City Hall

Letter grades for electeds begin with Galperin

galperin-grade-grab.jpgScreen grab of the new look.

Last week the LA Times editorial board announced it would start rating elected officials with a letter grade. First up is City Controller Ron Galperin, who gets a B- from the paper's editorial writers. The exercise gets some special graphic treatment on the revamped Times website, which has made some welcome improvements to readability and findability. Some will like this new facet and some won't: on the web, key phrases in the Galperin editorial are outlined in yellow and the whole piece has a faux hand-made style about it. Included are David Horsey caricatures of the officials being graded.

From the substance:

When the people of Los Angeles elected Ron Galperin as city controller in 2013, they were looking for an independent-minded watchdog who would use the power and bully pulpit of the office to delve into the city's troubled finances…

So far, what they've gotten is a nice guy with a narrow vision and a tendency to steer clear of the subjects most critical to L.A.'s future.

Galperin's heart is no doubt in the right place, and he's had a couple of notable victories, including a courageous and much-publicized showdown with one of the most powerful union leaders in Los Angeles. He's also increased transparency and made it easier for Angelenos to understand how their tax dollars are being spent. But for the most part, he's done less than we believe he is capable of, sticking mostly to the bare essentials of the job during his first two years in office.

The bottom line is the Times wants Galperin to "think bigger" and be noisier in the vein of previous controllers.

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