Op-Ed: How to reform L.A. City Hall to avoid future corruption and scandal
The City Council has not passed any major reform measures since 2011. City Hall has become a cesspool of corruption, and the mayor’s office has been plagued with scandal at the highest levels of city government.
When the City Council returns from their summer break in August, they will consider the report by the Citizens Oversight Committee. This is the first time they will have had the opportunity to weigh in on this issue, and we are very hopeful that they will address some of the glaring issues at this meeting.
The Citizens Oversight Committee report is lengthy — and you can read it yourself here — and is divided into four sections: City administration (foundational), L.A. Police and Fire departments (fundamental reforms), City Council (specifics), and the future of city government.
If you have the time — and we hope you do — we have listed a few of our favorite findings as well as our suggestions for reform.
Fundamentally, we believe the report outlines a viable path for reforming city government. But we also hope that they will consider the report, and perhaps their own experiences, in an honest, fact-based way.
If you are interested in more detail about any of the reforms, we encourage you to find the report or check out the Citizens Oversight Committee website.
Below are a few bullet points from the Citizens Oversight Committee report on City Hall that you can use to build your own reform plan.
• The City Council, in the absence of a mayoral appointment, is responsible for making appointments to the six-member council. These appointments provide oversight for the Chief Administrative Officer and the City Council. • In the absence of a mayoral appointment, the Mayor’s office appoints the seven-member City Council. This council is also responsible for oversight of the city administration and law enforcement. • The Mayor appoints the City Attorney, City Auditor, and Chief Information Officer. These positions are responsible for enforcing city laws and ordinances. • The Mayor appoints the City Planning Commission and the City Council is responsible for oversight of the commission. This body reviews proposed zoning changes and other land uses and reviews development proposals and other infrastructure projects. • In the absence of a mayoral appointment, the City Council also appoints the City Manager and the five-member City Planning Commission. City Council also appoints the three City departments above. • A Mayor appoint