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Decision '93 / A Look at the Elections in Los Angeles County : Los Angeles City Council / 11th DISTRICT : Q AND A

April 11, 1993

CONTENDERS

Marvin Braude, 72, of Brentwood was elected to the City Council in 1965. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Before entering public office, Braude was a businessman.

John B. Handal II, 39, of Brentwood owns two restaurants in Brentwood. He studied business at Loyola College of Baltimore and is currently president of the Brentwood Village Chamber of Commerce. He has never before run for public office.

Daniel W. Pritikin, 27, of West Los Angeles is an attorney specializing in family law. He holds a bachelor's degree in political economy of industrial societies from UC Berkeley and is a graduate of Loyola Law School. He is a cousin of Nathan Pritikin, founder of the Pritikin Longevity Center. This is his first bid for public office.

Significant Problem

Q. What do you believe is the most significant problem facing the district? How would you solve it?

Braude: Crime. The very real threat to our personal safety is the most significant problem facing our community. In addition to authoring the measure, which passed on the November ballot, to rescue our badly outdated 911 emergency system, I am the author of the measure on the April ballot to hire 1,000 additional police officers.

Handal: We have two major problems: (1) Police protection. (2) Overdensity. To solve these problems, I would hire 4,000 policemen. To do this, I support leasing LAX. Additionally, I am calling for an outside audit of every agency in our city government. Money freed up from the audit would be used for additional ground-level personnel. Regarding overdensity, I would call for a complete investigation into the planning department and its zoning and variance processes.

Pritikin: I think crime is the most significant problem facing our city because it is not only a safety issue, it is an economic and an education issue as well. I would place 4,000 new police officers on the street to halt crime in the short term. I would actively recruit new business to the city for the medium term. I would advocate the breakup of the school district into smaller, more responsive districts for the long-term solution. A well-educated population with high-paying jobs will mean fewer people faced with crime as their only hope for survival.

City Services

Q. Do you believe the San Fernando Valley gets its fair share of city services?

Braude: The Valley--like the rest of the city--is understaffed when it comes to police. We have fewer police officers per capita than any major city in the nation. We all have the right not to live in fear and to expect a certain basic level of police protection.

Handal: I believe that in general, nobody in this city, based on the revenues of this city, gets their fair share. Too much money is spent on the upper level of government. I would, in asking for an outside audit, ensure all areas of "fair share" services.

Pritikin: No, I do not believe the San Fernando Valley gets its fair share of services. According to a police officer I spoke with, there are only 15 officers on patrol at any one time in the West Valley Police Division. The best defense is a good offense. The Valley has also been shortchanged when it comes to capital improvement projects like street repair and improvement.

Government Efficiency

Q. Do you believe there is any city department that is doing an inadequate job of delivering services?

Braude: I believe city departments can do better at providing services and increasing their productivity with the same number of employees or fewer.

Handal: I believe that Public Works should be eliminated and merged with Engineering. I believe that tree trimming, sanitation and street maintenance should all be overhauled. Further, I believe that the Building and Safety Department should be streamlined, as should their processes.

Pritikin: In addition to the concern with the lack of police, I would say that the other "department" doing an inadequate job of providing services is the City Council itself. There is too much bickering and Balkanization going on. Council members set themselves up against one another to the detriment of the city as a whole.

Privatization Possibilities

Q. Do you support privatization of some city services?

Braude: If we are going to provide basic city services without raising taxes, we must explore all options of financing available. For instance, the passage of Proposition K, which I supported, opens the door for airport revenues to be used for police, fire and paramedics. Leasing the airport is another option we are also exploring.

Handal: Yes. The first department would be trash collection. I would look at each and every department and analyze their productivity versus a private concern, at what cost to do so.

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