Mayor’s choice for top planner gets council’s OK

first_imgAfter hearing her pledge to more closely involve neighborhoods in the planning process, the City Council on Wednesday approved the appointment of the top planner in San Diego to take over the post in Los Angeles. The council voted 13-0 to appoint S. Gail Goldberg to the $185,000-a-year job as director of the Los Angeles Planning Department. The council also laid out a broad agenda – dealing with transportation, housing issues and attempts to overcome public skepticism of efforts at City Hall to manage growth. “We have areas that say no, no, no to everything,” Councilman Tony Cardenas told Goldberg. “What do you say to them to convince them we are acting in their interests?” Goldberg said she will use the same techniques she has used in San Diego, where she launched her planning career 17 years ago after the death of her husband. Council members Jack Weiss and Wendy Greuel also introduced a proposal to give Goldberg’s department greater influence over traffic issues. Under the proposal, the Department of Transportation’s planning division would be transferred to the Planning Department to improve coordination. Councilman Ed Reyes said he also wants to see Goldberg more active in reaching out to communities to address housing needs. “We need to go into the neighborhoods and ask them what type of housing they need for their neighborhoods,” Reyes said. “We are a city that has to address the question of where will people live. It is a challenge for all of us.” Goldberg said her policy is to try to develop plans that not only are acceptable to communities, but also can be completed. “Plans must reflect the vision of the people who live in the community, and they have to be implementable,” Goldberg said. “We can’t be successful unless the community and all the stakeholders are part of it.” Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “What you describe is an example of a plan without the essential element of support of the community,” said Goldberg, 62. “One of the things we have to do a better job with is working with communities and getting them to understand what is being proposed. I believe once communities are open to change and see that it works, it serves as an example for the rest of the city.” Before selecting Goldberg to replace retired Director Con Howe, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa conducted a nationwide search and required applicants to meet with neighborhood leaders to understand their concerns. Goldberg said she already has set up a series of meetings to discuss those concerns and has received invitations from council members to visit their districts for tours on horseback, motorcycle and boat to learn about the diversity of the city. “I’m not sure about the horseback and motorcycling,” Goldberg told Councilman Dennis Zine, who offered to take her out on a Harley-Davidson. “The last time I was on a bike, I broke my wrist. But I’ll try.” last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *