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The Challenges That Confront Villaraigosa

June 30, 2005

Re "Villaraigosa Faces a Triple Challenge," news analysis, June 26: The notion that former Mayor Sam Yorty was a failure is really in the eye of the beholder. Like Sam Yorty, former L.A. mayors Tom Bradley and Richard Riordan were unsuccessful in seeking higher office. Both sought the office of governor and failed. In fact, most urban mayors have little success in transitioning from big-city mayor to governor or senator.

With the exception of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, you'll be hard-pressed to cite a big-city mayor who made that transition to statewide elected office.

Antonio Villaraigosa has plenty to worry about in Los Angeles. Being an effective local leader is hardly provincial. Los Angeles needs leadership that's effective, not loud.

Nicholas J. Antonicello

Venice Beach

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Your June 26 editorial, "Building on the Buzz," states that Mayor-elect Villaraigosa should cajole and bully school administrators, teachers, parents and students into doing a better job. Why is it that The Times has such a consistently negative view of public education in Los Angeles? Moreover, why should the very people who take on the enormous task of educating the students of Los Angeles be "bullied" by the new mayor.

Would it not be more effective to work cooperatively with the mayor's office in a spirit of mutual respect to improve schools? Your ongoing poor attitude toward the Los Angeles Unified School District is out of line.

Steven Siry

Principal, LAUSD

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