Today’s News: Full plate of labor issues awaits Garcetti; Valley was critical in mayor’s race; Missing Newport art

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Garcetti’s challenge. L.A. Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti will meet today with the man he’ll be taking over from on July 1st. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls Garcetti “a true leader”and says he trusts him to guide the city into a bright future.”

Garcetti is going to have some sensitive issues to deal with when he moves into the mayor’s office. At the top of the list, salaries for city employees. The City Council —which Garcetti is still serving on — is expected to decide today how to pay for a promised 5.5 percent raise for city workers. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana has called the pay hike a “budget buster” for Los Angeles, and has recommended it be rescinded.

Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti talks to the press the day after his election

But Garcetti has said the city cannot legally deny workers the raises. Instead, he says he plans to meet with union representatives in the coming months to find other long-term savings. One idea he’s supported is having workers chip in more toward their healthcare coverage.

By the end of the year, Garcetti and the City Council will also have to start contract talks with unions representing police officers, firefighters and DWP workers. L.A. Times

Road to victory. So how did Garcetti pull off his eight-point victory over Wendy Greuel in the L.A. mayor’s race?

Political observers are keying on two things: Garcetti’s success neutralizing Greuel’s advantage in her home turf in the San Fernando Valley, and his ability to make Greuel’s support from the union that represents Department of Water and Power workers a major theme of the campaign. L.A. Times reporter David Zahniser told KCRW’s Warren Olney the two strategies went hand-in-hand. “The DWP as it’s known is not particularly popular, especially in sections of the Valley, particularly when people get their bills,” Zahniser said. “And he used the DWP union really as a cudgel against his opponent in the last three months.”

The election results show Garcetti fought Greuel to a virtual tie in the Valley, while running up big margins on the Westside, East L.A. and in the Central City. Greuel won most of the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods. L.A. Times, L.A. Daily News

Pot problem. City officials are looking at a monumental task enforcing the medical marijuana measure passed by voters this week. Measure D was the only one of the three medical pot initiatives on the ballot to be approved. It limits the number of pot shops in the city to 135 and raises the tax on marijuana sales. But there are thought to be more than 700 pot dispensaries in the city, and at least some of those are expected to resist the new law. Supporters of Measure F, which would have allowed a greater number of dispensaries, have also threatened to sue the city. L.A. Daily News

Health insurance. Several of the state’s prominent health insurers say they won’t take part in a state-run exchange that is part of the new federal healthcare law known as Obamacare – a decision that could limit choices for millions of California residents. Aetna, Cigna and United Health won’t participate in the new state-run market, for the first year at least. Meanwhile, Californians today will get their first look at the plans being offered through the exchange – and how much they’ll cost. L.A. Times, AP

Missing pieces. The art coordinator for the city of Newport Beach has stepped down with the news that the city misplaced dozens of works of art. Jana Barbier’s exit came after she gave the Orange County Register newspaper a 10-year-old inventory list that showed 30 out of 186 city-owned works of art were missing. City officials are still trying to track down the lost pieces. Orange County Register