Southern California breaking news and trends

Zev Yaroslavsky opts not to run to be Los Angeles's next mayor (updated)

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Despite more than a year of speculation, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will not run for mayor of Los Angeles.

After more than a year of speculation, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky announced today he will not run for mayor of Los Angeles because “it’s time for a new generation of leaders to emerge and guide this region into the future."

Yaroslavsky, 63, has served in elected office since he first joined to the L.A. City Council in 1975. He was later elected to the Board of Supervisors, a job he has held since 1994.

“Beginning as a 26-year-old councilman, I have quite literally come of age in public life at the forefront of Los Angeles’ most critical issues. While I have never been a supporter of term limits, I do believe that four decades is long enough for any citizen to hold elective office, especially in an executive capacity,” Yaroslavsky said in a statement on his website.

Deciding whether to run for mayor has been “one of the most difficult decisions of my political life,” Yaroslavsky said.

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Proposal to extend term limits fails at Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich

Andres Aguila/KPCC

A proposal from Supervisor Mike Antonovich to extend supervisors' term limits from 12 years to 20 years failed to receive the three voters needed to get it on the November ballot.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today declined to approve a fall ballot measure that would have extended their term limits.

With two abstentions and a dissenting vote, Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s proposal to give supervisors five four-year terms, instead of the current three terms, failed to pass. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky voted against the measure, even after the board accepted his language to clarify that terms would be extended rather than limited. Supervisors Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas declined to vote on the issue.

“Term limits have been a wrecking ball in Sacramento,” Antonovich said. “A number of our cities are going under. We don’t know what the future is going to hold. Having the voters have that opportunity to vote for a candidate of their choice is all that this motion does.” 

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Yaroslavsky: Extension of term limits makes mockery of Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky slammed his colleague today for pushing a proposal that would extend term limits for sitting supervisors.

A plan to extend term limits for Los Angeles County supervisors resulted in an argument today at the Hall of Administration, with one elected official arguing that the proposal makes a mockery of his colleagues.

Supervisor Mike Antonovich submitted a motion Friday evening that asks for a charter amendment to extend term limits from three, four-year terms to five. Those existing term limits were approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2002 and were not retroactive, which means most supervisors, like Antonovich, have spent more than three terms in office.

A vote on whether to place the charter amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot was delayed for one week. If three supervisors agree to place it on the ballot, it would take a majority vote of the electorate to pass. 

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky criticized proposed ballot language that suggests voters would somehow be limiting the time supervisors spend in office.

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Zev Yaroslavsky: Alleged misconduct in LA assessor's office a 'tragic situation'

Zev Talks

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky called the ongoing investigation into the county Assessor's Office "tragic" today in an interview with KPCC.

The person who leads the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office in John Noguez’s absence will have to be “tough enough to restore order and integrity to an office that has a cloud over it,” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told KPCC today.

The Board of Supervisors will consider a motion at its meeting on Wednesday that instructs the chief executive officer to recommend one or more candidates to be the chief deputy assessor. That person will then be placed in charge of the office while Noguez is on leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the district attorney.

“This is a tragic situation that we’re facing in that office,” said Yaroslavsky, chair of the board.

Without a doubt, the chief deputy assessor must come from outside of the office, he said. 

The candidate will be, “somebody whose got no entanglements with any of the people in the management of that office and someone who can turn the department, the Office of the Assessor, around. Who can hire and fire people and who is willing to make the tough choices to identify the people who are contaminating the office from an integrity point of view and get rid of them,” Yaroslavsky said.

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Yaroslavsky knocks City Hall's call for independent review of assessor's work (updated)

Zev Talks

Corey Bridwell/KPCC

Couny Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says City Hall's call for an independent review of the county assessor's work is unnecessary because the county is already conducting such an audit.

News that Los Angeles city officials want an independent review of the county assessor’s work received a cold shoulder at the Hall of Administration today, with one supervisor saying the request is superfluous because of an ongoing audit. 

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s comments came as the Board of Supervisors agreed to delay discussion on a proposal to include tax agents in the county’s lobbyist ordinance. Lobbyists are required to register with the county and are prohibited from donating to supervisors’ political campaigns or officeholder accounts. The item will be back for a vote in two weeks.

Earlier in the day, Councilmen Paul Krekorian and Dennis Zine introduced a resolution asking that a third party review properties whose assessments were lowered by at least 20 percent after Noguez was elected in 2010. Yarolsavksy said the county’s auditor-controller is already conducting such a review.

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