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Parks reelection challenger boasts of endorsements from two key L.A. unions

A challenger to Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks boasted Wednesday that she has secured the backing of two major public employee unions in the March 8 election, including one that represents workers at the Department of Water and Power.

Forescee Hogan-Rowles, a former appointee of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the DWP board, said she picked up the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, which serves more than 8,600 DWP workers. That union was upset at Parks last year for attempting to give the council more control over pension benefits for utility employees.

Hogan-Rowles also said she had received the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents thousands of civilian employees at City Hall. That group has voiced disappointment with Parks, who heads the council’s budget committee and has repeatedly pushed for layoffs as a way of addressing a major financial crisis.

The city faces a shortfall of nearly $63 million this year and is expected to confront a $350-million gap in the fiscal year that starts July 1. So far, 2,400 workers have taken early retirement, while more than 360 have been laid off.

Hogan-Rowles, who heads a nonprofit group focused on community development, served on the five-member DWP board last year in the middle of a standoff over a package of electricity rate increases  proposed by Villaraigosa. During that fight, the utility threatened to withhold $73 million from the city budget unless council members approved one of the rate hikes.

A second candidate is also seeking to unseat Parks in the South Los Angeles district that includes USC and a stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard.


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-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Comments () | Archives (11)

What a surprise. The unions trying to oust a responsible Council member and replace him with their puppet. Parks has been a hero to the senior citizens and all of his constituents by standing up to the union threats. While the city is considering selling parking lots, sell DWP to save the city. DWP commissioners and executives' arrogance in lying and threatening the city to withhold $73 million proves they feel they are already a private enterprise who thumbs their nose at any accountability and care nothing about the residents. Ms. Hogan-Rowles should be ashamed that she sold out to the highest bidders.

Bernard Parks is LA's last hope to make it out of the recession alive.

Do NOT vote for Forescee Hogan-Rowles in the LA City Council District 8 race. She has been endorsed by the DWP Union and the SEIU City Employee Union.

I will now consider supporting the campaign of Councilman Bernard Parks, the only fiscal conservative who will stand up to the Powerful City Employee Unions, now that Councilman Greig Smith is leaving.

I may even send Parks a check (I don't live in his district, but out-of-control pensions effect all Angelenos)

Wonder who the Police Union and Fire Union will support...will they support their pensions or fiscal sanity ? (Architects and Engineers for Parks ?)

Good point! Yet, I'd like to see the OLD guard removed ASAP and see hope in new potential candidates!!! Honestly, LA City needs leaders with values, morals, honest, and good character. Which the current City Council members and Mayor lack!

Was'nt Parks the head of the lapd during the rampart scandle?

I sure hope that Bernard Parks gets elected out of office. It's time for new leaders in Los Angeles.

Didn't Parks nearly destroy the LAPD with his mismanagement? If I remember correctly quite a few officers left the department costing the city millions to rehire and train new officers. Not sure this guy deserves any more chances.

Parks is the biggest hypocrite in city hall. LIke the rest of the Republicans he's all to happy to see our services cut, and the pensions of the working class cut, but he refuses to take a pay cut or a reduction in his own pension, which collectively come up to $440K per year!!!!!!!

He's making more than the president of the United States and he refuses to take a pay cut?!

DUMP THE CHUMP on March 8th!

If any of you who are actually thinking about re-electing Parks to his office in City Council, you must have very short memories. He was in charge of the LAPD when the Rampart Scandal was exposed. And what actually happened? Do you remember, or have you so conveniently forgotton? Only one officer was convicted of any crime, and he served minimal time for what should have been 20 to life, in exchange for what amounted to lies and slander. Much of what happened during that scandal was swept under the rug, because of his power and position. Ask the detectives involved in the investigation. Several were forced to retire. And let's not forget the GREAT deal he got for the City by agreeing to enter into a federal consent decree as a result of this "widespread" corruption. What has been the cost to the City, since then? OVER 1 BILLION DOLLARS. He is corrupt, greedy, arrogant, a piss-poor leader, and has only one goal - his families well being. Oh, and lets not forget what he said when he was asked about making nearly $450,000 per year as a City Council Member (pension from LAPD + City Council Pay + benefits) - and I quote - " Don't question me about how much money I make. I've earned it." Really? Go ahead and vote for him if you think this man is the answer for City Council. He is the exact reason many business professionals and working folks no longer choose to live in the City of LA, and no longer choose to do business there either. Good luck in the next four years if he is re-elected.

For anyone who thinks Mr. Parks is in their "corner" you really need to take your rose colored glasses off when you look at Mr. Parks. He is corrupt as can be and is only out for himself, not for a single LA resident (Old or young) nor with getting us out of debt. If he were really out to help the City and its citizens he would not have refused to take a pay cut when this financial crisis began..How much money can he really need? He is a part of the problem as to why the city is broke!! Mr. Parks YOU NEED TO GO !! And if the residents of this city re-elect you (like they did w/Antonio) than God help us all. Mr. Parks give up your "free car & gas" that us residents pay for, take a 20% pay cut (thats nothing considering what you make now between pension from LAPD & your current salary, plus all your free medical/dental, etc etc). If he was for us residents & the financial stability of this City than he would have already given back some of his perks!
Now I don't think I want to vote for this woman above either, she is just another cronie of the Mayors and played games when w/the DWP. We need someone who is not in w/the Mayor or the DWP but we definelty NEED MR PARKS VOTED OUT NOW!!

Parks would like to get control of one of the few profitable enterprises in Los Angeles, but that would destroy the very autonomy that has enabled the DWP to offer its customers the LOWEST rates among the 25 biggest cities nationwide. The DWP pension fund is managed extremely well because it is less subject to the vicissitudes of the political process than those under the city council's thumb. When Val Zavala took her shabby swipe at LADWP on "SoCal Connected" she was obliged to admit three-quarters of the way through her misleading television program that the DWP rate increases had nothing to do with higher salaries or pension benefits and everything to do with investments in "greener" technologies and infrastructural improvements. Former Mayor Riordan wanted to privatize the DWP. When Texas energy companies held Calfornia hostage, DWP rate payers were fortunate that he did not succeed. Now the city council wants to do for DWP what they have done for other city services. The DWP has done very well charting its own course between these extremes.


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