Edelman Backs His Chief Aide for Council Seat


Retiring County Supervisor Ed Edelman on Wednesday “strongly recommended” that his chief deputy be appointed to the Los Angeles City Council seat to be left vacant next week when Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky becomes a county supervisor.

Edelman suggested that the 5th District seat--representing the Westside and much of Sherman Oaks, Studio City and North Hollywood--be filled temporarily by Bob Geoghegan.

Geoghegan, who has been an Edelman aide for 21 years, said he had no interest in retaining the office beyond April, when an election will be held for the seat.


“I just want to step in and make sure the Valley has a voting voice to protect its interests,” Geoghegan said.

Since Yaroslavsky was elected to the board in June, there has been disagreement on whether his council post would be watched over by a non-voting legislative analyst--favored by the City Council president--or by a full-fledged voting representative appointed by the council, an idea backed by many in the 5th District.

The city charter states that at least eight members of the council must vote in favor of extending voting rights to such interim council members. Also, they must live in the district they represent. Geoghegan, who lives in Culver City, said he would move to the district if he is selected.

A voting member is considered especially important by residents of earthquake-ravaged areas of Sherman Oaks and Studio City, who want to ensure their neighborhoods are not overlooked when relief aid is dispensed by the council.

Still, prior to this week, no one had stepped forward to volunteer for the lame duck post, though several people, including Yaroslavsky’s wife, Barbara, have announced their intention to run for the seat in the April election. If necessary, a runoff election would be held in June.

Wednesday, the influential Edelman, who is retiring from the board Friday, said Geoghegan would be the best interim representative for the district.


“He is incredibly gifted and knows the Fifth Council District, having worked in it for many years,” Edelman said in a news release. “He would be non-partisan in his approach and could immediately help ensure that the District is properly represented for the next seven months. I recommend him without any hesitation whatsoever.”

Before the announcement, Edelman had consulted both Yaroslavsky and Councilwoman Laura Chick “and got a good reaction,” Geoghegan said.

Neither Yaroslavsky nor Chick was available for comment Wednesday.

Geoghegan, 50, has been an aide to Edelman since 1973, when the supervisor was a city councilman representing the 5th District. He has been Edelman’s chief deputy for the past 14 years.