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.