well, before that happens, the Garcetti-Wakeland Partnership, LLC is looking for a scarecrow for their organic garden at their Elysian Park home.  Isn't the yuppie life challenging? Hey Eric - how about getting me a scarecrow for a Councilman over here - that would be a huge improvement over our Griffith Park destroying, high school loving Clowncilman.
 We got an email Thursday that the Mayor's office is looking to hire a finance manager for it's Minority Business Opportunity Center, however the deadline for applications for the post was four days ago.  However, assuming the Mayor is still looking, the position pays as much as $77,000 a year.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obama, Garcetti and Goldberg

Apparently all the problems in Los Angeles have been solved since Mayor Villaraigosa went to Texas for a fundraiser with Henry Cisneros and Council President Eric Garcetti is campaigning for Barack Obama in Nevada.  You have to give Councilmembers Greig Smith and Dennis Zine, both Republicans, credit for not putting Council business aside to attend the Republican National Convention in September.

Hearing some chatter, is it possible the Council President's name is being floated as a choice for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in a potential Obama administration?  Garcetti was but one of a few local L.A. electeds to join the Obama train early when the Mayor banked his political capital on Hillary Clinton.

That being said, Garcetti isn't taking any chances and is running for re-election, having raised so far nearly half a million dollars for a race that he will probably have no opposition in.

However, were Garcetti to pack up his partner and head to Washington, D.C. it would open the door to a parade of candidates seeking to replace him.  And who could be part of that pack? None other than termed out former Assembly Member "Hurricane" Jackie Goldberg, Garcetti's predecessor.  Thanks to the recent affirmation of the City's shady term limits law by a panel of judges, Hurricane has another four years coming to her if she wants it.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

Your favorite government servant - DWP General Manager H. David Nahai - got busted wasting water and power so now he's getting the conservation religion. Blogger and new Sister City Hero Alan Mittelstaedt blew the whistle on H. David seeking a public records request for the GM's utility bills - following which H. David came clean. Apparently Mittelstaedt got so far under H. David's skin that Nahai claimed the blogger was "harrassing" him.

On the heels of the Lakers' big loss in the NBA Finals former Laker Shaquille O'Neal is gloating, joking with reporters "Kobe couldn't do without me." The last time the Lakers won a championship ring was when Shaq was still in town. The NBA legend has even gone as far to record a rap video poking fun.

Random question of the day: In light of the current mortgage crisis, much ado is made about "predatory lending." How often though do you hear the media talk about "irresponsible borrowing?" Its time to hold individuals accountable for their actions and not exclusively blame government, business, or others when the chips are down.

You may remember an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies where a con man tried to sell naive Ozark millionaire Jed Clampett local landmarks like The Hollywood Bowl, the freeway system and Griffith Park. In real life, a reported former boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway has been accused of fraudulently trying to sell Vatican landmarks.

And finally for whatever reason there has been much discussion on the blog about City Council President Eric Garcetti referring to his live-in female lover Amy Wakeland as "his partner." A number of our readers feel that this is a term historically reserved for pre-legal marriage homosexual unions and that as a heterosexual Garcetti should refer to Wakeland as his girlfriend and hopefully soon, his fiance. Prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, domestic partnership was an option for gay couples but it was and is still not available to heterosexual couples if at least one partner is not yet a senior citizen. Therefore Eric needs to marry sweet Amy as do 45 year old Helen Hunt and her described domestic partner 47 year old Matthew Carnahan. As an ordained minister, I am happy to perform the service for free. After all, doesn't a future mayor need a First Lady and not a First Partner? (By the way before you start yammering and posting about me being politically incorrect, we're just having a little fun here. The truth is now that same-sex couples are finally getting the rights they deserve; some heterosexual couples should celebrate by taking marriage more seriously.)

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