Take Two for October 10, 2013

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti looks back at his first 100 days in office

Eric Garcetti DWP City Hall

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti discusses a new deal he reached with Department of Water and Power workers on August 22nd, 2013 at Los Angeles City Hall.

Tuesday marked Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's 100th day in office. One-hundred days isn't a lot of time for an elected official to get much done, but it's enough time to gauge how people feel about the job he's doing.

The Pat Brown Institute at Cal State L.A. conducted a survey of over 500 registered voters. The results showed a 56 percent approval rating and a 5-to-1 ratio of positive over negative feelings for Garcetti's job performance.

Mayor Garcetti joins the show to tell us how he thinks he's doing 100 days into his term.

Interview Highlights:

Today is day 102. What have you been able to get done so far?
"I think we are married, the City and I, and it's been a heck of a honeymoon. I look forward to four great years together and beyond. The first 100 days, to me, are really about building a team and I tried to establish a culture of accountability, of openness and accessibility, and to not be about glitz and glamour, but trying to get back to the basics. The meat and potatoes of governing, of solving issues from our streets to our traffic, looking at the issues to jump start our economy. That's been my focus the first 100 days, to get the right people in place to make that happen."

How do you think you've done as Mayor?
"I don't spend a lot of time on self-analysis, I look in the mirror just to make sure there's nothing on my face and I haven't cut myself shaving, but beyond that I'm too excited and have a sense of urgency about this city. A sense of excitement about where we're headed.

"The first 100 days...opening up what somebody just said is now the finest terminal in North America with our international terminal, looking at the Broad Museum, which is now 2/3 of the way done, bringing $19 million in job training from the secretary of labor to help people get jobs in the healthcare profession, or just some of the other things that we've done to hold office hours in the streets of Boyle Heights or Van Nuys City Hall. I really have loved the interaction I've had with the people of LA."

Was Brian Cummings departure part of your reassessment of the city's general managers?
"For the first time I reinterviewed all the different general managers and chiefs and heads of bureaus and executive directors...It's an expected thing in places like Washington or Sacramento when a new administration comes in that they build their team. Here in Los Angeles there was a culture of if you have the job you keep the job.

"We've had great, committed public servants, but by mutual agreement a number of them will be transitioning and it allows us to bring in that sense of urgency. It's not about who stays and who goes as much as it is about having every department set numerical goals that we share with the public so the public can judge the job that we're doing."

Was the chief asked to resign?
"We have a mutual agreement that he would retire. We're going to be appointing as an acting chief, James Featherstone, who heads up our emergency management department. I think chief Cummings is a great, committed public servant and I'm very focused on reducing our response times, improving some of the technology in the fire department and making sure that we're prepared for all emergencies. In these positions, nobody would get to this level if they weren't good at what they did. I want to honor that service, but in some cases we have a mutual understanding that we're going to take a different direction."

The Dodgers take on St. Louis next. Will you be betting on the Dodgers against St. Louis mayor Francis Slay?
"I am reaching out today and my idea for a bet...I'm going to challenge him that the loser has to come to the other city and do a public service project with the other Mayor, so I look forward to welcoming him here to LA. We can do some work together...but I expect high things from our Dodgers."


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