Kevin James vows to keep mayor's home from being a "party house"
A candidate in the March 5 mayoral election promised Sunday that he would respond to neighborhood complaints that Getty House, the taxpayer-owned residence that serves as home to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is being used too much as a “party house.”
At a forum at Burroughs Middle School in Hancock Park, the five leading candidates were asked how they would use Getty House, which serves as the official mayoral residence, and whether they would get along with the surrounding community.
Former prosecutor and radio show host Kevin James said he has heard from neighbors that the Tudor residence in Windsor Square has been used too frequently for parties, bringing crowds, noise and valet parking to the neighborhood. “That is not what the Getty House will be with me as mayor,” he told the audience.
Villaraigosa spokesman Peter Sanders did not offer a response. In recent years, Getty House has been used by the mayor for internal staff meetings and social gatherings, allowing him to welcome visiting dignitaries and celebrate various events, including the Grammy Awards and the yearly gay pride festival.
Neighbors of Getty House also have complained about the city’s decision in 2011 to allow a security fence to be installed on the property.
Other candidates were less direct in their discussions of Getty House. City Controller Wendy Greuel promised to be a good neighbor but said she was also “superstitious” about discussing whether she planned to move in.
“I do plan on winning this election, but I'm very happy in my little home right now,” said Greuel, who lives in Studio City.
Former tech executive Emanuel Pleitez said Getty House should be used as much as possible to allow residents of neighborhoods across the city to meet with the mayor. Councilwoman Jan Perry did not respond to the question. And Councilman Eric Garcetti, who lives in Silver Lake, described the mayor's residence as “the people’s house.”
"I'd be honored to become your neighbor,” he told the audience.
-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: Mayoral candidate Kevin James a a gathering in Encino on Feb. 3. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times