When former Assemblywoman Cindy Montañez made like the good Democrat and dropped out of the race for City Council to make way for State Sen. Richard Alarcon, you just knew there would be some payoff (oops, wrong word — let's say consideration) down the road. She made things easier for Mayor Villaraigosa, the unions and others who sought to avoid a messy internecine fight in the Northeast Valley. One piece of her reward package has now become clear. Tucked away in yesterday's council referral file is Villaraigosa's nomination of Montañez, the former mayor of San Fernando, for the Los Angeles planning commission. Once confirmed she would fill out the term vacated by Andres Irlando, who resigned earlier this month. Of course that's officially an unpaid post, so many expect to see her also get a lucrative state commission or board post from the mayor's friends in Sacramento. (She already did: the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board pays $123,987 per year for one board meeting a month. Speaker Fabian Nuñez appointed her last month.)
Political note: Longtime City Hall reporter Marc Haefele writes at CityWatch that this is "the least meaningful city primary election I’ve seen in 26 years."