Meet the New Metro Board Chair, Same As the Old Metro Board Chair

Image: LA Weekly

Three years ago, Antonio Villaraigosa took over as Chair of the Metro Board of Directors and used the influence of the Chair to guide the legislation that would lead to the creation of Measure R. The Mayor of Los Angeles chairs the Metro Board once every three years, and Villaraigosa will hold the seat from July 1 until June 30, 2012.  When you consider that the Mayor just took over the presidency of the Conference of Mayors, you can see he certainly has his hands full these days.

Holding the Chairmanship of the Board doesn’t give its holder omnipotence, but a skilled politician can use it to control debate. For example, noted opponent of the 710 Big Dig Project, Ara Najarian held the Chair after Villaraigosa but wasn’t able to get the project de-funded, because he just didn’t have the votes.

So what does the next 12 months hold for Villaraigosa and the Metro Board?  Only time will tell.  If the Mayor has any tricks up his sleeve, he’s keeping them close to the vest.  If you have any thoughts, leave them below.

Looking back, I’m almost embarrassed by the 2008 post announcing his succession.  It sneers at the Mayor and his transportation priorities.  Meanwhile, he’s done such a good job working to create transportation options for Los Angeles that you voted him “politician of the year” last year when I chose Bill Rosendahl.  I also can’t help but notice how much our readership has changed.  That’s a pretty healthy comments section, yet only one of those commenters is still seen regularly on the site these days.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Shakeup at Metrolink Board: Najarian Out. Ridley-Thomas In?

|
One of the powers of the Chair of the Metro Board of Directors, is the right to appoint three members to the Board of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, commonly known as Metrolink.  Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who took over as Metro Board Chair on July 1, wasted no time in exercising that power, replacing […]

Streetscast: Audio from Our July Interview with Mayor Villaraigosa

|
Last month, L.A. Streetsblog Editor Damien Newton and Streetsblog LITE editor Veronica Hernandez sat down for a wide-ranging 45 minute interview with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Deputy Mayor for Transportation Borja Leon and Communications Deputy Barb Solish. Our two-part series shows a Mayor’s office that had a long-term plan for transportation planning when Villaraigosa took office […]

Pick the New Metro Board Member

|
Last week, City Council Member Bernard Parks abruptly announced he would be stepping down as a member of the Metro Board.  Speculation for Parks’ resignation ranged from concerns about ethics allegations from groups such as Damien Goodmons’ Fix Expo organization to people thinking it would be awkward for the Councilman to serve next to County […]

Streetsblog Talks to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa about His Goals for Metro, Constellation Avenue and “Plan B.”

|
The weekend before Carmageddon, I had a chance encounter with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa while visiting Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s house as part of an upcoming StreetsFilm that we’re working on.  Villaraigosa was pleasant, and offered to do an interview with Streetsblog sometime soon.  I decided not to bother his staff until after Carmageddon, but on Monday […]