LA Times Report Card for Councilman Wesson

wessonSome people have accused TNN of being overly critical of our government representative Councilman/President Herb Wesson and others have thanked us for keeping our Eye on him.

On Aug. 2, the LA Times delivered a report card for the top four officials at City Hall: Mayor Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Controller Ron Galpern and Council President Herb Wesson.

The report gave Council President Wesson kudo's for pushing the council to make difficult decisions but the criticism echoed concerns TNN has been identifying for years. Although he earned a B+ in leadership, B in effectiveness, B in political courage - his C in vision and D in transparency brought his average grade down to a C+, placing him 2nd to the bottom of the class.  Mayor Garcetti received a C.

Some highlights that echo TNNs' concerns: 

“The former speaker of the Assembly was elected council president by his colleagues in November 2011 and quickly brought a top-down, I'm-the-boss Sacramento sensibility to the City Council — for better and worse."

"But when Wesson doesn't want something, it goes nowhere."

For instance;
" Despite a building boom in high-end real estate, proposals to make developers build or help pay for affordable housing have languished."

"It took a lawsuit by disabled residents to force the city to commit to fixing its busted sidewalks. And since a proposed sales tax to pay for road repairs was killed last year, the City Council has done little to develop a plan to repair potholed and cracked streets. If Wesson had made these issues top priorities, there's little doubt they would have been addressed."

"So what are his priorities? It's a bit hard to say. Until recently, Wesson hadn't put forward much of a long-term agenda."

"Wesson has at times been punitive and autocratic, and has shown a contempt for transparency and public comment that is troubling."

"Opposing viewpoints have been suppressed at meetings."

"A primary responsibility of the City Council is to vet and approve land-use decisions. But the city's development process is broken, with council members routinely exempting individual projects from planning and zoning rules, which provides windfalls for developers (and sometimes campaign contributions for council members) but results in no coherent strategy for growth in the city. Wesson has set a bad example by allowing over-the-top exceptions in his district, including his support for a 27-story apartment building in a Koreatown neighborhood of two to five-story buildings."

"When former Mayor Richard Riordan came to a council meeting to oppose a hastily arranged half-billion-dollar sales tax ballot measure and to urge additional pension reform, Wesson interrupted him, asking why he didn't fix the pension system while he was mayor. When Riordan began to respond, Wesson cut him off, saying: "No, there's no back and forth. I get the last word. This is our house." But Wesson is wrong. The council chambers belong to all the people of Los Angeles, who deserve a voice in how the city's business is conducted."

Or as TNN has been putting it....the CD10 Council office represents ALL the residents, not the hand selected few. This troubling leadership style is effective for gaining and
maintaining power, but to what end?

UPDATE: In our article on Councilman Wesson's LA Times report card, we reported he came out at the bottom of the class with a +C grade. A follow up report gave Mayor Garcetti a C grade, putting him at the bottom of the class. 



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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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