City Councilman Greig Smith has compiled his favorite City Hall stories into a self-published book from Xlibris. "If City Hall's Walls Could Talk: Strange And Funny Stories From Inside Los Angeles City Hall" looks to be anecdotal and mostly about characters and offbeat stories; Xlibris lists it in the political humor section. But I'm sure it will be carefully perused inside the building to see if Smith reveals any secrets or settles any scores. Smith told Encino Patch it was merely his desire to compile a collection of short stories that make for an enjoyable read. Excerpt:
One of the regular functions of a mayor is to present awards to deserving citizens. One on occasion Mayor Riordan was asked to present awards to four outstanding women, "business women of the year." ... There were three white women and one African-American, all of whom he had never met. The mayor would then say a few nice words about woman number one, have her come forward to present a resolution to her, and shake hands. He did this for woman 2 and 3 as well. When he made his comments about woman number 4, the African-American, she came forward, but instead of shaking her hand, he suddenly raised his arm above her to give her a high five. Instead, the poor woman saw his hand rapidly raise above her and dropped to her knees, lost balance and fell off the stage. Assistants rushed to her aid, and all she could say was she thought the man was going to hit her.
The book's foreword, which is free online, thanks a number of current and past City Hall staffers. Special thanks go to ex-councilman Hal Bernson and his wife Robyn (Smith came to City Hall as a Bernson staffer) and former city commissioners Ted and Ellen Stein.
* Fixed: Smith is not being termed out, as I had originally said. My mistake. He chose not to seek reelection and plans to teach public policy at USC.