L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles City Council, District 4 election: "Tom LaBonge's small-town style has become a target" ....
* Los Angeles Times: "Tom LaBonge's small-town style has become a target" - From the LAT:
L.A.'s Tom LaBonge is a big-city councilman with a small-town style.
His office bought its own city truck to pick up abandoned sofas and trash across the 4th District. During a downpour, the Los Angeles Downtown News reported that he personally scooped debris out of downtown gutters. He's a civic cheerleader who talks up his Griffith Park hikes, prides himself on creating bicycle and walking paths, and once pushed to make sure Angelenos calling City Hall heard L.A.-themed songs while on hold — not the sort of stuff that tends to polarize voters.
But as a crowded field of candidates vie to replace the termed-out councilman, his record has become a recurring target. David Ryu, a community health center development director seeking the seat, said he was shocked as he was knocking on doors to find starkly divided sentiment about LaBonge. "Who doesn't love Tom? Tom is Mr. L.A.!" Ryu said, praising LaBonge for his dedication. "But Tom can't be everywhere. If you're lucky enough for Tom to walk by, your problem is likely to get fixed. But we need it systemwide."
Critics peg LaBonge as a "pothole politician" focused on neighborhood nuisances rather than citywide solutions. During his 14-year tenure, some of those local decisions have rankled neighborhood groups . . . . . . . .
In Hancock Park, a homeowners group wrote to LaBonge expressing "extreme frustration" with "years of runaround from you and your staff" after trying to get streets fixed with more-costly concrete instead of asphalt to suit historic neighborhood rules. At a candidates forum in Hancock Park, a number of audience members called out "No!" when a moderator said they probably trusted LaBonge . . . . . . . .
"He's a handshaker and whatnot, but I think people are ready to move on," said Hancock Park resident Tim Allyn ...........................