Why Eric Garcetti Should Be Elected Mayor of Los Angeles

Eric Garcetti wants to be the next Mayor of Los Angeles. As a citizen, I’m endorsing him because Los Angeles needs him to fix its broken personnel system.

While the other candidate hasn’t been willing to talk about personnel matters, Eric Garcetti has publicly acknowledged that the City’s personnel system is broken. He’s fully aware of these fiscal facts: The City’s current budget is over 7 billion dollars. Of that total, over 60% supports a workforce of over 30,000 employees. Garcetti’s also aware that, together, the 34 budgetary departments spend nearly 3 billion dollars, with the average department spending over 85% of its total appropriation just for employee salaries!

Candidate Garcetti is fully aware that employees are the City’s most expensive resource, and he’s sensitive to the view that the City’s $4 billion workforce is not well-managed. If he’s elected Mayor of L.A., here’s what he’ll do about that situation.

Mayor Garcetti will honor his Oath of Office. He will support the City Charter. More specifically, he will enforce the Charter Sections related to the City’s Personnel function — Sections 540, 541, and 542. These Sections are not currently being enforced. The past three Mayors refused to enforce them and by that refusal, they violated their Oath of Office and corrupted the civil service system. Mayor Garcetti will keep his promise to the people; he’ll fix civil service.

Mayor Garcetti will appoint a Civil Service Commission to represent the public at City Hall. Its purpose, in part, will be to limit politicians’ access to City jobs. I’m confident he will appoint Commissioners who know the history of Civil Service, and who are familiar with state-of-the-art policies and practices related to the management of employee performance.

Mayor Garcetti will conduct a nationwide search for the best qualified Director of Human Resources. He’ll appoint that Director to be the General Manager of the City’s Personnel Department, to administer the civil service system.

Mayor Garcetti will appoint a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for each City agency. Those CAOs will report to him. He may expect them to learn from HR authorities like Dr. Edward E. Lawler, III: “People give more to their own work when they have more to say in how the company is run. Organizations can achieve maximum effectiveness through employee involvement. Thus, high-involvement management is not just a good idea — it’s an economic necessity.”

Eric Garcetti would bring a touch of excellence to the city’s civil service system. That’s why I support him and why I ask the readers of this column to support him as well.

Samuel Sperling can be contacted at samuelmsperling@yahoo.com.

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