Council backs mayor 15-zip *

They talked and talked first for going on three hours, but in the end the City Council fell into line behind Mayor Villaraigosa and voted unanimously to endorse his LAUSD bill. An attempt by Councilman Alex Padilla to break out and preserve the ability of school board members to hire their own staffs — rather than draw from a central non-political pool of assistants, as allowed under AB 1381 — received only seven votes and failed. The endorsement vote quickly followed. Officials from several chambers of commerce and the Central City Association then walked straight to the mayor's office and flanked Villaraigosa as he briefed the media. Next step is a vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, then to the Senate floor later in the week and back to the Assembly for final action the following week—assuming it passes.

This isn't perfect, but nothing is. This is a significant step for reform...

I haven't worked this hard in a very long time. It has taken everything I've got...I'm not taking any vacation until this is over. I fully expect to be engaged in hand-to-hand combat all the way through.

Villaraigosa also acknowledged that he met privately yesterday with Rep. Maxine Waters, who has been a critic of the mayor's school plan, and other African American community leaders. He called it a "very, very productive meeting" and said he and Waters have a good relationship. Earlier: The mayor's Maxine problem.

City Hall blogger note: Matt Szabo joins the mayor's press office officially on Monday. Look for him to remove his inactive blog archives from the Internet any minute now.

* Also from City Hall: Villaraigosa appointed Robert L. Andrade to be General Manager of El Pueblo Historic Monument, pending City Council approval. He has been chief administrative analyst in the CAO's office.

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