Chick gets tough with LAUSD, may be state candidate

first_imgIf the Los Angeles Unified School District was worried about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his attacks on it, they haven’t seen anything yet. With Controller Laura Chick announcing last week that she wants to oversee a management audit of the school system, the district will learn that the pit bull of City Hall will not be easily put off. Some school officials privately voiced concerns that Chick is acting as a stalking-horse for Villaraigosa in his criticism of the district, but aides to the mayor said he was as surprised as everyone by her announcement. Once engaged, Chick is not likely to back away – even with the district reluctant to pay the $750,000 to $800,000 price tag she estimates an audit would cost. The district had budgeted $200,000 for a review. Included in this is a recent two-week trip to Guatemala, where Chick took a refresher course in Spanish as part of an immersion program. Villaraigosa has become a master of bilingualism at his various news events, always making sure to include some remarks in Spanish for the local Spanish-language television stations. If Chick really wants to emulate the mayor, her next language lessons will be in Tagalog, Korean and Mandarin. It’s not taking long for new Councilmen Herb Wesson and Jose Huizar to get into the swing of things at City Hall. Their swearing-in ceremonies started nearly a half-hour late last week because of the time it took to form a quorum to certify their election. Then, as noted by the L.A. Weekly, the two vanished from the council meeting during the public-comments section to take pictures in a back room with supporters. And they get a perk almost immediately. After participating in just three meetings, the new council members get a break this week when the council recesses so members can attend the National League of Cities meetings. After that, it will be back to work for two grueling weeks, before the council takes its annual two-week holiday recess. Have a little extra cash lying around this holiday season? If so, Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Granada Hills, has a gift idea for you: Why not contribute to the Keith Richman for Treasurer campaign? Richman sent an e-mail last week asking for financial help “before we head into the holiday season and politics fades in importance for us all. “December 31st is the cutoff date for the last campaign finance report before candidates take out their nomination papers,” Richman wrote in the appeal. “It is important to maximize my ‘cash-on-hand’ because many observers use that figure as a measure of a campaign’s health and a candidate’s determination.” Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Some school officials have been talking to Chick aides, urging her office to look at another long-standing issue – the $100 million suit the district is part of against the Department of Water and Power on accusations of overbilling. “If she wanted to help the district, she could force the DWP to give us that money, or some portion of it, and let us use it for L.A.’S BEST or something like that,” one official said. “`That would help children, the district and the mayor.” The controller’s own political ambitions also are getting scrutiny. A while back, Chick said she had been encouraged to consider a run for state controller in the upcoming election. While she has not gotten past the exploratory stage, some are seeing political overtones in everything she does. last_img