Councilman Arthur K. Snyder, expected to resign from office within two weeks, is actively lobbying for the Los Angeles City Council to appoint Assemblyman Richard Alatorre (D-Los Angeles) to replace him rather than call a special election, according to two council members.
Snyder, who represents the largely Latino 14th Council District on the Eastside, has said he will resign by the end of this month, and he repeated that pledge before a large community audience Sunday night.
Alatorre, who wants to replace Snyder, said recently that he “has not given up” trying to get the council to appoint him. An appointment, which would place Alatorre in the office until 1987, when Snyder’s term expires, is strongly opposed by others who have expressed interest in the seat. They want the council to call a special election.
Councilman Joel Wachs, responding to a reporter’s question, said that during a conversation in the past week Snyder had asked him “outright” to support Alatorre’s appointment.
“I told Art no, that he should trust the judgment of the people who elected him and let the people choose the next council man,” Wachs said.
Wachs said it is his impression that Snyder “has been talking to all council members.” The vote on whether to appoint Alatorre or set a special election “is probably going to be close,” Wachs added.
Councilman Gilbert Lindsay, who was appointed by the council in 1963, said he and Snyder are “working together” to gather support for Alatorre’s appointment. The appointment would likely save the city--and Alatorre--"a whole bunch of money” in election costs, Lindsay said.
Snyder had no comment.
Alatorre, a 13-year-Assembly veteran, represents a portion of the Eastside that overlaps Snyder’s district.
Since January, when Snyder announced his intention to resign, Alatorre has sought Snyder’s endorsement and help. Snyder, an attorney, intends to do “lawyering and lobbying” after he leaves office, Alatorre has said, adding, “I’m sure he wants to have a decent relationship with the incoming councilman.”