Bernard Parks sworn in for final term on the L.A. City Council
Won difficult re-election
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Councilman Bernard Parks, who started his career with the city as a police officer in 1965, was sworn in today for his third and final term on the Los Angeles City Council.
City Clerk June Lagmay swore Parks in his City Hall office, with family, friends and staff members looking on.
Parks won a difficult re-election campaign in March, with unions spending heavily to try to push him out of office.
“They didn’t know the district,” Parks said, “and all their money didn’t make them any smarter. Fortunately, our voters realized that they were being solicited by the 'Three Stooges of L.A. Politics.”’
Parks won more than three-quarters of the precincts in his district but narrowly escaped a runoff by 224 votes.
As chairman of the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, Parks has been at the center of three years of contentious budget negotiations that saw the elimination of more than 4,000 city positions amid battles with unions and department general managers.
Parks, who was the LAPD chief from 1997-2002, remains one of a small minority of council members that believes the city should trim the size of its police force to deal with the budget crisis.
He argues that new hires come with future salary and pension liabilities that make it difficult for the city to permanently close its structural deficit.
If he leaves office in 2015 as scheduled, Parks will have worked for the city for 50 years.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A Los Angeles City Council stalemate over extending the city’s contract for red light cameras today effectively ended the program, in which drivers caught running red lights got tickets carrying fines of $446 each.
After more than an hour of debate, the 15-member council was unable to muster enough votes to overturn the Police Commission decision to let the contract with American Traffic Solution expire, effective July 31.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Councilmembers Tony Cardenas and Bernard Parks said they want to keep the city’s controversial red light traffic camera program alive for another year in order to assess its public safety value and consider how to make it work financially.
The councilmembers introduced a motion asking the Police Commission to keep the program’s operator, American Traffic Solutions, on a month-to-month contract for up to one year.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles City Council voted to make the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company office building the city’s newest historic-cultural monument.
The building at the corner of Adams Boulevard and Western Avenue was built in 1949 by famed architect Paul Williams in the Late Modern style.
Williams was the first Black certified architect west of the Mississippi River and served on the city’s first Planning Commission in 1920.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles City Council approved a $75,000 reward today for information leading to the conviction of whoever fired the shot that killed a 22-month-old boy in the arms of his uncle, who was critically wounded.
Joshua Montes and uncle Josefat Canchola were on a porch facing a backyard in the 1200 block of East 55th Street about 8:30 p.m. Monday when they were shot, police Capt. Mark Olvera said. Both suffered head wounds.
The shots were fired from the east side of Hoover Street, about 40 yards away, police said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The Los Angeles City Council today approved a $50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the murder of nightclub owner Alonzo "Dicky'' Ester in front of his Baldwin Hills home.
Ester, 67, was fatally shot May 13 in his white Rolls-Royce Phantom as he arrived home in the 4300 block of Hillcrest Drive about 2:30 a.m. that Friday.
Initial reports suggested the gunman may have fled in a silver-colored BMW.