Letters: Governing L.A. County

Re "5 jobs politicians covet," Sept. 7

Thank you for the article concerning the complexities of the jobs held by members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Term limits for the members may improve governance, as would more frequent and improved media coverage.


The larger issue, which The Times hints at but not does not state explicitly, is a basic structural flaw: The board is the legislature and the executive of the county, thus accountable only to itself. These two powers must be separated so that the existing unlimited power may be lessened, oversight increased and accountability clear.

There must be an executive not appointed by the board, such as an elected county mayor.

George Wolkon

Pacific Palisades

The story omits a key fact about the supervisors: Their gerrymandered districts deny fair representation and allow members to focus on their own political interests.

The San Gabriel Valley is cut up into three districts. Latinos, nearly 50% of the county, have only one seat that offers them a chance to elect a candidate of their choice. In the 2011 decennial map-drawing, the supervisors didn't approve alternatives and instead kept their seats "safe" even though four of the five will be gone by 2016 due to term limits.

Los Angeles County deserves better.

Saeed Ali

Los Angeles

Your article is very informative as far as it goes. But you'll have to go deeper to give people a real understanding of what's at stake. Take culture and the arts.

I don't think you could find a single person in the arts in L.A. who would disagree that we wouldn't be where we are today without Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Just name some of the art institutions that are part of the county: Walt Disney Concert Hall (the L.A. Philharmonic), the Music Center, the L.A. County Museum of Art, the Ford Amphitheatre, the Natural History Museum and the California Science Center.

Compare those to institutions under the city of Los Angeles' control; you'd be challenged to name one. We take for granted the fact that the county institutions are constantly being improved and upgraded.

Will that happen when Yaroslavsky is replaced? I hope so, but I worry.

Bob Klein


Culver City