Local city officials have perhaps the greatest impact on a citizen’s quality of life, and the person elected to represent the greater Wilshire area in Council District 4 will be the go-to representative we turn to with both our concerns and our suggestions, and expect to get some response. Yet, voter participation in the Primary Election for CD4 was disappointingly low.
There are approximately 10,000 registered voters in the immediate vicinity of Larchmont Village, yet only 23% of them voted in the primary race for CD4. Only 13% of residents in Park LaBrea and the Miracle Mile’s approximately 5600 voters showed up at the polls.
Below are two opinions on the two candidates for Council District 4. We hope you’ll get out and vote on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
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Larry Guzin: Vote for Carolyn Ramsay
As a resident in beautiful and historic Windsor Square for over 30 years, I take seriously our opportunity to choose a new councilmember for CD 4. I am voting for Carolyn Ramsay and recommend you do, too.
I met Carolyn more than a decade ago when she was president of our local neighborhood association and asked me to join her on its board of directors. In the years that followed I had an ideal opportunity to see Carolyn’s leadership ability when the association was dealing with many significant neighborhood issues. Carolyn presided over our board meetings in a measured but sure way, encouraging a collegial atmosphere that brought out the very best efforts from the directors’ varied personalities and talents.
Carolyn had an insightful grasp of community issues, ranging from complex land use problems to serious public safety concerns and beyond. She always chose to act for the good and welfare of our neighborhood and for the greater good for the City of Los Angeles.
Over the years, Carolyn became more than just another colleague as we worked together on civic issues. Carolyn became my friend. In listening carefully to the melody of Carolyn’s personality, I came to know and appreciate her actions were motivated to do what was right, and not to seek expediency and the personal aggrandizement some politicians seem to crave. That was not Carolyn’s personality. She was thoughtful, earnest, reasonable and fair, all admirable qualities.
When Carolyn moved on to lead the Los Angeles office of The Trust for Public Land and to work on Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s team, including appointment as his Chief of Staff, it was our association’s and our neighborhood’s loss, but a big gain for the greater constituencies she served so well.
Carolyn Ramsay will be a outstanding CD4 councilmember and I urge you to vote for her.
Larry Guzin is a trial attorney practicing on the Park Mile and longtime resident of Windsor Square where he lives with his wife and daughter.
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Jack Humphreville: David Ryu for City Council
On Tuesday, May 19, I will vote for David Ryu to succeed the ubiquitous Tom LaBonge in Council District 4 because he is independent of the City Hall’s political establishment that has run roughshod over our neighborhoods and made a mess of our City’s finances.
David Ryu, a Director of one LA’s largest nonprofit healthcare providers and a staffer to former Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, and Carolyn Ramsay, the former chief of staff to the termed out Tom LaBonge, are the two survivors of the March primary where 14 candidates vied to represent us. Ramsay led the pack, receiving slightly more than 15% of the vote while Ryu trailed her by only 85 votes.
Ramsay’s 3,719 votes represented a mere 2.4% of the District’s 155,000 registered voters since only 16% of the electorate bothered to cast ballots.
While these two uncharismatic and overly cautious candidates have many positions in common, there are differences that may have an impact on the City’s budget and our neighborhoods.
Neither candidate has a very good understanding of the City’s precarious finances, the most important issue facing our City, where more than $25 billion of unfunded pension liabilities and deferred maintenance on our streets, sidewalks, and the rest of our deteriorating infrastructure have the potential to devour the future of our City.
Ramsay does not appear to have a good working knowledge of the budget process or the City’s finances. But that is understandable since the budget was never a priority for Tom LaBonge who, in return for a few pet projects, voted as he was told by the Council leadership.
While Ryu is not familiar with the intimate details of the City’s budget, he has a strong understanding of the budget process and the allocation of scarce resources because of his detailed work for Supervisor Burke on the County’s far more complex budget.
Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, The Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler Classifieds.