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Letters to the Editor: Who cares if Rick Caruso is a billionaire? If he’s effective, he should be mayor

 Rick Caruso waits for his paperwork to be filed to run for mayor of Los Angeles at the city clerk's office in downtown L.A.
Rick Caruso waits for his paperwork to be filed to run for mayor of Los Angeles at the city clerk’s office in downtown L.A. on Feb. 11.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: I don’t care that Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso is a billionaire. I do care about the path Los Angeles has taken.

Council members and the mayor are supposed to manage city affairs. They have failed miserably. More than 40,000 people in this city are homeless, and only a small portion are given housing. Affordable housing for working-class and middle-class citizens isn’t available widely enough.

Traffic enforcement is nowhere to be found. Maintenance of streets, sidewalks and street lighting is totally inadequate. High Department of Water and Power bills can be expected.

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Want approval of a new development? Just send your council member for a few jaunts to Las Vegas.

I want a mayor and City Council members who are not politicians. Caruso can lead the city without concern about campaign funding, and that is a good place to start.

Don Evans, Canoga Park

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To the editor: Santa Barbara once had a charming, affordable beachfront hotel with a blue-tiled roof called the Miramar, in nearby Montecito. Locals and visitors alike enjoyed it. In 2000, the original owners moved on.

Over the next several years, a successive string of billionaires bought and sold the property, allowing it first to decay, then be torn down. After Caruso bought the hotel, he bargained with the Santa Barbara County supervisors for a forgiveness of bed taxes over a number of years.

Ultimately, the Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel was built. Now, rooms start at almost $2,000 per night, eliminating most local patronage.

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In the June primary, be very careful in your consideration of this businessman for his first elected government office.

Marty Conoley, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: Los Angeles employs more than 50,000 workers, and it has an annual budget of more than $11 billion.

Do you think an independent, newly registered Democrat that understands a complex municipal bureaucracy like L.A. is what we need?

In 1993, we elected an outsider in Richard Riordan to turn Los Angeles around, and we find ourselves in the same predicament after decades of failed politicians and policies.

Yes, Caruso makes sense for a new and better Los Angeles.

Nick Antonicello, Venice

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To the editor: Remember the game Pac-Man? It comes to mind when I think about what has been happening to this wonderful city.

Ubiquitous speculative development is gobbling up perfectly decent homes and every stick of green that these developers can devour. Now comes along Los Angeles’ most well-known developer, who has decided to run for mayor and run the show.

Los Angeles needs a developer-mayor about as badly as the city of Flint, Mich., needs more foul water.

Sara R. Nichols, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Los Angeles has effectively been under one-party rule for the last 20 years. Taking COVID-19 out of the equation, can anyone honestly say the city has not been in a slow decline?

Citizens are clamoring for leaders with a modicum of common sense. People in general seem to be sympathetic to social causes, as we have voted to impose more taxes on ourselves with the hope that things will improve — only to see problems worsen.

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In the two front runners, we have Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), who praised Fidel Castro when he died, and Caruso, a billionaire businessman who has yet to hold office.

Hopefully, someone from the list of other candidates will emerge.

Bill Toth, Studio City

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