From Lincoln Heights 90031 Blog
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Elections all done? Still a chance in March to change the City.
The Presidential election is over but the city elections are almost here. Locally, voters in Lincoln Heights will be deciding on who will represent it in Council District 1 ("CD-1"). Ed Reyes has been the Council Member ("CM") since winning the CD-1 seat on the Council in 2001, just barely avoiding a runoff election. The current term would have been the last term for Reyes, except that the City-created "Measure R" passed in November 2006 added a third term. That part of "Measure R" was played down so as not to draw attention away from the "ethics reform" half of the combined ballot measure, one prime example of the self-serving nature of CMs when fairness takes a back seat to personal interest.
Grab a copy today of the free L.A. WEEKLY at libraries, stores, restaurants and news stands before the new edition comes out tomorrow so you can see their big story on how public access t.v. has been cut out so that you will no longer have community access channels to see what the local politicians are up to as Channel 35 presents on cable t.v. now.The L.A. WEEKLY gives loads of details to show how "special interests" can get lawmakers to change laws if they get to the right people to take their side. Fabian Nunez, ex-Assembly Speaker, was a prime mover on the state's change in the law. Could he have been motivated by by heavy campaign funds headed his way, as well as his favored charity getting sizeable donations from the telephone industry, including AT&T?The CMs in LA really did nothing to resist cutting this out and voted approval. That means that there will be no more cable access channel, beginning next month. [The online version of the L.A. WEEKLY is still available at http://www.laweekly.com/ , but the hard copy versions can be carried around to read without having to be near a computer.]
And if you still believe that L.A. City politicians really care about the common people of the city, see "L.A. Slams Residents With Stiff Fees and Taxes" by David Heimpel in the same L.A. WEEKLY edition, also available onlline at http://www.laweekly.com/2008-12-11/news/l-a-slams-residents-with-stiff-fees-and-taxes/ . The continuing mismangement of the city by the council under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's so-called and ego-driven leadership means that when more money is needed they come to the regular people to carry the burden.
Ed Reyes, along with most of the other CM's, has continued to support these measures, being a strong supporter of Villaraigosa, even if that means that his constituents suffer as a result. Any examples to show you? Yes, and one big one is described in the "L.A. Slams Residents..." article, with a little sample shown here: In May 2006, the City Council announced a trash-collection fee thatVillaraigosa sold to residents by publicly promising it would go to hiring 1,000new cops. In concert with that, the City Council has boosted the trash fee 330percent, from $11 to $36.32.
The fee hike goes far beyond the actual cost of collecting and dumping trash. By this fall, it had generated a $137 million mountain of cash. But Villaraigosa’s vow that the excess funds would go to hiring cops proved untrue. An audit by city Controller Laura Chick has shown that Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton spent only $47.2 million hiring new officers. Much of the rest went to raises and perks for the powerful police union.
This is an eye-opening article for those of you who just quietly assumed that city lawmakers had your best interests at heart and that things were all fine and well at City Hall. Well, that's not the way it is. If you do not do anything about politicians taking advantage of their power, they will continue to pick your wallet and leave you worse off, while they empower their own circle of friends with lucrative contracts and appointments to positions. These actions are there for you to see if you examine beyond what they present to you.
Ed Reyes as the CD-1 incumbent in the March election has the advantage in money for advertising and other campaign tools over his opponent, Jesus Rosas, the only challenger for Reyes face. Despite the disparity in the power base shown in this Council race, but you should really give serious thought for change, if only for the sake of change. A good showing at the polls will let politicians know that the voters' support is not to be taken for granted.
As another example of representative of the people and not the existing political machines of the incumbents, Mayor Villaraigosa is facing a long list of challengers for his second term.
The most interesting challenger on that list is Zuma Dogg, a city activist, beginning over two years ago in that role with a dispute for his own matter with the city and learning the ropes of what goes on in city hall since then, much to the chagrin of the Council.
Zuma Dogg has probably attended more meeting that many of the Council Members over the last six months where he did not miss a single meeting. The CMs do not like that they have to explain anything to anyone, but he finds and reveals a lot of the problems that make the city worse, AND it's not just negativity. Among the discussions during limited "public comment" time that the Council provides, Zuma Dogg gives some pointed and highly spirited presentations that the CMs try to ignore, often only to find out that what he says IS true.
Ed Reyes' representation of CD-1 should be examined, as well as his ties to the policies and instructions he received from Mayor Antonio. As a certainty, The Mayor needs to be ousted for the benefit of the city- Villaraigosa is the "All-AboutMe 11-% Mayor" who cares about his own publicity first, over the city's well-being, over his duties, and even over family. (See the September L.A. WEEKLY article that reveals "Hours of travel, fund-raising and PR leave little time for his job. ... " http://www.laweekly.com/2008-09-11/news/the-all-about-me-mayor/ )
Any vote for Reyes should be carefully considered- unless you work for him and then you just want to keep your well-paid job and might even make anonymous blog comments against the challengers to keep your guy in office. For the rest of use, some dedication to the constituents and not to the paycheck would be nice to see. Reyes, makes the standard council salary of OVER $186,000.00 a year, an amount that is the highest in the entire United States, and there's MORE benefits, too, you know. That's comes to a tidy sum of $15, 500 a MONTH, a salary figure that's really WAY, too high for elected "public servants." But just try to get them to take a pay cut and these "servants" just about revolt.
There should not be automatic votes for whoever is in office, raising your bills, wasting your money, and expecting you to be grateful for any attention you get from them. THEY should be thanking YOU for the support that put them into office, and, that support can and should be REMOVED when they fail to represent you. More later.
Posted by rg- readingnews at 7:36 AM