Since the downsizing of the larger city newspapers and the growth of desktop publishing, local community news sources have stepped in to celebrate, ruminate and investigate their local neighborhoods and politicians. It has become more difficult for local politicians to keep information about their activities under their spin and “politics as usual” is taking a hit. LA Weekly noted that CD10’s Councilman Herb Wesson’s superior connections helped ease his way into the 10th district in 2005 after then Councilman Ludlow moved over to Labor.
The influence continued with Wesson’s virtually uncontested second term. But being accountable to a local community was a relatively new experience for Councilman Wesson. The Neighborhood News (TNN) continues it’s ongoing investigation into one of the Council Office’s first local interactions, an effort to assist some residents in the Western Heights Neighborhood Association (WHNA) to keep temporary traffic barriers and to help with their continued effort to install permanent ones.
TNN recently requested public records of all documents related to this issue from the Los Angeles Fire Dept (LAFD), Department of Transportation (DOT) and Council District 10 (CD10). The information discovered in these documents raises compelling and troubling questions about the councilman’s leadership style.
Did the Council Office overstep its bounds by ignoring due process and required procedures? Did the Council office mislead city agencies and the community with misinformation? Have they become involved and active while publicly claiming they don’t have a position on the issue?