Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bill Rosendahl Versus Andres Martinez On The LA Times Editorial Page!,1,5611227.story

My first response when reading this editorial was that someone, somewhere... had a very bad morning.

...THE ILLOGIC OF CITY COUNCILMAN Bill Rosendahl's motion before the council's Transportation Committee is breathtaking.

While saying bus-only lanes on Wilshire Boulevard are highly desirable and have "the potential to make transit a viable option - by reducing the time spent commuting," it goes on to propose that the existing bus-only lanes on the route be removed.... where one lane in each direction is now open only to buses during peak hours, complain that the resulting loss of street parking is hurting (local businesses) badly.

Rosendahl's motion says it is unfair for them to suffer while other jurisdictions have refused to extend the bus lanes.... Memo to Rosendahl: You can't persuade other officials to make a political sacrifice by failing to make it yourself....... At its next session Wednesday, the Transportation Committee should flatten Rosendahl's motion like a Prius in the bus lane.

My second thought was that whoever wrote this editorial was also writing their blog at the same time and got confused as to which one they were writing at that moment. Either that or they were cut off by Rosendahl on their way to work...

Now ignoring the specifics of this issue, I would like to make a point about Rosenthdal. He is not your typical politician. He also does not say - or do - typical politician things. And that is a good thing. The one problem is that he can be misunderstood at times with his willingness to throw out ideas in his attempt to start debates - which, as usual - he certainly did on this issue with the crowd that flooded the council committee yesterday.

And, much earlier, when he expressed his concerned about certain aspects of Neighborhood Councils as a candidate, and when he was then appointed as chair of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, a lot of NC leaders felt that the fox had been let into the hen house. But that feeling soon passed.

Yesterday, for example, the council file motion was brought up (this would allow NC's to place actions before a council committee) and as each speaker asked him to put it on the agenda, he gave a very specific response to what each speaker said. And then his response to the second to last speaker was that he felt this issue should be considered by the commission that was going to be studying Neighborhood Councils. And even NC supporter Janice Hahn had to admit that idea had some merit, even though this would mean a more than two year delay.

But when I countered with the concept of implementing this ordinance now and then using it as one of the yard sticks to judge how well NC's are functioning (and agreeing to sunset the ordinance at the time the commission's recommendations were going to be implemented) - he thought about that and decided that idea was now worth considering now - and he ordered the item to be placed on the agenda.

The point is, he looks at each issue from a very pragmatic viewpoint and does not get stuck into the quagmire of either political correctness or the what's going to be the most politic thing to do or say, either. And when he communicates with other council colleagues or the public, he engages in a true dialogue without fear of saying the 'wrong thing'.

So... Andres - chill out, Dude!

Breakout the old surf board!

And consider one less Coffee Bean stop on your way to work.

Bill's a good guy... so cut him some slack.

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