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Q & A: CANDIDATES' VIEWS ON THE ISSUES : L. A. City Council: 2nd District

March 18, 1991|Questionnaires were distributed to candidates this month. Answers have been edited to fit the available space.

Top Priorities

Q. If elected to the City Council, what would be your three top priorities for legislative action?

Lynch: Crimes, drugs, water shortage. Crimes and drugs are on the increase. The city appears to be inept at developing community-based programs to substantially reduce these figures. Councilman Wachs has no program to help provide active programs with citizen involvement to attack the problems in Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Sunland-Tujunga and other areas of the district.

Paterson: Roll back the 40% yearly City Council pay raise. Place the pay raise before the voters as a separate ballot measure in the next election. Expand the next reapportionment process to overhaul the City Charter to address the division of power between the mayor and council. Make the council stronger. Require the city to develop, prepare and adopt a growth-management plan within one year that addresses all the growth-inducing impacts including illegal immigration, infrastructure capacity, expansion plans and requirements for projected growth levels.

Wachs: A safer city. A cleaner city. A better quality of life, especially for seniors.

Timely Services

Q. Do you think that Los Angeles city government delivers services in a timely, cost-effective manner?

Lynch: No! The city is so bogged down on the delivery systems that many employees are leaving their jobs for outside industry.

Paterson: No. There should be a report on the state of the city that details the effectiveness of timely and cost-effective city services, along with recommendations for improvements. Priorities are misdirected.

Wachs: Not as cost-effective as it could be.

Improvements Needed

Q. What departments do you think need substantial improvements?

Lynch: Building and Safety, Public Works and City Planning.

Paterson: The Planning, and Building and Safety departments should be a top priority for audit and reorganization.

Wachs: Direct contact with the public needs to be improved in most departments.

Fair Share

Q. Do you think that the San Fernando Valley receives its fair share of city services? If not, which ones? What would you do to remedy the situation?

Lynch: Perhaps the other districts do, but the 2nd seems to have a growing problem with clean streets and street-repair services.

Paterson: The budget, except for capital improvements, does not clearly detail how city services are allocated or budgeted to the Valley. As councilman, I will determine how those monies are allocated, determine if they are fairly allocated and, if not, take council action to establish an allocation and monitoring system.

Wachs: Fighting for a fairer share for the Valley has always been one of my top priorities.

Services Rated

Q. Give your opinions of the following city services on a four-point scale (excellent, satisfactory, needs improvement, very poor) .

Lynch: Fire protection, excellent. Libraries, satisfactory. Paramedic service, needs improvement. Parks, needs improvement. Planning and zoning, needs improvement. Police protection, needs improvement. Street repair, needs improvement. Trash collection, needs improvement.

Paterson: All city services need improvement. The growth of the city has put added demands on all these services. Services can be improved by better allocation of existing resources and manpower without additional taxes or user fee increases.

Wachs: Fire protection, excellent. Libraries, satisfactory. Paramedic services, satisfactory. Parks, needs improvement. Planning and zoning, needs improvement. Police protection, excellent. Street repair, needs improvement. Trash collection, excellent.

New District

Q. The San Fernando Valley now includes all of four council districts and parts of four others. In the upcoming city reapportionment, would you support creating a fifth all-Valley district, even if that means reducing the number of council members who represent all or part of the Valley?

Lynch: Not without eliminating the obvious gerrymandering of districts.

Paterson: I support expanding the City Council to at least 30 seats, which can be done without spending significant additional city funds. We have 35 community planning areas, why not 30 or 35 council seats? Expanding the council can double the number of Valley seats and give each community district more control.

Wachs: Yes. I crossed out "all or part" in the above question because it's impossible for a fifth all-Valley district to reduce the four we already have! It can only reduce those that are split between the Valley and the rest of the city.

New Taxes

Q. The city's chief budget officer has projected a $150-million deficit in the coming year. What existing or new taxes would you rely on to raise all or part of this money?

Lynch: Citizens are being taxed enough. There are other avenues that should first be considered.

Paterson: None. New taxes are the old political way to solve financial management problems.

Wachs: I would continue to emphasize increased productivity and efficiency.

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