Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti met with the Pacific Palisades Community Council Thursday night to answer questions from Palisadians and discuss his vision for Los Angeles, covering topics such as strengthened police coverage, blight, responsible zoning and cell tower regulation.
"My mission in running for mayor is to make sure the city believes in itself again," the District 13 city councilman said, asking for Pacific Palisades' support. "We have to realize what stirs in our hearts, and the aspirations around the city."
Garcetti last September and leads in fundraising among candidates . Both are tapping into the Westside for campaign contributions, according to LA Weekly. The primary is next March.
For some who attended the candidate event, crime and law enforcement are top concerns.
One resident said the Los Angeles Police Department was two hours late responding to a burglary at his home. The resident cited the area's vulnerability having a one-car patrol from the department's western division. He told Garcetti he pays more in taxes than would fund the entire police force in Santa Monica or Beverly Hills.
"And I get one police car," he said. "I know it's boring here most of the time."
Garcetti said "boring" is when you want to have police around, and referred to the cuts in police deployment and slower response times in areas like Pacific Palisades.
"Put cops on the dots, where the statistics are," he said. But he added he would like to make sure the LAPD has additional resources for low-crime areas.
Community Council President Barbara Kohn, reading questions submitted from the public, reminded Garcetti about the cuts to fire department's last year, including to . Garcetti said Palisades, like Eagle Rock, are on the edge of the city and that he gets reminded by his parents, who live in Palisades, about paramedic response times.
"We can't just treat numbers as numbers when it has something to do with life or death," he said. He noted he seconded Councilman Bill Rosendahl's motion last year to , through the ambulance corps, to Station 69.
Cell tower regulation
Garcetti said the controversial does take away aethetics of the nearby park and bluffs. He assured the council of his commitment to cell tower design standards.
"L.A. just ignores aesthetics," he said. "We should have some standards on this."
Garcetti said he's a strong supporter of R-1 zoning and believes in preserving it. He grew up in an R-1 zone and currently lives in one in Echo Park, he said.
"In terms of formed based zoning, it's an important issue for the city," he said. He discussed how Palisadians are able to walk, or at least park, near the Village, go shopping and go home. "What does a building envelope allow? What does it not allow?
On the proposed community care facilities ordinance, which deals with the regulation of boarding homes in low-density areas of the city and preserving R-1 and R-2 zoning, Garcetti said he seconded the motion to revise the code and resolve outstanding issues.
"We have some laws on the books we don't enforce, like blight — the liquor store, the bad night club," he said, and boarding homes without licenses. "We have a much more offensive take on it and have the city attorney enforce it. I want to rid the scourge of where you see three or four on the block."
Also Thursday night, residents and council members voiced concerns over the Department of Water and Power and making it more user friendly, the accounting for and spending of revenue at City Hall and the regulation of billboards.
"I want to take what is magical and different about Pacific Palisades, and make sure it’s heard at city hall," Garcetti added. "And also connect you to Brentwood, and to Boyle Heights. It’s time for us to be a world-class city."