Thursday, September 29, 2005

LA Times (And Daily News) Get Around To Covering Gerry Miller Becoming New CLA!,1,5308483.story?coll=la-headlines-california

Steve Hymon does a nice wrap-up on the story:

After nearly a year of trying to find a new chief legislative analyst, the Los Angeles City Council offered the job Wednesday to Gerry Miller, who has been filling the role in an interim capacity since December. The council has quarreled for seven weeks over who should get the job, and early in the summer, Miller was told that he was not a finalist.

He appeared to be out of the running until recent days, when he again expressed interest in the job. The council interviewed six candidates in a 10-hour closed meeting Tuesday. In an unusual move, even council staffers were banned from the meeting to keep the proceedings secret word leaked out before Wednesday morning's council meeting that Miller had gotten the job. In an open session, the council approved his selection on a 12-0 vote, with one member absent.

The legislative analyst helps the council craft motions that are legal and financially sensible. Many council members often vote according to the analyst's policy recommendations.

And... the key point...

A committee led by Council President Alex Padilla brought two finalists before the full council in a rancorous closed meeting in early August. But several other council members said they were upset that both were from outside the city. Miller "fought for the job and fought for it well and that made a big impression" with the council, Padilla said.

I do recall vivid accounts of that August meeting. The idea that someone with no knowledge of Los Angeles or the workings of the City of Los Angeles, and no personal relationships with members of the council could walk into that job... well, that is hard to imagine.

My guess is that a majority of the council after seeing outside candidates, realized they needed someone who could walk in and start doing the job - tomorrow. And the fact they had someone who met that qualification whom they already knew and trusted - and who was fully capable of doing the job, just made the decision a lot easier.


Rick Orlov of the Daily News does his version of the story:

After nearly a yearlong, $40,000 nationwide search, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday selected the official who has been serving as its interim top adviser for the permanent position.

The 12-0 approval of Gerry Miller, 45, of Sherman Oaks as chief legislative analyst followed a 10-hour meeting Tuesday during which six candidates were interviewed and a divided City Council clashed over the role of the office.

"I'm just grateful to get the job and have the confidence of the City Council, " Miller, a 20-year city veteran, said after the vote. "I hope to continue to gain their trust." Tempers grew short during the closed session, several members said, with disputes arising over whether an outsider would bring in new ideas and whether the office would become politicized.


Miller emerged from a total of 25 candidates, some of whom dropped out apparently over concern about the amount of time it was taking for a decision to be made. Miller himself at one point during the process had pulled out of the running, only to recently re-enter the competition.

Miller has worked for the city for more than 20 years, starting in the City Clerk's Office, moving to the City Administrative Office and, for the past seven years, working in the Chief Legislative Analyst's Office.

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