An Open Letter to Eight Mayoral Candidates

In Los Angeles, the City Clerk has certified eight mayoral candidates for the March 5, 2013 primary election. Their names and occupational designations are listed here in the order shown in the City Clerk’s announcement.

  1. Jan Perry, Los Angeles City Councilwoman
  2. Emanuel Alberto Pleitez, Technology Company Executive
  3. Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Councilman
  4. Wendy J. Greuel, Los Angeles City Controller
  5. Addie M. Miller, Citywide Advocate
  6. Kevin James, Radio Broadcaster/Attorney
  7. Norton Sandler, Factory Production Worker
  8. Yehuda, “YJ”, Draiman, Neighborhood Council Secretary

No matter which of these candidates becomes the City’s new Mayor, he/she will face a pile of pressing problems. The cost of City services is going up, City taxes — already high — may go up again, the City’s 4-billion dollar workforce is seriously mismanaged, the civil service system has been corrupted, and a growing number of Angelenos don’t respect their leaders, don’t trust their government.

Problems such as these must be resolved, and that won’t be easy. But an effective Mayor could get it done. As a first step, he/she could acknowledge past wrongdoing by elected officials. He/She could assure the public that the City Charter will never again be changed without a vote of the people — that the civil service rules and the civil service provisions of the Charter will be enforced.

The new Mayor must enlist the active support off all department heads. He/She should remind managers, “We all work for the people of Los Angeles; we owe it to them to put in a full day’s work every day. And that goes for our employees, too.”

Finally, the new Mayor should consider hiring an established consulting firm to audit the City’s personnel function. Auditing selection and appraisal practices would yield immediate and continuing benefits. It would replace practices that waste human and/or fiscal resources with practices that encourage effective management of employee performance. An audit might also help the new Mayor reduce the cost of GAS (general administrative support) in the City budget.

The candidates listed above have two months to communicate with the voters. They must prove they’re qualified to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles, and to do that they must demonstrate the ability to make City Hall serve the people!

Send your questions and comments to samuelmsperling@yahoo.com.