Column: Potential “Power Grab” by LA County Board of Supervisors Hostile to Sheriff Alex Villanueva Is No Reform at All!

LA Supervisors Mitchell, Solis Seek to undermine the sheriff’s race between incumbent Alex Villanueva and challenger Robert Luna!

By Nick Antonicello

 The iconic and legendary Kenneth Hahn, arguably LA’s most productive county supervisor ever is probably rolling in his grave as leftists Holly Mitchell and Hilda Solis, both embedded downtown insiders and career politicians are trying to use “charter reform” to hold the position of LA County Sheriff hostage to their defunding law enforcement agenda by creating the authority to remove this elected official if four of the five county supervisors agree!

For the politics of it all is so obvious.

Are they seeking the same intrusion of power over the office of LA County District Attorney George Gascon, currently under the threat of yet another recall or Jeffrey Prang the very competent and effective assessor for LA County?

Of course not.

For this is not about reforming county government or ensuring that the sheriff’s office is more accountable, transparent or even productive, but a political “catch-all” attempt to drive a duly elected law enforcement official from office simply because they don’t like him!

For this gang of five, elected in non-competitive, non-partisan races operate under the radar of invisibility and are for the most part accountable to no one except for the public employees who fuel their campaign coffers, now want to take down Sheriff Alex Villanueva and castrate the office’s ability to function as an independent and autonomous law enforcement agency it needs to be.

For does anyone really believe five embedded politico’s like this bunch at the board of supervisors can effectively manage a $38 billion-dollar budget with no directly-elected county executive?

Why are they not proposing a full-time county executive for the most populated county here in the United States today?

The answer is obvious.

And does anyone believe that the 10 million people of LA County are being properly represented by for what are the most part, five political hacks who troll from one elective office to another?

For when does this masquerade of competent government get exposed?

The LA Times?

The local broadcast media?

Heaven help us!

For if these knuckle-heads of the left truly cared about their constituents, they would form a standing Charter Study Commission to make specific recommendations to voters on how best to govern and improve the delivery of services at the county level instead of soiling reform with the stench and hand of politics as usual!

For starters, how about expanding the size of the LA Board of Supervisors to fifteen, the same size as the LA City Council so that residents would have a far more active and productive say in what is now a detached and removed county apparatus?

And how does this board of just five act as both a collective executive and legislative branch all at once?

It does not.

Instead of a serious examination of county government, they have way too much time on their collective hands and this latest dent in democracy only confirms that five sitting females can be a just as much a stain on democracy than five white dudes serving in the same ineffective capacity!

LA County has non-partisan elections to prevent partisan politics and policy such as this.

The electoral process has yielded two finalists to serve as our next sheriff, and not to be held hostage by a practice they would never apply to themselves and the office they hold!

For the role of the LA County Sheriff represents just a portion of overall spending that needs to be immune and shielded from the obvious power grab of Mitchell and Solis, hell bent in turning this office into a “hand puppet” of the board of supervisors!

For how can this Sheriff have any sense of independence if the board at anytime can willfully erase an election and eradicate this duly elected official if just four supervisors decide to do so?

For who is watching the supervisors?

For this proposal has everything to do with politics, the kind of gutter strategy that leaves the power ultimately with politicians while picking the electoral politics of the people!

Sheriff Villanueva has served four years and now the people will decide his fate, not political hacks like Mitchell and Solis!

Time for real reform at the county level like a directly-elected executive and expansion of the board of supervisors so that this massive amount of power is no longer consolidated into the hands of a few.

Venice Beach has benefitted from a sheriff not afraid to take-on the status quo.

That sense of democracy and democratic action needs to continue and not be stymied by embedded professionals who seek more power, not more effective county government.

Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian who speaks out on issue of public policy and government and how they impact Venice. He can be reached via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

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