City Hall

Maddaus: Garcetti stuck in beta mode

Garcetti in Echo Park heads to first press conference after his election. LA Observed photo.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA Weekly politics writer Gene Maddaus have a different view of how the mayor is doing so far. "Seven months into Garcetti's term, he has yet to really launch," Maddaus writes. "His head is swirling with ideas, but those ideas have not been distilled into an agenda. And when it comes to advancing new policies, his record is surprisingly thin." The mayor disagrees — or rather, Garcetti says there is an agenda in place, it just isn't neatly packaged for newspaper absorption.

From the piece:

By this point in their terms, Garcetti's two predecessors had already laid out the agendas that would define them and had taken steps toward implementing them. Villaraigosa had begun his effort to take control of the L.A. Unified School District and was laying the groundwork for plans to hire more cops and build the Westside subway. James Hahn had expanded after-school programs, announced a $100 million housing trust fund and, most controversially, fired LAPD Chief Bernard Parks.

Garcetti has done nothing so momentous. His biggest achievement so far is a new contract with Department of Water and Power workers, which freezes wages for three years. That's a genuine success, but aside from that — and with due respect to his performance website — it's hard to point to anything of great substance....

In a half-hour interview last week at his City Hall office, Garcetti defended his record but also argued that policy initiatives are overrated, saying he prefers to focus first on basic management.

"A new administration is about getting up and running. You can do things that might sound sexy — I mean, how did the school takeover thing work out for Antonio?" he said. "My first term won't be about fits and starts and an initiative of the week. It will be about long-lasting reform."

They have an interesting conversation. Garcetti, meanwhile, is heading out later this morning to hold office hours at the Pacoima City Hall.

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