Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Crowded field lines up for Los Angeles' 2013 municipal election

Wall Street Protest Spreads To Other Cities

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Ninety-two candidates filed papers, declaring their intentions to run for a Los Angeles City Council or citywide seat in the March 2013 primary.

Serving the city of Los Angeles is apparently good work if you can get it. Ninety-two people signed up to run for a L.A. City Council or citywide seats in the March 2013 primary. 

Saturday was the deadline for candidates to file their declarations of intention. Candidates have about a month to collect signatures and pay a fee for their nominating petitions. The primary is set for March 5, with a runoff between the top two candidates in each race scheduled for May 21, 2013.

Fourteen people filed to run for mayor, including Council members Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti, Controller Wendy Greuel and attorney Kevin James. There are three candidates running against incumbent City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and six candidates for the open seat of controller. 

In Districts 5 and 15, Councilmen Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino will run for reelection; each faces a handful of opponents. Council seats in Districts 1, 3, 7, 9, 11 and 13 will all be open. In the 13th District, 20 candidates hope to replace Garcetti, who will be termed out of office. 


LA City Council OKs fewer pension benefits for new city employees

Coalition of LA City Unions

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Attorney Victor Gordo leads a group of city workers during public comment at Friday's meeting of the L.A. City Council.

Los Angeles city workers hired after the start of the next fiscal year will have to work more years to receive fewer pension benefits, under a plan unanimously approved Friday by the Los Angeles City Council. 

The vote finalized a plan first approved a month ago. Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Richard Alarcon had asked city and labor representatives to get together to reach a compromise in the last 30 days, but the talks did not result in any changes.

Problems started with the city’s lawyers determine the new pension tier is not subject to collective bargaining. Labor leaders strongly disagreed.

“I’m here to tell you that we will vigorously pursue our administrative and legal remedies,” said Victor Gordo, an attorney for the Coalition of L.A. City Unions. “You have violated your obligation to meet and confer on the one end, and on the other end you’ve attacked the integrity of our collective bargaining agreement."


Parking, housing tax measures could be headed to LA's March ballot

Presidential Primary Election

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Two tax measures that impact parking rates and home prices could appear on the City of Los Angeles ballot next March.

Two proposed tax increases are likely to appear on the City of Los Angeles March 2013 ballot — and they would impact anyone who buys a house or parks a car in the city.

One proposal would increase the city’s documentary transfer tax, which homeowners pay when they sell a residence in Los Angeles. The current tax is $4.50 per $1,000 of the sales price, which pencils out to about $1,643 on average for each seller.

A proposal from City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana would create a progressive scale of tax rates. For homes that sell for $255,000 or less, the tax would drop to $2.25 per $1,000. Properties in the median range of $255,000 to $365,000 would not see a change in the tax rate. More expensive homes would see an increase — $6.75 per $1,000 for properties between $365,000 and $585,000, and $9 per $1,000 for houses that sell for more than $585,000.


Bill Rosendahl tells LA City Council he'll finish term and keep fighting

Bill Rosendahl - 1

Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl donned his veteran's cap as he told colleagues he will retire at the end of his term in June to focus on his continuing battle with cancer.

It wasn’t quite his swan song, but Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl took to the council floor Tuesday to make it official: he won't run for a third term as had been planned. Rosendahl's wide-ranging speech concluded with an endorsement of his chief of staff as his successor.

The decision was made just in the past few days, though there had been ongoing discussions since Rosendahl’s cancer diagnosis at the end of July, according to Mike Bonin, who will run for his boss’ seat next spring. When he learned of the cancer, doctors told Rosendahl the disease was already in stage four. The councilman believes the cancer may have gone undetected for more than a year.

“I’ve never given up on hope," Rosendahl said. "I always believe that if you can go forward in a positive spirit, you might, with the Lord’s help, make a difference with your soul and with yourself.” 


LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl decides against run for re-election (updated)

Betsy Annas/City of LA.

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (second from the left) will not run for a third term of office. The Westside councilman is undergoing cancer treatment.

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl will not run for a third term of office. The decision comes as the Westside representative is battling cancer.

The 67-year-old councilman had pledged to run next Spring for a third term of office, but after undergoing more than 13 radiation treatments and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Rosendahl has decided he must remain focused on his health.

He explained his decision in an e-mail to constituents.

“I promise you that I won’t stop getting things accomplished for you, for our neighborhoods, and for our city as long as I remain in office,” he said in his email. “It is because of these accomplishments and the promise of many more to be realized that I have decided not to seek a third term as your councilman.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement that said: "I was saddened to learn that Bill Rosendahl will not seek re-election. He is the Conscience of the Council, and City Hall will miss his energy and dynamism. I wish Bill a full recovery and good health."