Highlights from tonight's "Ask the Mayor" segment on KCAL9:
- A somber Mayor Villaraigosa reiterated L.A.'s support for hurricane victims, pointing to the LAFD's mobilization
of elements of the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, who will assist in rescue and recovery efforts in New Orleans.
- Host Kerry Kilbride touched on the danger that lies below our own feet: The Big One. Mayor Villaraigosa expressed his confidence in FEMA's ability to assist the city in the event of a seismic disaster. I'm not sure that, in light of the way the agency has handled the situation in the Gulf thus far, that many Angelenos would share that confidence.
- In response to a question regarding the effect of rising gas prices on Metro and other city services, the Mayor once again called on Angelenos to carpool or use mass transit
whenever possible. When asked about possible tax hikes or Metro fare increases to offset fuel costs, Villaraigosa responded that those options were certainly on the table if prices continue to rise.
- On the question of whether the LAPD should relax hiring standards in order to fill it's thinning ranks, the Mayor indicated that he supports Chief Bratton, and his proposed changes
- Mr. Kilbride somewhat crassly asked the Mayor whether he would be open to the Saints playing in L.A. this season, since the NFL team will, barring some miracle, be unable to play in New Orleans this year
. Villaraigosa cut him short, and reiterated both L.A.'s desire to land a team of it's own, and the city's unwillingness to build a stadium for said team. When pressed on the point by Mr. Kilbride, the Mayor allowed that he would be open to discussions on a temporary move. Why this question is something we should be talking before the dead in New Orleans are even buried is beyond me, and the Mayor seemed similarly discomfited by the unseemliness of it.