Letters to the Editor: Readers soured on L.A. City Hall long ago. Now they’re really piling on
Since the days of the Antonio Villaraigosa administration, Los Angeles City Hall has been one of our letter writers’ favorite punching bags. Conservative readers lambast the mayor and City Council for what they feel are onerous regulations on businesses and for taking progressive stances on issues like immigration, and readers on the left decry the apparent dissonance between those stances and actual actions on traffic, housing, homelessness and policing. Where there is cross-ideological agreement among readers, it isn’t in the city’s favor: No one likes the airport or the roads, and everyone agrees the rent is too damn high.
Now, with the Biden administration reportedly eyeing lame-duck Mayor Eric Garcetti to be the U.S. ambassador to India, and with the revelation that the mayor’s top aide disparaged city employees and even labor icon Dolores Huerta online, readers are once again piling on (with one exception — see below).
When Garcetti first emerged weeks ago as a likely ambassador appointee, The Times Editorial Board encouraged him to remain in L.A. and not leave City Hall in the lurch. The letters below suggest some readers may be less troubled by a mayoral vacancy.
To the editor: As a former Los Angeles deputy mayor (1978-81), I am shocked and appalled by Garcetti chief of staff Ana Guerrero’s outrageous social media attack on one of the most revered, respected and beloved Angelenos, the living American civil rights legend Dolores Huerta.
For Guerrero’s statements, Garcetti should demand her resignation or fire her.
Stephen Saltzman, Los Angeles
To the editor: If Guerrero has any dignity, she should resign now. Or, she should be fired by Garcetti immediately. This, combined with the mayor’s claim that he did not witness any alleged misbehavior by his close advisor Rick Jacobs, explains his inability as a leader.
Former Councilman Mitchell Englander is in prison, and former Councilman Jose Huizar is under federal indictment. “Pay for play” should be engraved on a nice big bronze plaque in front of City Hall as its motto.
Perhaps the Biden administration should reconsider hiring an ineffective leader who cannot clean his own house in Los Angeles.
Mark Gillson, Los Angeles
To the editor: Your editorial raises the issue of whether the fact that the mayor’s chief of staff sometimes engaged in foolish and negative online activity affected her treatment of or service on behalf of constituents.
As an ordinary constituent, I have some relevant experience. I have spent considerable time over many years trying to interact in a positive fashion with various departments in the city of Los Angeles. It is typically extremely difficult to get city departments to respond to legitimate complaints or requests for service.
In my many efforts to get somewhere with the city, the one individual who has always stood out positively is Guerrero. She has invariably quickly connected me with the appropriate person to address any particular issue.
Now, we have all learned that she is human. Please don’t forget that she is an extremely knowledgeable and talented individual employed by the city.
John A. Brock, Los Angeles
To the editor: The seemingly super-woke city employees flopping on the deck over Guerrero’s Facebook remarks are sleeping on the job.
People, this town looks post-apocalyptic every time I walk out the door. Focus. Do your jobs. Make our city better.
Kelly Aden, Silver Lake
To the editor: I don’t live in Los Angeles; however, I do read The Times. Yes, there are still a few of us who read.
Columnist Steve Lopez playfully suggests he could be mayor of Los Angeles; count me as a supporter. I have read his articles for years and know he would be the perfect replacement. His thoughts on homelessness and Garcetti’s staff issues have all hit home.
The only concern I would have is this: Would he keep his job as a columnist? I and many others would miss the opportunity to read the next piece by L.A.’s conscience.
Steve Lopez for mayor!
Larry Herschler, Anaheim
To the editor: President Biden, if Garcetti wants out — and make no mistake, we Angelenos are sick of Garcetti’s failures — make sure it is a learning experience for a man who did nothing for you, or for Los Angeles. Send him to Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala or maybe even Nicaragua in order to help him understand the people of the Western Hemisphere, especially the impoverished people who in escaping corrupt societies seek refuge in the land of the free.
Now we learn Garcetti’s chief of staff has insulted a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, America’s most successful union organizer, Dolores Huerta.
Out with these slugs. Save us, President Biden.
William McNally, Hollywood
To the editor: I have one comment regarding your editorial on Garcetti’s weak leadership and “goody two shoes” style, especially the way he apparently has his closest advisors do his dirty work.
Give him to Biden and book a flight to India sooner rather than later. If he stays here any longer, he may end up on the cover of a tabloid.
Richard Whorton, Studio City
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