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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Assessing L.A.'s Mayor Hahn at Midterm

November 22, 2003

I am outraged at "Halfway Through Hahn" (editorial, Nov. 16), which calls our mayor "invisible" and "focused on raising funds." As president of the West L.A. Chamber of Commerce, a local business owner and a Los Angeles citizen quite familiar with City Hall, I say with the utmost confidence that Mayor James Hahn has done more in his first two years for public safety, businesses and our local neighborhoods than most politicians do their entire terms.

Hahn had the courage to appoint a police chief who was strong enough to turn around crime and, for the first time in years, achieve a net increase in our police force. In his first six months in office, Hahn established initiatives that made it easier for small businesses like mine to thrive.

I would like to respectfully remind The Times, which criticizes the mayor for not having "a gusto for taking on the issues of the day," of Sept. 11, 2001, when our nation and city were changed forever. Since 9/11 this mayor has done nothing but take on the issues to ensure our safety and security at both LAX and the Port of Los Angeles.

This "invisible" mayor has been working extremely hard right in front of us, every day, for the last two years.

Jay Handal II

Los Angeles

*

You say, "L.A.'s invisible mayor needs to stop focusing on raising funds for his reelection and start demonstrating big-picture leadership." One must concede Hahn's grasp of the public mind. The funds he is soliciting will almost guarantee his reelection, because he knows most voters are influenced far more by TV appearances and commercials, which cost a lot of money, than a candidate's record and qualifications.

Too bad our system of government is a democracy. What's needed is a meritocracy.

Lou Neumark

Tarzana

*

Outstanding editorial. While so many people were busy thinking we didn't have a governor, they didn't realize that we really don't have a mayor.

Stephanie Palmer

Valley Village

*

The Times thinks Hahn behaves as if he's a small-town mayor? I think The Times behaves as if it's a small-town newspaper still smarting over the loss of its candidate for mayor. If you stopped your chronic sniping, you might just see what a fine job Hahn is doing.

Laurie L. Goldman

Beverly Hills

*

I could not agree more with your summation of Mayor "Yawn" Hahn's performance. Where is this guy? Does he ever have any tangible ideas?

It's also good to know that our ever-vigilant City Council members are taking free trips to promote L.A. tourism, trade or whatever. How about solving some of our local problems, ladies and gentlemen?

I think Hahn and every City Council person need to sit through three or four red lights while waiting to make a left turn at one of our intersections -- say 6th and Fairfax or 3rd and La Brea -- and then tell their constituents that "tourism" is the city's most pressing problem.

Richard V. McCune

Los Angeles

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