Herb Wesson is reelected L.A. City Council president

Herb Wesson, shown with his wife, Fabian Wesson, acknowledges applause after being reelected L.A. City Council president.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson was easily reelected president of the city’s lawmaking body for two more years, cementing his status as one of the region’s most powerful elected officials.

Wesson, who has been council president for the last 18 months, won on a 13-0 vote Tuesday. Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who tangled with Wesson during last year’s redistricting process, was not in the room. But Wesson’s other colleagues heaped praise on the former speaker of the state Assembly.

Newly installed Councilman Mike Bonin thanked Wesson for providing support after his predecessor, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, was diagnosed with cancer. Councilman Joe Buscaino said Wesson treated him “like family” after he won office last year. And Councilman Gil Cedillo, attending his first council meeting, praised Wesson as “a member’s member.”


“He pays attention to all the details and to all those things big and small that are important to the members of this body,” said Cedillo, also a former state lawmaker.

The vote marked the start of the council’s two-year legislative session. Appearing in the council chamber, Mayor Eric Garcetti promised to work with Wesson and the council to help the city recover from its five-year financial crisis. “Let us take … these next two years to put L.A. back on track, to put the recession in the rearview mirror, to do the right things for business,” he said.

Councilman Mitchell Englander, selected as Wesson’s No. 2 in the council leadership, offered a similar theme, saying he hoped to “regrow the core functions of local government” after thousands of positions were cut from the city payroll.

Wesson thanked his colleagues for their support, promising them he would put them in a position to help them deliver on their campaign promises. “I give you my word that I will not let you down. I will not embarrass you,” he added.

During his address, Wesson also laid down some rules for the lawmaking body, sternly reminding members that they have a responsibility to show up at the council’s 10 a.m. meeting on time. He also made it clear that they don’t all need to speak on the same issue.

“Don’t play to Channel 35,” said Wesson, referring to the city-owned television channel. “We are not actors. We are public servants.”

Times staff writer Catherine Saillant contributed to this report.