The race for the Fifth District Supervisorial seat features Kathryn Barger, who is currently chief deputy to outgoing Supervisor Mike Antonovich, and Darrell Park, who previously worked in the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Park said he is running for the position because he wants to see change and he doesn’t think the current system is operating properly. He also wants to raise awareness about law enforcement issues.
According to Park, the county had to pay $45 million in settlement fees last year, because of poor enforcement by the Sheriff’s Department.
That and other concerns have prompted Park to realize that some changes are needed in the Sheriff s Department. This includes making sure all officers not only are wearing body cameras, but also making sure they release the footage. He also wants to establish a civilian oversight board, consisting of members of the community, to monitor the department.
Having inadequate oversight can lead to bad things happening,” said Park.
He also wants to reform how the county handles juvenile offenders.
“Taxpayers currently pay $234,000 per juvenile per year in juvenile hall, and the majority of these young people find themselves in the prison system as adults,” said Park. “Governments around the world have successfully solved these problems, and we can implement these strategies and use the savings to expand programs that benefit our most vulnerable residents.
He painted his opponent Kathryn Barger as an insider. (She has been in her current position for 15 years.)
“This district has had the same leadership for three decades and in that time the same communities have been ignored while receiving less than their fair share of resources and experiencing less opportunities,” said Park. “This county needs a change and I am committed to working with members of every community to create a county government that serves all residents. If elected, I will have members from minority communities leading my teams, working on my staff, and sitting on my advising committees. Minority communities will not only know what is going on in the county government, but they will help create policy and legislation going forward.”
Park has been endorsed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Rep. Maxine Waters, Assemblymember Mike Gatto, (D-Los Angeles) and several progressive political organizations.
According to Barger’s website, she cites public safety, job creation and economic growth as important issues facing the district.
“I have a strong working relationship with business, labor, and the other supervisors; this means I can deliver the support we need to encourage economic growth and opportunity in our district, creating better jobs for all of us,” said Barger.
Barger sees her experience working inside Antonovich’s office as an asset.
“To serve the needs of our Fifth District and the county in general, your supervisor needs to understand our local government partners, engage state and federal government, and work with other board members,” she said. “As chief deputy supervisor, I have done this. I will do even better as your supervisor. That is why I am pleased to have the endorsements of a diverse group of elected and community leaders, including Supervisor Antonovich, former District Attorney Steve Cooley, Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) and many others who have encouraged me to run.”
Barger has also been endorsed by Supervisors Don Knabe, and Hilda Solis and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.