In Shock Move, Villaraigosa Taps Ed Begley Jr. for LADOT G.M.

(Sorry guys, I can’t help myself.  For previous April Fool’s shennanigans, check out last year’s piece on Rita Robinson’s speech in New York or 2008’s announcement of LADOT’s “Be Safe or Be Roadkill” P.S.A. Campaign – DN)

“The number one thing I was looking for was vision.  The number two thing was love of Los Angeles.  Everything else will work itself out.” explains Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announcing the appointment of actor, entrepreneur, and environmental advocate Ed Begley Jr. as the new General Manager for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.  A press conference is scheduled at City Hall at noon.  Coincidentally, the entire City Council will be in Van Nuys at the time.

Begley Jr. cheers on candidate Villaraigosa in 2001. Photo:Life Magazine

Begley seems like an odd choice at first, but consider that NYCDOT Super Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan isn’t a transportation engineer, but is trained as a lawyer.  The appointment of such a noted environmentalist and former Grand Marshall for the Los Angeles Bike Coalition’s River Ride, sends a clear signal what Villaraigosa’s priorities are for the rest of his term as it refers to transportation.

“People call the Caltrans building that houses my new team the ‘Death Star.'” Begley notes in the press release, “But now we’ll call it the Life Star.  The first thing we’re going to do is put some solar panels on that thing and use the energy to power some e-car stations in the parking garage.”

Even as I’m typing this, statements of congratulations are rolling across the wire.  Councilman Bill Rosendahl has just expressed his excitement, “to work with a man who was riding his bike when riding a bike was cool the first time.”  Councilman Tom LaBonge noted that “it’s good that someone who played football in high school is running with the ball for the DOT.”

Interim LADOT General Manager Amir Sedadi, a leading candidate for the job until this morning’s release, seemed almost relieved, “Have fun at those Neighborhood Council meetings on bike lanes and RV’s.  At least I won’t have to explain to Council Members why my boss is calling them “out of touch” and “braindead.”

Begley will also be replacing Councilman Huizar on the Metro Board of Directors, which will certainly come as a surprise to many other members of the Board who were unaware that Huizar served on the Board for the last two years.  “I thought the Mayor appointed the football guy,” supplied Supervisor Gloria Molina.

The press conference is scheduled for noon at City Hall, where Villaraigosa and Begley Jr. won’t have to share the stage with any Council Members who are trapped at Van Nuys City Hall for their monthly meeting in the Valley.  Rosendahl’s Transportation Committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for April 20.

  • Anonymous

    …curiosity… excitement… wait a minute………… mother F*$K*R! I hate this day.

  • Ah crap…got me too.

  • Jouh

    great appointment

  • Anonymous

    This would be such a good idea.

  • The dude abides

    Ugh I wish every blog would get a clue. April 1st is just another day not to be funny.

  • woahhhhhhhhhh

    At first I was like woah!, but then I was like ohhh.

  • woahhhhhhhhhh

    At first I was like woah!, but then I was like ohhh.

  • Anonymous

    I might have fallen for it if I hadn’t already seen NYSB’s story on the Prospect Park bike lanes.

  • Fizbo

    …and, in another shock announcement, Keifer Sutherland is heading LAPD

  • All this did was make me sad. It was clearly too good to be true. But what a great idea!

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

CalPIRG Sponsors Smart Transportation Conference Next Friday

|
Next Friday, CalPIRG is hosting a major conference about what the upcoming reauthorization of the federal Transportation Trust Fund could mean for Los Angeles, if we want it enough.  New federal language in transportation funding legislation could bring major changes to Los Angeles and the rest of the country.  However, CalPIRG is perfectly able to […]

Beutner, Garcetti, James, Perry and Greuel on CicLAvia

|
Before CicLAvia, Streetsblog reached out to the five major declared candidates for Mayor of Los Angeles in the March 2013 elections.  All five wrote responses of some sort, and they are listed below in the order in which they are received.  We asked the candidates to describe their day on Sunday, but not all were […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Landbridge Proponents Stage Pop-Up Party on Riverside Figueroa Bridge (photos on Facebook) One Voice Supporting Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village Approval  (Healthy City Local) Long Beach is On to Something: Bicycling and Walking (LAT) Orange County is On to Something: Bike Paths (LAT) LongBeachize on Retrofitting Long Beach’s Entire Broadway Corridor – part 1, part […]