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City Hall Job Given Wife of Congressman : Appointments: Riordan selects Janis Berman to assess suggestions for improving L.A. and polishing its public image.


"We're getting hundreds of offers and proposals on how to save Los Angeles," McCarley said. "Janis Berman's job will be to sort through these proposals, determine which ones are meritorious and then to help see that they are implemented."

One or two other staff members will work with Berman, McCarley said. But he added, "She's not going to be the head of anything." He refused to disclose Berman's salary.

Among the types of proposals Berman might work on, McCarley said, would be one to polish the city's image, battered lately by ongoing economic and social problems and national news media reports. A public relations company, Ketchum Communications, Inc., has already offered to design, without fee, a media campaign to revive the city's reputation.

In other appointments, Riordan on Thursday announced the selection of screenwriter Gary Ross to the city's Library Commission. Ross' credits include the films "Big" and "Dave," the latter a send-up of Washington politics.

Ross, a Studio City resident, is a longtime Democratic Party activist who campaigned for both President Clinton and 1988 Democratic Presidential contender Michael Dukakis. Ross' wife, Allison Thomas, was a staff member in the Carter Administration and also worked for former Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr.

In other developments, the Riordan Administration submitted what is expected to be its last report on the private funding for its transition into office.

The report to the city controller's office showed that a variety of corporate interests provided the vast majority of the most recent contributions. A company competing to sell bonds for the Los Angeles Convention Center was among the donors. Grigsby Brandford & Co. donated $5,000.

Other major donations came from the law firm owned by lobbyist and former Councilman Art Snyder, $5,000; principal subway contractor Tutor-Saliba, $5,000; Valley Magazine, $5,000; stock broker Bear Stearns & Co., $2,500; the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, $3,000, and entertainment firm J. NED Inc., $2,500. The total amount that can be spent on the transition--mostly for salaries paid to Riordan employees between his June 8 election and July 1 swearing in--was recently increased by the City Council from $100,000 to $150,000.

Times staff writers James Rainey and Greg Krikorian contributed to this story.

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