Canyon News
Wendy Greuel Comes To Laurel Canyon
By Joann Deutch
Feb 24, 2013 - 12:19:17 AM

LAUREL CANYON—I received an invitation from Mayoral candidate, Wendy Greuel, to a Meet & Greet hosted by a neighbor. The invitation was not accompanied by a demand for a political contribution. That’s not to say that Wendy does not want contributions, but it speaks volumes that she wants to talk to, hear from, enlist the trust and support of constituents. Wendy came on time and spent over an hour with the house full of people.


She spoke about her vision and ambition for Los Angeles; to restore the movie industry’s role in the local economy; to focus on the quality of public school education; and to make city agencies responsive and efficient. She used an example of auditing the city’s contract for cell phone service to make her point about waste. Her first few encounters with the cell phone supplier were a rebuff and refusal to turn over city bills for review. She remarked with humor that the cell service should check to see whose name is on the bottom of their checks. It was a funny story, but, at the time of the exchange I doubt there was any humor to it.

Wendy Greuel at a Meet & Greet in Laurel Canyon.


The point made, was that oftentimes providers of city services become blazé, and believe their city contract is an entitlement. I remember several years ago, a city contactor was repairing the streets in the hills. The contractor stored its trucks on the streets, and then used the street to store materials, using bull dozers to move pipes and rocks around, actually chewing up the streets in the process. Good deal for them. They were creating more jobs for themselves. After neighbors took pictures and contacted the head of DOT, the contractor came back and fixed the street, but I bet they are still around town doing the same thing.


This all ties into the army of people Wendy touches as she crisscrosses the city. One of her mantras is to eliminate waste. How does she learn where the waste and abuse is on the ground level if she doesn’t have eyes on the street?


Some of the people at the Meet & Greet were enthusiastic supporters of Wendy who have worked shoulder to shoulder with her to highlight and remedy some everyday obstacles encountered by many, but often brought to light and resolved by a few determined souls.


A city mayor is a manager. A leader’s management style is critical. The management style that we’ve seen Wendy employ is a fusion of team management and a top-down styles. She is decisive. She speaks clearly on the goals she has set for herself and Los Angeles when she becomes mayor. She is very accessible, such that the information and data she considers is not always filtered or skewed by staff, giving her the freedom to revise her implementation strategy.


Her opponents dismiss her claims of extensive waste, fraud and abuse in city spending. They claim her numbers lie. I think that she may be right, and if she is, that’s more money for more city jobs and services. For John Q citizen, it means a more responsible and responsive government and a better quality of life for each of us.

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