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The L.A. Mayoral Election, Take 2

March 13, 2005

Re "In L.A., a High Turnout of Critics," March 10: Could someone in city government please tell me why he or she thinks there is such urgency required in counting the election ballots?

As reported in The Times, "some" City Council members were demanding answers as to why it took eight hours rather than last year's six hours to count the ballots. This is after using helicopters and nearly 80 vehicles, which were probably operated by people working overtime, to get the ballots from outlying districts to downtown.

Who cares beside the media and the candidates? What if the vote count wasn't available for two days? Would it change anything?

The city clerk should be concerned with accuracy and cost, not speed.

Jack Bendar

Pacific Palisades

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It saddened my heart to read that L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine stayed up all night to see if he was reelected.

Does he, or any other council member, stay up all night worrying about our lack of a transit system that works, a viable alternative to dumping treated water into the Los Angeles River instead of using it, our lack of a comprehensive program to get anyone in this city (who wants to work) in touch with employers, etc.? No, they are just impatient if it affects them. The rest of us can wait decades.

Michael Schweit

Northridge

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Re "Turnout in L.A. Hits 16-Year Low," March 10: It's stunning to me to see that, from a city of 4 million people, it took barely more than 89,000 votes for Mayor James Hahn to make the runoff. Truly amazing. There are churches with nearly that many members. Look how empowered just a few people are.

Jeffrey Rabin

Los Angeles

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I've lived in Los Angeles since November of 2003. I've yet to understand the mayor's "leadership" style. Some politicians have been described as Teflon pols. Hahn is the invisible pol. He's missing in action most of the time.

In fact, there is little visible action on his part at any time. When there are so many problems in this city that need to be tackled aggressively by our elected officials, he's nowhere to be seen or heard! At least that's my perception.

He talks about his "making the tough decisions." Besides firing an African American police chief and replacing him with a white man, what other tough decisions has he made? Name one, Mr. Mayor. I'm waiting.

Don Joel

Winnetka

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Re "Bigger Ideas for the Runoff," editorial, March 9: As a 35-year community activist and a past education consultant for the Los Angeles League of Women Voters, I seriously question The Times' call for our city's mayor to have authority over the Los Angeles Unified School District. My two daughters are professional educators, one with the LAUSD and the other with the New York City schools.

The latter daughter frequently laments about how highly politicized the New York system has become with the mayor having direct control over its budget and now the school board. In her words, the system is fraught with uncertainties and favoritism, making it highly demoralizing for all concerned.

Jean F. Cohen

Los Angeles

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