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L.A. Election Post-Mortems

June 19, 1987

Your sour grapes editorial (June 5), "What Does It All Mean?" on the recent city elections made statements that should be offensive to any L.A. resident who can use common sense to solve a problem. Apparently the writer hasn't read The Times' articles about the city's traffic, roads, sewers or any other component of the infrastructure. It shows how isolated he is from the concerns and frustrations we carry with us. What person doesn't engage in at least one conversation a day about smog, funny things in the drinking water or some other environmental problem our city officials should be dealing with at the highest priority.

In recent years we've been asked to share our cars with strangers, to keep our houses and offices at uncomfortable temperatures and even to use our bathroom twice but flush only once. We've done these things in the spirit of being good citizens who have "bitten the bullet." We keep waiting for things to get better. But what happens?

Many members of the commercial development industry don't see our conservation efforts as a sign of good faith and teamwork that will help them to alleviate the urban pressures. Rather, they see those extra spaces on the freeway and additional kilowatts of electricity as new resources to be exploited in the name of "growth." That term, by the way, is their euphemism for "profit," not the implied improvement in quality of life.

The city's leadership has not revitalized downtown. They have assembled a jungle of high-tech architecture without access: Parking fees are measured in dollars per hour; open space is a brick plaza with a few potted trees; residential streets in surrounding neighborhoods have become the commuter's shortcut. And they haven't learned from their mistakes. The Community Redevelopment Agency's recent plans for Hollywood will create even more misery as high density projects break ground years before any sort of comprehensive plans to improve infrastructure will be drafted.

The more than 200,000 residents who are represented by the nearly 50-member associations of The Federation are neither elitists nor are we members of a political fringe. We have NOT declared, as The Times suggests: "We've got ours. No more growth here." Rather, we demand in a clear and united voice (and with votes that are just as loud) that "we want a decent quality of life for all residents. Growth must be planned in such a way that as development occurs, problems are not created with some dream of mitigation at a later date."

BENNETT S. KAYSER

Los Angeles

Kayser is president of The Federation of Hillside and Canyon Assns.

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