Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: Fencing with his neighbors
"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.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: Getty House in Windsor Square. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times