So Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s veto yesterday of the city council’s recent approval of a plan to sell nine-million square feet of unused “air rights” has come to the rescue of the naysayers who say the plan that will ultimately remake the downtown skyline was hastily conceived, short-sighted and improperly investigated.
Not so fast.
First off the mayor’s come out and said he’s totally down in support of the policy’s objectives. His beef? That according to him the law doesn’t comply with the city charter because it fails to provide for the appropriate checks and balances… which to me is another way the mayor says “I want to be in control, here!” and be given the authority to personally redlight or greenlight specific projects.
Whether that’s a good or bad thing I’ll leave for others to debate. But when the mayor starts talking about needing to be the ultimate arbiter and about laws lacking merit I can’t help but snicker that this is coming from the same guy who helped cobble together and stuff a law through the system so that he could remake the L.A. Unified School District in his image — and one that a local judge derailed after declaring it ludicrously meritless, inept and unconstitutional.
P.S. As to those naysayers mentioned above, Eric of Blogdowntown makes a good case why they’re wrong.