Doesn't Shapiro know a "good guy" when he sees one in action? Zev Yaroslavsky is certainly one of the "good guys!"
Shapiro's article characterized him as "riding high after his successful Proposition U campaign." Well, Councilman Yaroslavsky should be riding high! He and fellow Councilman Marvin Braude drafted, organized and helped finance Proposition U and--despite unyielding opposition from many of their colleagues and from Mayor Tom Bradley--saw the measure win overwhelmingly in every single council district!
Now the Yaroslavsky-Braude reform package is before the City Council. Its purpose is to strengthen and enhance the intent of Proposition U, and limit intense commercial development that affects the people who must live and function in and out of their neighborhoods.
The concept of community planning boards should, indeed, be considered. As the founder of a homeowner's association who has won and lost battles at City Hall for 25 years, I would welcome the integration of such groups into the planning process. However, to put together an effective planning group, which will have clearly defined responsibilities and powers, and not be subject to manipulation and influence peddling, will take a great deal of time. And time is something we are very short of!
These Yaroslavsky-Braude ordinances must move forward immediately, before it is too late to affect any changes whatsoever. For now, let's trust the City Council to demonstrate that it will tackle our problems as the people have demanded.
The mayor has the veto power, and therefore, the opportunity to participate in the process. If together they can not function constructively for Los Angeles' orderly growth, their constituents can speak again at the ballot box.