Friday, May 1, 2009

Westside council candidates generally agree at debate

From the LA Times:

Former state Assemblyman Paul Koretz and neighborhood council member David 'Ty' Vahedi differ mostly on the city's budget in their bids to replace Councilman Jack Weiss.
By David Zahniser 
May 1, 2009
The two candidates looking to replace Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss in the May 19 election squared off Thursday in a debate so mild that it bordered on genteel.

In a sharp contrast to the vicious exchanges of the city attorney campaign, former state Assemblyman Paul Koretz and neighborhood council member David "Ty" Vahedi agreed on a series of issues as they spoke at Skirball Cultural Center.

Both candidates described shuttle buses as a short-term traffic fix. Both described Los Angeles as the "wild, wild West" when it comes to enforcement of its billboard rules and quality-of-life laws. And both described Weiss, who is running for city attorney, as an unimpressive steward of the 5th Council District, which takes in neighborhoods stretching from Beverlywood and Cheviot Hills to Encino and Sherman Oaks.

"I think he was much too knee-jerk pro-development," Koretz said.

The two candidates differed the most on the city's budget. Vahedi promised not to slow down Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan for hiring 1,000 police officers despite a looming $530-million budget shortfall. 

Koretz refused to make such a guarantee, saying the city's budget crisis can be traced, in part, to the hiring of the new officers.

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