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Public Officials Warned About Taking Former L.A. Mayor’s Advice

by Jon Melegrito and Allison Padgett  |  December 04, 2012

Los Angeles millionaire and former Mayor Richard Riordan got a lot of things wrong when he was running the city from 1993 to 2001 and his threat to put a draconian pension-cutting initiative on the ballot is another wrong idea that doesn’t deserve a second chance.
 
In a recent blog posted by Madeline Janis, the former L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency commissioner said that Riordan’s threat prompted the City Council last month to hastily adopt its own pension-cutting plan, “a plan that almost certainly will be thrown out by the courts as a violation of existing collective bargaining agreements.” Riordan’s ballot initiative would move newly hired workers into 401(k)-style plans and freeze retirement benefits for current workers.
 
But a funny thing happened the other day after trying to gather the required 300,000 signatures. Unable to meet a Dec. 28 deadline, the whole ballot measure abruptly collapsed. Apparently, there aren’t enough people willing to support Riordan’s initiative. In recent weeks, city workers and community supporters have attacked the proposal with public protests and e-mail blasts.
 
During his term of office, Riordan blamed public sector unions for every woe facing the region. “Even worse, Riordan vigorously opposed several city laws designed to give workers and communities the benefit of city investment in economic development,” adds Janis. “Richard Riordan got a lot of things wrong when he was mayor. Current elected officials should be wary about taking the former mayor’s advice today.”
 
Or any day for that matter.

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