Vision Badly Needed When We Consider Mayoral Candidates FROM THE NEWSROOM By Jason Schaff The formal announcement by former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg that he is running for mayor of Los Angeles brings a whole new dynamic to next year’s city election. The Valley resident’s entry into the race at a time when Mayor James Hahn looks very vulnerable could foster a spirited discussion in the coming months about the future of our city and the effectiveness of its leaders. Hertzberg still needs to flesh out details of his positions on the major issues confronting our city and show that he can raise the necessary funds to be a serious contender to Hahn, but he should be formidable competition for the mayor. Hopefully, the importance of the Valley to the rest of the city and how it is treated in return will be a part of any campaign debate with Hertzberg in the mix. With a high-profile Valley candidate formally throwing his hat in the ring, Hertzberg’s main constituents and neighbors are going to keep Valley issues in his face and consequently in the face of Hahn. Hertzberg, a very dynamic and personable person, seems in his initial statements after announcing his candidacy like he will play on his abilities to bring people together and his leadership qualities as major factors why he should be elected mayor. Hahn has failed to show many leadership characteristics while in office. His technical capabilities in executing the duties of mayor seem to be adequate but unfortunately knowing the ins and outs of how to be mayor are secondary to looking mayoral. He still acts like a bureaucrat and merely reacts to things rather than leading us and setting the agenda as to how to move the city forward. Hertzberg will play on this. A city the size of Los Angeles needs a leader who is bigger than the rest of us a person who is a great communicator and someone who we can connect to. But in addition to acting like a leader, our mayor needs to have vision. Where are we going to be in five or ten years and how are we going to build a framework to get there? Hahn has been poor in that area and Hertzberg is untested. He said we need to make our city look better and give more decision-making to our neighborhoods. That platform will play well in the suburban Valley but these things merely play to immediate gratification. What about the vision? What about the long-term strategy? All candidates will need to develop this before the election. Business Resource Guide The San Fernando Valley Business Journal hits a milestone this issue with our first free-standing publication the Business Resource Guide that you find inserted into the paper. There’s lots of good information in the publication but the biggest thing about it is that it brings to light the fact that there is a whole lot of help available in our local area . Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at email@example.com.