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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: Fencing with his neighbors

Getty House

"The mayor is afraid. Very afraid," Simone Wilson begins in an LA Weekly post that pokes fun at Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s proposal to build a 6-foot-high fence in front of his official residence, Getty House, in Windsor Square. She goes on:

Indeed, we're having trouble thinking of a single instance in which the mayor was subjected to some danger that the rest of Los Angeles hasn't been subjected to as well.

Oh right -- librarians and city workers with picket signs. Scary stuff, really: In April, the library folk went so far as to sit on the mayor's lawn, where they brought out the big guns -- BOOKS -- and read them aloud to children.

What Wilson doesn't let readers in on, however, is that Villaraigosa doesn't own Getty House; it belongs to the city, and it is his residence only as he serves his term as mayor. The fence also wasn't his idea; it came from the LAPD via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. And,the mayor hosts dignitaries, who may also have special security needs. So, it's really not about an outsized ego.   

Nevertheless, Wilson has a bone to pick, and so do the folks who live in Windsor Square and object to the fence's height.

Weighing in on Wednesday, here's what our editorial board had to say in Fence-in the mayor:

It's difficult to argue against the Department of Homeland Security and the Police Department saying the official residence of the most public elected official in the second-biggest city in the country needs a 6-foot-high fence. He could move, and some of his neighbors have mused out loud that perhaps he should. But Getty House is the official residence of the mayor. It doesn't belong to Villaraigosa; it belongs to the city. And it's nice to think that the mayor of Los Angeles -- a city with an abysmal record of preservation -- lives in a historic residence in a historic community that neighbors pride themselves on protecting.


Villaraigosa: How disappointing

United Teachers Los Angeles dukes it out with Mayor Villaraigosa over education reform

Sizing up Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa [Video]

--Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo:  Getty House in Windsor Square.  Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (20)

The comments to this entry are closed.

john r. ziemann

There needs to be very high electrified fences with guards as well to protect the citizenry from him.

Tim Jameson

He should move in with his girlfriend and shut the hell up. Midget prick should be in jail.


LAPD and DHS want the fence so that the mayor will have some security for when the food riots breakout about this time next year.


Is Antonio afraid that Fabian Nunez's's son will get back at him for not having him out early enough from jail? So he should move with Schwartzenegger, since he also failed the Nunez-s -


If he was my neighbor, I would walk my dogs over to his lawn so they could leave their steaming t*rds on his grass. Total dirtbag, he ruined Los Angeles, along with the LA City Council.

Carl Lehman P.I.

Tom Bradley and James Hahn didn't need the fence... Last time I checked, NSA wasn't responsible for an Angeleno mayor's safety... Doesn't this mayor trust LAPD?

Joe Camel

The DHS and the LAPD have absolutely no credibility, LAW ENFORCEMENT = Enforce only the laws you want, and that says something about them.

The mayor doesn't need a fence, he needs to resign. and so does Napolitano, and Beck.

What ever happened to honor that came with the oath of office? These three have forgotten it.



California Rush

This story is a rewrite that I already posted too today. OK so the Mayor didn't come up with the idea, but if he listens to the paranoids that did then he is no better than they are. Here is a rewrite of my first post.

It’s real simple. If the Mayor becomes paranoid he should move. The Getty residence belongs to the people not the Mayor or any of his advisors. It’s a symbol to be seen just like city hall. We left Kings in Castles in England. This is a country of the people, by the people, and for the people. Of course given Villaraigosa’s Library cuts, and support for stadiums built for the rich with the people’s money, it’s not surprising that his noble staff would want to fortify the people’s residence with the minor exclusion of a moat as noted by said staff. All hale King Villaraigosa and his guards!!

David Barron

As I've posted before. Suggestion; recruit about 75 of your "anti-gang" ex-gang member staffers who are six-foot tall, and line them up shoulder to shoulder. This would create a human 6ft tall wall. Now you won't need to apply for a building permit or variance from Building and Safety.

I'm candidate David Barron for CD6

Mitchell Young

"The fence also wasn't his idea; it came from the LAPD via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."

Wasn't it "Homeland Security" czarina Napolitano, speaking of the US-Mexico border, who said "you show me a 50 ft fence, I'll show you a 51 ft ladder"?

I think 7 ft ladders are a lot more common, and the drop on the other side of the wall is a little less risky.

And I gotta say it's more than a little ironic that the mayor of *Los Angeles* lives in an ersatz half-timbered Tudor on 'Windsor Square'. Can't the city build a fake Spanish-era style compound somewhere?


Homeland Security, with the soviet sounding name, would be laughable if it wasn't so frightening. They use totalitarian tactics to weaken the connections between our citizens and elected officials.

To them, everyone is at risk. Everything is in danger of being attacked. We have to make our political decisions secret, so the terrorists cant find out. We have to fondle your children and grandmother, to make sure they don't have a bomb.

And now, to complete their fear mongering campaign, a fence around the most hated mayor in LA history.

On second thought, maybe they are on to something....

Steven M.

Mayor V. doesn't need a six-foot fence. If he is soooo afraid, he should quit. He may do it anyway and go work for the Obammy Administration.


If the posts from the rabid xenophobes running rampant in these forums are any indication, it's easy to see why security needs to be beefed up.

5th Gen

Oh yeah Ruskinite, just dismiss everyone as a xenophobe. That's a new one. It couldn't be that a lot of people are fed up and angry with this city's inept politicians.


Why is it that as soon as hispanics move next store they put up a fence?

My hispanic neighbor did the same thing!


He can move to central jail. Lots of security around.

Don't mess up the neighborhood to nurse your ego, Antonio.

Alexandra Le Tellier

@ Steve M, @Rob, @Jack

Did you even read the post before commenting?


I am so tired of this guy. He wants to erect a new fence at his place while telling most of the civilian workers he wants to cut their pension benefits and increase their retirement age. I cannot stand any more of this photo-op queen and his wants and needs. Isn't he out of here soon? Good frikkin' riddance. Build a fence at your new shack.

Stephen J. Smith

L.A. needs a 6 foot fence between us and Tony V.

T Sing

and how Buckwheat!!!!



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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