Chairman Villaraigosa

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa takes the gavel today for his first meeting as chair of the MTA. It's his luck that the rotating chairmanship belongs this year to whoever is mayor of Los Angeles. As Robert Greene points out in an LA Weekly analysis of the mayor's first month in office, Villaraigosa wasn't going to let that opportunity slip. Writes Greene:

His agenda now becomes the MTA’s agenda, and if he says the agency is going to look at getting back into the subway-digging business, the wisest thing the staff there could do is say, “Okay, boss.”

Greene also looks at the winners and losers in last week's council committee shuffle, and the competition for Villaraigosa's endorsement in the Valley Senate race. It pits Council president Alex Padilla against a rival in the complicated Latino politics of the Valley, Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez. Pressure is on Montanez to give in and run for Padilla's seat on the council. Also in the Weekly: Jeffrey Anderson says a fat contract given to DWP workers poses "a major test of leadership" for Villaraigosa.

Thursday stories: Daily News catches up on the harbor commissioners, and Janice Hahn criticizes...Former councilman Nick Pacheco complains about the ex-Villaraigosa aide who is handling affairs in the 14th district...BFI opens the expanded Sunshine Canyon, giving Granada Hills one of the biggest landfills in the country.

And: Matt Szabo blogs about Councilwoman Wendy Greuel's appearance on KABC Radio's McIntyre in the Morning to push campaign reform...Joe Scott blogs about Villaraigosa's trip to Washington and LAX safety...ABC7 is taking emailed questions to be asked of Villaraigosa on Eyewitness Newsmakers July 31 (spotted at Skunks of Los Feliz).

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