Mark Lacter on Villaraigosa’s Fond Farewell: Not So Fast

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Outgoing mayor Antonio Villaraigosa may be looking to leave office on a celebratory note (with a glass of wine in hand, according to one report) but at least one of the politician’s critics has another plan for him. “I’m struck by the number of commentators (several of whom I know and respect) choosing to let bygones be bygones—to give the guy a pass, more or less, in spite of inept management, minimal accomplishment, and a frat boy persona,” writes Los Angeles magazine business columnist Mark Lacter at LA Biz Observed. “Attention must be paid. Antonio Villaraigosa came to City Hall with a ‘shoot for the fences’ mentality and leaves with way too many whiffs. More than that, he leaves having wasted a lot of valuable time.” Among his complaints (and a few allowances), Lacter counts Villaraigosa’s biggest failing as assuming L.A. would “would be about him.” “Did he really need to take a last minute tip to China or appropriate a city festival as his own farewell party or make sure that an unfinished portion of an LAX terminal named after him would be unveiled before he left office?” he asks. Embedded in Lacter’s frank farewell is a line that could double as free, if unwarranted, advice for L.A.’s next leader: “Someone should have told him it was all right to acknowledge his foibles, to laugh at himself once in a while. People like humility.”

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