Could it possibly be that the Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles is a politician who talks a good line but one should be very careful about believing what he says? Is is possible? Yes. American’s need to keep a watchful eye on politicians from the White House to state houses to the mayor’s mansion in Los Angeles because what they say one day may not be what they say the next. What they promote before the television cameras may not match their actions. What they demand from citizens may not be what they are willing to do themselves.
In the case of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti there is a lot of evidence that what he tells the media is not to be believed. How do we know? Because the LOS ANGELES TIMES can be counted on to get the story straight? Well no, one can’t count on the Ol’ Grey Lady of Spring Street to see any problem with a liberal in the Mayor’s Office. Thank goodness for the LA WEEKLY and Gene Maddaus. Not because the publication is by any stretch of the imagination a conservative publication but they at least have enough intellectual curiosity to know there is a story when what they see is not what they hear.
In this case the WEEKLY reports on the $453,000 renovation of Getty House, the residence provided for the mayor and his family. Many will be put-off by such an expenditure of taxpayer funds but I am willing to accept the need to do preventative maintenance or even spruce the Mayor’s Mansion when needed. Although the laundry list of repairs and improvements made at Getty House don’t seem to add up to what was spent. But again that is, in cases such as this another matter.
What is an issue here is what the Mayor and his wife have said about the project and their involvement in it. It now would appear that the First-Lady of Los Angeles, Amy Wakeland, took control of the renovation effort and became a first-rate headache for city personnel trying to get the work done on deadline. Oh, the deadline is at issue as well. Statements made by Mr. Garcetti to the media indicated that he wasn’t sure if his family would even be taking advantage of the public housing option by actually living at the Getty. But city crews were working feverishly to get the work done by the October 1st deadline, that’s when the Garcetti/Wakeland’s would be taking up residence even though publicly denying they had made a decision about it.
One reason for the denial is that way he could say he and his wife weren’t responsible for the expenditures, it was some work, he said, that was being done anyway. So as Hilary Clinton might question, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Politicians, you have to love them. Ms. Wakeland was also making political hay out of replacing lighting with energy-saving LEDs. But according to the LA WEEKLY , most of the lighting had already been upgraded in 2007 so there wasn’t really much of an opportunity to save energy. Ms. Wakeland may not and known or understood the finer points of the discussion so I won’t blame her for anything other than not knowing what she was actually doing.
In Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti would have fared much better if he had just been above-board from the beginning. He and Ms. Wakeland come off looking like a couple of privilege, with an entitlement attitude that during any future election should make people Think, Then Think Again.
For the LOS ANGELES TIMES and the ever shrinking circulation numbers maybe it would help to be a little more inclusive in its investigative journalism. The TIMES has a long history of first rate journalism but taking off the blinders and covering all sides of an issue would be one suggestion I would make. Having worked at the LAT for 25 years I know there is a problem of group-think in the newsroom on Spring Street.