Mixer: Broken boulevards of broken meters

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We know there’s debt at City Hall. Apparently, there’s also debt on the way to City Hall.

Our guests this week on the Mixer are David Zahniser from the Los Angeles Times and Dakota Smith from the LA Daily News.

After months of campaigning for the city’s top job, the candidates leave behind a trail of IOUs. Eric Garcetti ultimately won that fight, but his main challenger, Wendy Greuel, won most of the debt. Garcetti had about $96,000 he owes. Greuel has more than $680,000 in debt, including bills to be paid from the primary campaign as well.

Interestingly, more than $33 million was spent on the LA mayoral campaign. A record. Most of that between Garcetti and Greuel in a whirlwind TV, radio and mailer campaign in the runoff.

Former City Councilman and Republican LA lightning-rod Kevin James has a new job: Public Works Commissioner. James’s appointment is one of several Mayor Garcetti has made early in his term. And another former political rival-turned-endorser who was tapped for a city position.

Former Councilwoman Jan Perry was tapped by Garcetti last month to be Interim General Manager at the city’s Economic Development Department. Perry also sought the city’s top job and lost in the primary. After that, like James, she endorsed Garcetti for mayor.

Speaking of Mayor Garcetti, this week he also came up with a plan for ‘Operation Neighborhood Blitz’. I know, it sounds like something General Norman Schwarzkopf would oversee. In actuality, it’s a plan to pave city potholes neighborhood by neighborhood, with feedback coming back directly to city hall. It’s certainly not the first time a mayor has advocated paving roads or fixing infrastructure.

In our ‘Mixer Elixir’ this week, the LA City Council nixed tickets for parking at broken meters, opening up a few more street spaces to Angelenos. Westside Councilman Mike Bonin was the sponsor, saying it was a way for the city to show it’s on the side of residents.

Our panel seems to agree. Although, they’re unsure the law was ever fully enforced because, according to Dave Z., after tens of thousands of meters were updated, there really aren’t very many broken meters left.