LA WATCHDOG - Disgraced Councilman Kevin de Leon has indicated that he will not resign from the City Council despite multiple calls for his head because of his participation in a meeting where City Council President Nury Martinez made numerous racially charged and incendiary remarks.
As a result, we can expect the residents of Council District 14 to launch a recall petition, much like they did in May when they protested his policies addressing the homeless population in his district. But this time around, the petitioners will not have to worry about gathering enough signatures as voters will lining up to sign the recall petition.
If the petitioners are successful in obtaining the required 20,500 valid signatures (representing 15% of the Districts registered voters), the recall petition will be placed in front of the voters for their approval or rejection. At the same time, voters will elect a replacement who has the most votes, even if it is not a majority of the voters.
This will require a special election which will cost the City several million dollars.
The City will also be required to hold a special election to fill the vacancy in Council District 6 because of the resignation of Nury Martinez. More than likely, this will result in a runoff as many will be vying to a member of the City Council. This will also cost several million dollars.
There are also other reforms that are being tossed around that will require the approval of the voters. These include engaging the County Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw the lines of the 15 Council Districts; the establishment of an Independent Redistricting Commission; expanding the size of the City Council; limiting the discretion of Councilmembers over individual land use decisions; increasing the independence, integrity, and effectiveness of the Ethics Commission; engaging in real campaign finance reform; and limiting the power of the public sector unions.
While these reforms will take time and transparency, the first order of business is to recall Kevin de Leon, unless he has the good graces to resign and save himself and the City further embarrassment. This will allow the City to focus on reforming its corrupt ways and begin the long process of restoring Angelenos faith, trust, and confidence in City Hall and its elected officials.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].)