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Courier Endorsements For 3rd District L.A. County Supervisor And Prop. 42


Third District Supervisor – Sheila Kuehl

The Courier has the highest regard for the service of Zev Yaroslavsky as 3rd District supervisor all these years.  That said, we continue to have a vital disagreement with him over his actions to put two subway tunnels barely 30 feet underneath Beverly Hills High School and right through the oil field.  After more than 250 articles The Courier has researched and written, The Courier believes without a doubt that these tunnels jeopardize the safety of our children and staff at Beverly Hills High School.  We also disagree with how he has helped JMB Realty use a virtually-unknown loophole in Los Angeles to get the OK to build a massive new project in Century City that violates the Century City Specific Plan.  Now that he is leaving office, who should succeed him?

The Courier believes the entire subway fight involves political contributions, politics overriding child safety, traffic, quality of life, “pay for play,” overdevelopment, traffic impact on Beverly Hills and the adjoining areas – not to mention the key reason our School Board fights.  If the tunnels go under Beverly High, they create an existential threat to our only high school and thus the entire school district and city.  The increase in cost compared to the Santa Monica route posed by this ill-conceived “S” curve squiggle is $250 million and climbing, just to move the subway 800 feet.

It should thus come as no surprise that this is the #1 issue for The Courier in considering the leading candidates to succeed Zev.   Based on that issue – including the “spinoff” issues above – The Courier endorses Sheila Kuehl for 3rd District supervisor.  Kuehl told The Courier yesterday that she is adamantly opposed to the routing under Beverly Hills and “never understood why it was moved from Santa Monica Boulevard.”  As more and more science comes out about seismic safely and faults, Kuehl is clearly on top of the facts.

This is a close call.  Bobby Shriver also has a fine record.  He impressed the editorial board of The Courier with his diligence, determination and his fight for veterans at the Los Angeles Veterans Administration facility in Westwood.  If veterans are your top concern, then your choice should be Shriver.  In a late call yesterday and the day after The Courier’s editorial board interviews, Shriver said he would oppose the route under Beverly Hills High School.  Shriver will tour the Beverly High campus next week and do some more reseach on his own, but the election is coming and as of today The Courier backs Kuehl.

Proposition 42 – “YES”

The only way we get “transparency in government” in California is the California Public Records Act (our own state’s “Freedom of Information Act”).  It has a loophole.  Proposition 42 closes that loophole.  The Courier STRONGLY urges a “yes” vote on Proposition 42.  It cures a flaw that that lets local governments dodge public disclosure.  This is how the loophole works:  when someone makes a California Public Records Act demand, government must respond and release documents, emails, letters, memos – pretty much anything you ask for.   However, California has another law that makes the State of California reimburse local governments for spending mandated by the state legislature.  CPRA compliance is a “state-mandated cost.”  With budget problems, the state of California stopped those reimbursements for CPRA compliance.  Even though local government costs for compliance with CPRA demands are minimal, many local and county agencies use that “no reimbursement” policy to refuse to comply with CPRA demands.  Prop 42 closes that loophole.

Prop 42 strengthens the California Public Records Act.  The California Newspaper Publishers Association, the First Amendment Coalition and all major state newspapers including The Courier urge “Vote Yes on Prop 42.”

We note in fairness that the City of Beverly Hills has never used that loophole as an excuse to refuse to comply with proper CPRA demands – a policy deserving of praise.

Editors Note: The Courier will announce endorsements for the 33rd District Congressional race and L.A. County Sheriff next week.

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