Inquiry, City Problems Cast Pall Over Bradley Inaugural

Times City-County Bureau Chief

After Mayor Tom Bradley is sworn in for a historic fifth term today, he faces the job of solving a huge list of municipal problems while his personal finances are under investigation.

A glum mood caused by the twin negatives of city troubles and the Bradley inquiry were reflected in interviews with city officials, who voiced uncertainty over the mayor’s future and growing impatience with the city’s ability to deal with traffic, housing shortages, waste disposal, crime and social tension.

Red and white bunting being nailed onto the City Hall inaugural rostrum Thursday, and workers preparing for a party on the building’s lawn tonight, showed the effort the city Administration was making to put a festive face on the occasion.


But the scheduled presence on the inaugural stand of two of the officials investigating Bradley, and who will also be sworn in, was evidence of the troubles confronting the man who will become Los Angeles’ first five-term mayor. They are City Atty. James K. Hahn and Controller Rick Tuttle.

Deep Concern

The interviews revealed deep concern over the ability of not only the mayor, but city government as a who$SYSTEM SYSTEM WIREOUT A070189 7/05/89 16:51:54 more complaints.

“The mayor’s office sees itself as making policy but it is not set up to make things happen,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter.

Then, expressing a deeper frustration felt by officeholders, she added, “The city is organized in a way so that nobody is in charge and each of us, in our own unique way, is helpless.”

Bradley’s supporters said they hope the mayor will take command of the day with a forward looking speech that will focus the city’s attention on Bradley solutions, rather than Bradley troubles.

Will Set Tone

Deputy Mayor Mike Gage said the mayor’s speech will “set a tenor or tone” rather than offer up a long list of specifics.

Will the mayor discuss the investigations? “I am not sure how to answer that without telling you what is in the speech,” said Gage, keeping the address under wraps.

Hahn is conducting the major probe, touched off by revelations in the press that Bradley was paid for serving on the Board of Directors of Valley Federal Savings & Loan Assn. and on the Board of Advisers of Far East National Bank, financial institutions that had business dealings with the city.

The investigation, Hahn said, will take “some time” to complete. “We keep finding new directions that should be explored,” he said. “We want to be fair to the mayor. He has been mayor for 16 years, up to now with an unblemished record.”

Tuttle said his office is moving ahead with its audit of the Africa Task Force, a city-funded organization promoting trade with African nations. It is headed by a business associate of the mayor’s. Tuttle is also examining the city treasurer’s office, which deposited city funds in the Far East National Bank.

Until the city attorney’s investigation is complete, Bradley will continue to have a “hard struggle,” said City Councilman Marvin Braude, a political ally of the mayor’s.

Report’s Consequences

“The consequences of that (report) nobody can predict,” he said. “I think it is important for this to be resolved, no matter what the consequences.”

The uneasy wait was making political leaders nervous.

Aware that their constituents are demanding action, some have begun to work on programs of their own.

Hahn, a potential candidate for mayor in four years, said he has been holding meetings of developers and leaders of poor communities to try to find ways of building more low-rent housing in a city with a diminishing supply of inexpensive apartments and a growing number of luxury dwellings.

Bradley has been trying to find ways of building more low cost housing, without much success. His major plan calls for increasing the amount of revenue available from downtown city redevelopment projects and using it for housing construction. But that effort has been tied up in court and in disputes over the future of redevelopment.

“I don’t think enough is being done,” Hahn said. “I really think we are in a housing crisis, and a lot of people are not that far away from ending up in the streets.”

Environmental Concerns

Galanter expressed concern over the Administration’s ability to implement its environmental programs, particularly a highly touted recycling effort. “They don’t have anyone who knows how to do it,” she said.

The discontent may surface in the City Council after the legislative body reorganizes next week.

The council selects its president Wednesday and Councilman John Ferraro, who ran against Bradley in 1985, is expected to be reelected.

Then, in two weeks, he will appoint the heads of revamped committees. From those committees may come initiatives prompted by the politicians’ impatience with City Hall inaction.