Scandal-ridden LA City Council scrambles to fill abandoned seats

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LA City Hall is seen on a cloudy day. Photo by Amy Ta.

Conspiracy. Bribery. Secret racist recordings. LA City Council has repeatedly been rocked by scandal in recent years. All that drama has triggered resignations and suspensions, and left some districts without regular representation for months or even years. 

In Council District 6 (San Fernando Valley), a recent primary is narrowing a larger field into a smaller one, with one candidate taking a commanding lead, and two others buying for the second place slot for a runoff. 

“Homelessness was probably the No. 1 issue for the residents here just like it is across the city,” says LA Times Reporter Dakota Smith. “Other issues are graffiti, illegal dumping. The Van Nuys Airport is also a big problem for some residents, given that the planes are taking off and there's more and more smaller jets taking off as well, causing noise, toxins in the air. … And whether or not to increase the city budget to add more money for policing is probably going to be an issue in the coming weeks as the mayor unveils her budget.”

Meanwhile, in Council District 10 (South LA), the City Council has voted to let temporary appointee Heather Hutt fill in for disgraced former Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas for another 20 months — stoking the ire of some residents who want their own special election.