A City Councilman’s Parting Gift

I will be staying on in my position as Councilmember until the end of this year and will remain laser-focused on continuing to represent my district as I have always done.
- LA City Councilman Mitch Englander

Ignoring the responsibilities that he accepted by running for re-election, Mitch Englander announced last month that he would be “vacating [his] Council seat as of December 31, 2018.” While promising that he would stay “laser-focused“ on the needs of his constituents during his remaining time in office, it seems that he has neglected to perform one very important task since drafting his announcement to the community; it seems that a formal letter of resignation has not been submitted to the Los Angeles City Council. Therefore, they have been unable to schedule a special election for the community to select his replacement.

When answering questions at the last meeting of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, Englander’s representative stressed that the current staff will continue in place until a replacement was seated. The talking point is that constituents will, therefore, be fully represented. This ignores the fact that staff members cannot place votes in the council. They cannot chair committees. They certainly will not have the same weight during a debate. It is clear that the stakeholders of CD12 will be at a disadvantage by not having an elected representative on the City Council.

Englander was entrusted by the electorate to represent them in the city government. If he does not feel the responsibility to complete his term, the least that he can do is ensure that his constituents are harmed as little as possible when he cashes in on his “service” to the city. Optimally, he would have stayed in office until an election could be held. Since he is not willing to do that, let him fully serve his constituents by taking the formal steps so that the election can be held as quickly as possible.

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Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a “strong supporter of public schools.” His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.