During his last campaign for mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa slammed Jim Hahn for not releasing his appointments calendar. Now the LA Weekly has pored over Villaraigosa's calendar for a ten-week period this spring and summer. The analysis forms the basis for a swipe at the mayor as a politician more focused on his career and hob-nobbing with elites than on city business or paying heed to the "broad middle class," a new Weekly concern represented in the story by the concerns of ex-Daily News editor turned activist Ron Kaye. From the piece by Patrick Range McDonald:
Los Angeles' mayor has not yet produced any results in improving schools, addressing greatly worsening traffic, keeping kids from joining gangs, cleaning the city's infamously filthy sidewalks, halting patently illegal clutter like 10-story building ads and thousands of illicitly constructed billboards, or controlling his spending in a time of family belt-tightening....
Yet his latest work schedule, from May 21 to August 1, which L.A. Weekly obtained from his office through a California Public Records Act request, shows the man has a peculiar way of using that time — which works out to 13 hours, not 16 or 18 per day. The document reveals that the mayor spends most of his working day flying in and out of town, holding staged press conferences, attending banquets, ceremonies and parties, raising political money and providing face time to high-powered special interest groups in a position to help his political advancement.
The mayor's schedule — which was provided to the Weekly with fat chunks blacked out, despite his 2005 campaign vow to establish a new kind of "transparent" administration — clearly shows a man who's infinitely more preoccupied with his career and his press coverage than with shaking up the ossified City Hall bureaucracy or fighting threats to the quality of life in L.A.
The period also included trips to Israel, Miami, Hawaii, London, New York City, Chicago, Oakland, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, as well as at least fourteen fundraisers. Interesting quote from Eli Broad, asked his opinion of Villaraigosa's working style: "Let's put it this way. Would I be more comfortable with a mayor like Richard Daley or Mike Bloomberg? The answer is yes. But Antonio doesn't rank at the bottom of the list either."
And at LA CityBeat: Marc Haefele analyzes whatever happened to the Children's Museum, once "one of the city’s cultural gemstones...now it’s dark and empty."