Los Angeles City Council District 11 begins at the bluffs of Pacific Palisades and crosses the coral tree-lined median of San Vicente Boulevard. It includes Westchester bungalows in the shadow of jets rumbling into
The district's popular council member,
Of the four candidates on the March 5 ballot, the best choice is Mike Bonin, Rosendahl's current chief deputy.
Frederick Sutton, at 27, is the youngest contender. He has worked in corporate office leasing and marketing, he has acted, and he is currently a bartender. He was a board member of the West L.A. Neighborhood Council. He is affable, energetic and quick on his feet. But he needs a little more experience in community politics and issues before he is ready to step up to a council seat.
Tina Hess, a prosecutor in the city attorney's office for 25 years, is sharp-minded and savvy about Los Angeles' political system and bureaucracy. She correctly criticizes the Veterans Administration for doing an abysmal job of housing needy veterans in Los Angeles. She says she understands that homelessness is a complex issue that requires balancing the interests of the homeless and homeowners. But she supports a proposed city ordinance restricting group homes that this page opposed because it could create difficulties for groups such as the
Odysseus Bostick, a middle school teacher, is straightforward, outspoken and independent-minded. He has a website brimming with ideas on how to solve the city's economic problems, not all of them new but most of them sensible. More than any other candidate, he seems willing to zealously guard against poorly planned development that overburdens the local infrastructure.
Bostick's willingness to speak his mind is refreshing, but as a council member, he couldn't be just a flame-thrower. To win battles for his district, he would have to cooperate and compromise with other council members and with residents, not all of whom would agree with him all the time. It's unclear that he has the temperament for the job.
The best choice is Bonin, who has been Rosendahl's top aide for eight years and previously worked for then-Councilwoman Ruth Galanter and then-
He is a student of the district, well-versed on issues of traffic, homelessness and development. He knows that the homeless need permanent supportive housing and knows how to get projects into the pipeline. He understands that it has to be relatively easy for people to travel to the Expo rail line for them to take advantage of it, and he has some ideas for that. He pushed to bring to congested Venice a pilot program (already in use in Hollywood) for smartphone apps that tell drivers where a parking space is. He doesn't exhibit the same level of passion for the issues and the people (and the animals) that Rosendahl does, but none of the candidates do.