The Mixer: Bye, Mayor V.; Hello, Mayor G.

Written by
LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tests a toy guitar at a Mexican crafts stand on Olvera Street on Friday, June 28. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spent most of his remaining hours as the city’s chief executive on a bus, touring areas where he campaigned in his quest for the job in the first place. KCRW’s Avishay Artsy rode along with the mayor, asking him to remember the places he’s seen and people he’s talked to over the years.

So we asked this week’s Mixer guests, Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly and Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times, to evaluate this, the mayor’s last ride.

The mayor was mostly reminiscent of his place in the places he visited, leading Maddaus to say there was relative all-out narcissism in what the mayor was saying to Avishay.

Asked how people will remember Villaraigosa as mayor, Maddaus and Mehta were of mixed minds (how appropriate).

Gene says the mayor had a hand in getting more stable funding available for mass transit (Measure R). But he thinks even with more money and expanded transit, LA traffic still is insufferable.

He says the worst part of his term was the 2007 pay raises he gave city workers — 25 percent for 5 years. It meant the city had to reduce hundreds of positions in the city workforce and is leaving his successor, Eric Garcetti, a big budget nightmare.