LA City Councilman, Bernard Parks has many good qualities. He’s very well liked by the South LA communities he represents, and makes a real effort to regularly get out among the ordinary people who elected him. He’s supportive of the various jobs programs around the city that help at risk young men and women with barriers to employment, and speaks eloquently in those programs’ behalf.
Plus, the man has has great cheekbones. (Okay, not one of the main traits one commonly demands of one’s Councilperson, but darned handy when he’s doing those requisite photo ops.)
BUT….and it’s a big but—Ex-LAPD-Chief-turned-Councilman Parks is near pathological in his behavior whenever the subject turns to LAPD’s present day Chief, Bill Bratton, or the Los Angeles Police Department, in general.
It’s as if Parks —normally a reasonable, intelligent, charming, savvy guy—-keeps an evil twin locked in his basement, a sort of menacing Creature of the Dark that is magically released to terrorize the local populace, whenever someone utters the fateful letters: L. A. P. D.
This Bad Bernie doppelganger had its most recent outing yesterday when Parks, who happens to be chairman of the Council’s budget committee, proposed that the money from city trash fee increases, that had been set aside to pay for hiring new LAPD Officers, be diverted to libraries and parks. Now I’m as much for supporting libraries and parks as the next person (actually, when it comes to libraries, probably more than the next person), but the rise in fees were sold specifically to Angelenos as a way to get more cops on the streets of a town that has one of the worst police-to-resident ratios of any big city in America.
The union—the Police Protective League-–was quite right this morning when it labeled the Parks-proposed move a bait and switch on Los Angeles homeowners who are, after all, the ones paying the increased fees, so their say-so ought to carry the day.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has threatened to veto any such proposal if the Council shows the bad sense to vote it through. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. (The issue is being discussed at the Council today.)
In the meantime, Bernie, seek therapy. I make that suggestion as a friend.
(Original, un-messed-with photo snatched from ViewImages.)