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Citizens and the City Council

January 02, 1988

It's about time someone ("Hearing by L.A. Council Doesn't Mean Listening," Metro, Dec. 16) told the people of Los Angeles that their City Council is rude. The experience of Claude Howell and Jim Robertson, who traveled 25 miles to appear before the Council only to get a fast shuffle and discourteous treatment was not unusual. It happens all the time. A few weeks ago a friend of mine, with an outstanding career in early child development, complained to me about the manner in which the Council ignored her, leaving her humiliated and disgusted.

I had the pleasure and privilege of serving four years on the Board of the Recreation and Parks Commission. I loved the work, except for the times I appeared before the City Council to represent our department. Most of the council members were not paying attention. Their behavior varied from talking with each other, doing other business, disappearing, reading, horsing around--you name it. The few who were listening treated me as an adversary, and I could count on being badgered.

I concluded long ago that the Los Angeles City Council members, with few exceptions, are only involved in their own fiefdoms and do not give much of a damn for the entire city. Smog, gridlock, no modern transportation, lousy sewage, uncontrolled development is the price we have paid.

In private industry if an employee fails to perform his job and has a lousy attitude, one remedy is for the employer to send the employee home without pay for the day. I suggest the same should apply to our City Council. After all, we are their employers.

IRVING ZEIGER

Los Angeles

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