What the hell is happening with the Los Angeles City Council? Readers of this blog will note that many of the writers here usually praise the actions of our civil servants, especially those of Council President Eric Garcetti (blogging.la article search). However, in the last couple months a trio of highly questionable moves at City Hall have me questioning why there isn’t a larger backlash against them.
The issues at large:
- Free speech restrictions, aka “Rules of Decorum” were proposed and agreed to by the City Council earlier this month that additionally limits the length of public comment, vaguely prohibits disruptive behavior, bans banners and placards from Council chambers, and a number of other unnecessary prohibitions.
- Under the ironic shroud of “ethics reform” the City Council has proposed putting a measure on November’s ballot that, if passed, would extend City Council term limits from two four year terms to three “to reduce the power and influence of City Hall bureaucrats and lobbyists.” Other terms on the measure do indeed fall within what many voters would agree help keep corruption from City Hall, as you can see in this summary of the issue by Mack Reed at LA Voice.
- On Tuesday the City Council held a special meeting “to consider a plan that proposes $41.3M in pay raises for cetain city employees and $10.4M more in retroactive pay.” As Mayor Sam points out, the public was given less than 24 hours notice of this special meeting.
In these three actions, City Hall has portrayed itself as the epitomy of what people fear about politicians: slyly trying to extend their own terms and pay raises, while making strides to limit the public’s right to address these issues.