Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: A 'Mediocre' or 'Good' Mayor?
Twice in a week, major news outlets have hammered down on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The LA Times endorsed him for reelection noting that they could not support any of the opposing candidates. They said he was a "good" mayor and are holding out hope that he can become a "great" mayor. And to the mayor's credit, it was he that really pushed for the "subway to the sea" and he was right to pursue control over LAUSD, although his tactics to do so failed miserably with educators.
Today, Forbes columnist and local historian Joel Kotkin writes on "the decline of Los Angeles," citing Villaraigosa's failed initiatives like planting a million trees and making LA more business competitive with smaller cities like Burbank. "By most accounts, he has been at best a mediocre mayor, with few real accomplishments besides keeping police chief Bill Bratton, a man appointed by his predecessor."
One of the more talked about issues with Villaraigosa is his constant public appearances. The LA Weekly called him the 11% mayor because most of the time he's at news conferences and out in the public eye, but the Times calls that "naive," saying he needs to be out making deals, as long as it's not all about progressing his career and not taking the city along for the ride.