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Can a Part-Time Council attract better people?

I like it that some political people in Los Angeles respond to some of the things said here, and especially like it when they are willing to respond to things said here that don't necessarily go their way.

Last night, Kevin James, candidate for Mayor and would-be City Council reformer, took a look at my arguments against his proposal to make LA's City Council a part-time one. I listened to his show's segment on the matter with considerable interest, and you might like to give it a listen yourself.

James says I get his central point wrong when I reduce it to stats. He says that this high-salaried, full-time Council prevents many would-be candidates from running, because they are busy being successful at other things. He thinks that part-timers would attract a different kind of candidate, rather than former Assemblymembers who are tempted by Council's high pay.

I'll be discussing that at length soon--in recent elections, we've seen many successful businesspeople, like Tomas O'Grady, Brad Smith, Rudy Martinez, and now, challenging I think very strongly in CD 15, Rebecca Chambliss--vie for Council seats despite their deep involvement in other careers. I think it's worthwhile enough of a debate to ask some of these people what their relationship to the race would be if they knew they were vying for a part-time job, and whether or not they think other candidates like them might benefit from a part-time Council.

That will come soon too--for now, it's a good topic about which to have a civic conversation, because we all are aware that Council needs some kind of reform. Whether or not this is it, or whether another initiative will come along between now and 2012, it's a good thing that someone in town other than a powerless scribe is thinking in earnest about the prospect of Council reform.