Los Angeles mayor-elect Eric Garcetti on Friday announced one of his longtime advisors will serve as director of his transition effort, helping him identify hundreds of people who will work in his office and serve as political appointees.
Transition director Rich Llewellyn has spent the last dozen years as a high-level manager at City Hall, serving as chief of staff to Garcetti, former City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo and Councilman Paul Koretz. He also worked in the 1990s as special counsel to Garcetti’s father, then-Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti.
In his new role, Llewellyn, 57, will spend much of the summer helping the incoming mayor assemble his administration, which will include scores of volunteers who will sit on city commissions, as well as regional boards such as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Water District.
Garcetti’s transition strategy appears to be considerably more low-key than the one pursued eight years ago by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who followed his election victory by announcing an 81-member transition team filled with the city’s power brokers — labor leaders, education officials, newspaper publishers, nonprofit group executives and former elected officials, among others.
Llewellyn said there will be no team. Instead, he and Garcetti will travel throughout Los Angeles over the next few weeks and ask residents, business owners and others to offer their ideas for improving the city. “Eric is not doing the traditional big blue-ribbon commission,” Llewellyn said. “But I’ve certainly been instructed by Eric to reach out to a lot of different people.”
Garcetti, 42, also launched his mayoral transition website, which allows residents to apply online for positions on city boards and commissions and for jobs in the mayor’s office. He takes office July 1.
When Villaraigosa won the mayoral election in 2005, the head of his transition office was Robin Kramer, a former chief of staff to Mayor Richard Riordan. Weeks later, Kramer became Villaraigosa’s permanent chief of staff, staying in that post for four years.
Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb would not say whether Llewellyn’s temporary duties would lead to a permanent post in the administration. “We’re not going to speculate on any individual candidate or position,” he said.
Garcetti was elected to the City Council in 2001, a year after his father lost the district attorney seat to Steve Cooley. Llewellyn, who lives in Los Feliz, became the Hollywood-area councilman’s first chief of staff, serving for four years.
After a stint with Delgadillo, Llewellyn became chief of staff to Koretz, who represents part of the Westside. In that post, he currently earns more than $164,000 annually. In recent months, he volunteered for Garcetti’s campaign, attending events in South Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere.
Garcetti has already announced plans to ask all of the city’s department heads to reapply for their jobs. On his website, he encouraged Angelenos to submit strategies for improving L.A., saying he wants to take City Hall “back to basics.”