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Mayoral Power in Los Angeles

November 10, 1996

Re "Riordan Fuels Debate Over Role of Mayor and Council," Oct. 27: When I compare the governments of New York City and Chicago with Los Angeles, it is clear that L.A. is a distant third in the category of getting things done that make a city great and give it an identity. When I read your article on how Mayor Richard Riordan is trying to gain more power as mayor, I understood why this city fails to achieve either of these.

Over the years the mayors of New York and Chicago make their marks with major public works projects that become part of their legacies. They have strong relationships with police and fire departments and labor unions and are feared in their administrations among those who do not perform their civic duties. When a mayor has power, people may get hired, fired, or reassigned but things start to get accomplished. Roads are repaired sooner, cleaned better. New projects with open public areas are designed, built or remodeled within their terms and the city improves right before your eyes. The only activity I see in Los Angeles is happening inside City Hall, not outside.

Let's start moving this city forward. Put the responsibility into the mayor's hands now.

LEN NAPOLITANO

Pacific Palisades

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