Grayce Liu will lead the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment as it looks to redefine stakeholders and encourage greater participation.
The woman who has overseen the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment for the last six months was unanimously confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council Friday as DONE's new general manager.
Grayce Liu was named the interim general manager last August after BongHwan Kim left the position for a job in San Diego. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is responsible for overseeing the city’s 95 neighborhood councils.
“I’m looking forward to working with the neighborhood councils and continuing to find opportunities for neighborhood councils to work within the city council system and the city family system as well,” Liu said.
The confirmation comes as the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners is working to clarify when a resident can be involved with a local board. The city charter opens membership to anyone who “lives, works, owns property in the neighborhood and also those who declare a stake in the neighborhood.” This created problems last year when medical marijuana clinic owners encouraged their customers to vote in the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, where dispensary owners are locked in a fight with neighborhood leaders over the proliferation of pot shops.
Mayoral candidate Jan Perry is profiled in the Los Angeles Times. The focus? Her frankness.
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Today is Friday, Jan. 18, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
The Los Angeles Times profiles Jan Perry and her "frankness." "I like to cut to the chase in my words and my deeds," she tells the newspaper.
Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti's opponents say they will not sign a pledge to forgo the use of outside funds in the campaign, according to the Daily News. Garcetti says he wants to lessen the influence of SuperPACs and independent expenditures.
Candidates for city attorney debated in Hollywood Thursday, reports KPCC. Incumbent Carmen Trutanich knocked Assemblyman Mike Feuer for his record in Sacramento. "When Mr. Feuer was in Sacramento, his budget solution was to release prisoners to balance the budget, to cut school funding to balance the budget," he told the crowd.
Several former city council members from the city of Bell go on trial next week on charges of public corruption. They are accused of taking large city salaries for no work, attending phantom meetings, and receiving illegal loans from the city.
Since their arrests, and that of former City Manager Robert Rizzo and his assistant, new leaders have been trying to restructure the city. Residents and business owners say they are noticing a difference, although the pace of change has been slow.
Charlie Ortiz opened Charlie's Chop Shop in Bell a dozen years ago when the Rizzo regime was in full swing. Ortiz swiftly made professional and personal friends with members of the local police department, but suspected something might be wrong.
"I used to think your voice wasn't heard as loud, before," he says.
Four candidates for Los Angeles city attorney debated at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood Thursday night (01/17/13). From left to right are State Assemblyman Mike Feuer (standing), attorney Greg Smith, incumbent City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, and attorney Noel Weiss. The primary election is March 5.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who is seeking a second four-year term, blasted his challengers during a debate inside the ballroom of the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood Thursday night.
“We’re talking about the Meg Whitman of candidates,” Trutanich said of attorney Greg Smith, who has poured $620,000 of his own money into his campaign. Whitman spent $144 million of her fortune on her losing 2010 campaign for governor.
“Thanks for comparing me to Meg Whitman,” Smith replied. “If I had a fraction of her money, I wouldn’t be here.”
Smith, who often represents LAPD officers who sue the city over workplace conditions, said he’s been forced to fund his own campaign because he is a “political outsider.”
Trutanich also assailed his other main opponent in the race, former State Assemblyman Mike Feuer.
The State Department of Finance says the staff of California’s Public Utilities Commission has been misreporting the balance in special funds the agency manages. That’s the finding of a state audit that blamed "general confusion and lack of knowledge" for the mistakes.
The PUC manages 14 special funds that use monthly fees from consumers to pay for special programs like the Universal Lifeline telephone service for low-income Californians. It turns out that in 2011, agency staff miscalculated how much those funds held.
"It created the appearance that there were more funds than there really were," said David Botelho, who heads the audit team at the Department of Finance.
The audit was launched after discrepancies of nearly a half-billion dollars were found between what the utilities agency reported to the Finance Department and what it reported to the state controller. The Universal Lifeline Account showed the largest difference — $158 million.