Brian D'Arcy, head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, is going to eat David Nahai's lunch at the Department of Water of Power, Alan Mittelstaedt argues in his CityBeat column. The argument is that D'Arcy runs the most powerful union in town, and at DWP "pretty much owns the place, including management." Nahai, conversely, has never run a utility or anything close to the size of the DWP.
Nahai, a.k.a. Mr. Green, a champion of the environment, should call a whistleblower hotline and run while he can. Life is too rough inside DWP headquarters, the deceptively civil-looking modernist gem known for its spatial patios and football-field-sized fountains.
If running his dinky, five-member Century City law firm is such a bore, maybe a top-level curator job can be found at the Huntington Library in San Marino. Or, PETA is often looking for someone to make sure the small animals get enough water and food on movie shoots. Nahai seems more like the bright fellow who organizes Shakespeare readings at your local library than a general who can restore civility in a war-torn country or an out-of-control utility. Don't make him play King Lear in real life.
The mayor so badly wants a strong ally running the agency that he's willing to feed this talented man to the DWP beasts.
Nahai tells the columnist, "I enjoy a very good working relationship with all of the unions, including IBEW and I believe we are going to work closely and productively."
Also: Mittelstaedt also reports on developer Ron Tutor tearing down a National Register of Historic Places garage near USC, without permits.
Noted: In response to my recent observation that DWP bosses usually have experience or come from somewhere else, spokesman Joe Ramallo clarified that four of the past six department GMs were promoted out of the DWP ranks or worked elsewhere for the city. Over the past 25 years, Ramallo figures, nine out of 12 permanent or interim GMs came out of the DWP or another city department.