Election day is just a week away in the race between Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu to succeed Councilman Tom LaBonge representing CD4. As the election draws closer, voters and the news media are paying more attention to the only race that will be on the May 19 ballot.
A recent LA Times newspaper story reported on the LaBonge’s mishandling of the paving streets in Hancock Park. Critics of Carolyn Ramsay, who served as LaBonge’s chief of staff during part of the seven-year period that covered the street discussions with neighbors and the Hancock Park Homeowners Association, want to hold Ramsay accountable for LaBonge’s missteps and are questioning her commitment to the neighborhood despite assurances by LaBonge that $400,000 will be spent on making street repairs in concrete.
“I don’t blame the folks in Hancock Park for being upset,” Ramsay told the Buzz. “People throughout the district and city are very upset about the condition of streets and sidewalks. That’s why infrastructure repair is a top priority of my campaign.”
Ramsay maintains she attended just one meeting before she left the council office in 2011 when the issue became contentious.
“When I returned to the Council Office in September, 2012, we had an extremely limited budget and many many miles of roads district-wide that were in desperate need of repair,” said Ramsay. She also said the council office was not aware that the city planning department had recommended Hancock Park’s concrete streets be included in their HPOZ’s Preservation Plan thus requiring the streets to be repaired or replaced in concrete not asphalt. Nearby Windsor Square’s HPOZ does not include streets.
“I’m thrilled Tom has set aside money to repair six Hancock Park intersections,” said Ramsay. “He is able to do this because (as Kevin James points out in the Times article) the city happens to have a contract open now with a company that does concrete work. (That company installed the concrete curb lanes on Wilshire Boulevard for the Metro Bus Rapid Transit project.)”
Ramsay also told the Buzz she would work with the neighborhood and the city to create a schedule to repair Hancock Park’s historic streets in concrete over time.
In other news stories, Saturday, the LA Times reported that Ramsay has raised more money than Ryu and earned more in matching funds as a result. The numbers reflect the most recent reports filed by the candidates.
Sunday, the LA Times reported how Ryu’s candidacy has energized the Korean community hoping to win a seat on the city council and a voice for their community.