LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Critics are saying that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is spending too much time on his side projects and jetting back and forth to Washington D.C. than he is handling his duties here in Los Angeles. But the mayor dismissed those comments as idle chatter.

The reality is that Villaraigosa is riding high on the national stage as chair of this year’s Democratic National Convention and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

But, in L.A., he has recently come under fire for the Fire Department response time controversy. He’s also been criticized over a report from the non-partisan Urban Institute that concluded that there’s no evidence a multimillion anti-gang program has had much effect on crime.

There’s also the complaints of some city workers angry over the prospect of more layoffs.

City tree surgeon Art Sweatman said Villaraigosa has been missing in action.

villaraigosa Mayor Under Fire For Allegedly Spending Too Much Time Building National Reputation, Too Little Time In LA

(credit: CBS)

“We see the mayor jet-setting everywhere, planning a party right now for the Democratic National Convention. We see him doing all kinds of other things. We don’t see him doing his job here in Los Angeles. And the people have elected to be mayor of Los Angeles, not run around jet-setting and preparing for whatever his next move is going to be after office,” Sweatman said.

Sweatman said he and other city workers have been making concessions for years, including delayed raises, more furlough days, making an 11 percent contribution to their pension plans and 2,000 workers going into early retirement.

Villaraigosa said he hopes that his tough stance against unions shows that, given the choice, he’ll take a tough stance against his friends to do what’s right for the city.

“I’m not interested in talking about legacy — I want to do my job, and I hope you put that in this response. I’m going to do my job and I’m going to make the tough calls. I’m going to say no to my friends when I have to. I’ll say yes to people I don’t agree with when I think they’re right,” Villaraigosa told KCAL9 political reporter Dave Bryan.

Los Angeles Times editor at large Jim Newton, who has written extensively on the mayor, said Villaraigosa’s record looks better on the national stage than here in L.A.

“I think the mayor is neither doing as well as some of the national observers would have you believe nor as poorly as some of the local critics would have you believe. But, clearly, he’s wrestling with some issues locally that just haven’t filtered  out into the national analysis of him. So I do think the picture is rosier the further away you look at him,” Newton said.

Newton went on to say that Villaraigosa is better at starting projects than finishing them.

The mayor brushed off the criticism and said his focus remains on the bottom line and results.

“Look, it’s all a bunch of chatter. At the end of the day you get judged by what you’ve done over a period of time,” the mayor said.




Comments (19)
  1. Chuey says:

    I have always sensed something inherently creepy about this guy. If there is a camera and a microphone, the grease ball is usually somewhere nearby.

    1. Whiskey Tango says:

      He’ll stay close now, he will try to get the next mayor all the welfare ridden wetb@ck and mudflap votes.

  2. Charlotte says:

    He was pulling the same BS when supporting Hilliary Clinton apparently hoping for bigger and better things to come. That blew up in his face when news of his girl friend came out. He was dropped Fast. So he’s at it again. This is our mayor.

  3. leaving LA soon says:

    “IDLE CHATTER” Coming from an “IDLE” Mayor..
    How this guy can ALWAYS blow off any comments or criticism
    is amazing. Remember this is the same guy that only a few months ago said
    in the Daily News “Me and my staff are making decisions now that will effect everyone in CA. in the future, and thers is nothing they can do about it”

  4. ginny says:

    The guy is a slime ball thu and thru. He;s hanging his hat on a high level position with the Obama Administration if the President is re-elected. All the while, as a sitting Latino Mayor he is being used as a pawn to bring in the Latino vote. It’s called being blind to so called power.

  5. Astonished says:

    I don’t know why the media is so surprised now. He hasn’t changed any of his tactics since the day he got into office, and they are just now realizing that he is a king sized FLAKE!

    Maybe the Ciity should erect phony TV cameras in his office. That way he stick around trying to pander to the media.

    1. bhnative says:

      Lets face it, people have continued to vote for him, and the same people vote for his puppets around Los Angeles, taken up his seats he leaves behind. The reality is that voters in LA are not inform or educated and believe what AV and other promised. Antonio has employed so many people to commissions and other fake position in City Hall, what have those people contributed to LA, or just AV. Politician in LA actually tell busineses and non-profits if they go against them, their City, State and Pderal grants will come to a hault. Something is very wrong with this fundings, organizations are bing control legal or not,


  6. wobbles says:

    I’d like to see a detailed expens report. The city pays for his mansion. It has paid hundreds of thousands for a yaught only he will use. And every other week he is in Wahington DC or china or some other distant place that is not Los angeles. Surely these things come with a price tag, and the people of Los Angeles have a right to know ehat that price is. How about it BS? Maybe try you hand at being actual reporters and do some investigative reporting and start asking uncomfortable questions?

    1. Astonished says:

      You do know that this sorry waste of breath keeps a very expensive office in Washington DC, right, along with other Cities. And that everytime he travels he takes 1/2 dozen or more LAPD offices as body guards. (I can’t imagine why, though — Who’d want to be anywhere near him?) All at taxpayers expense.

      However, I wish you a lot of luck getting a detailed expense account from this guy.

  7. Richard says:

    I just read 6 comment’s and this time I agree with all of them!!!!! NOT ONCE HAVE I EVER HEARD ANYTHING POSITIVE ABOUT THIS LITTLE GREASE BALLL!!!!!!!

  8. We get what we tolerate.

    The Mayor is well aware that we are rapidly morphing into the “new” Mexico.

    It makes perfect sense for him – as the “leader” of one of the largest sanctuary cities on earth – to keep positioning himself for bigger and better roles.

    He happens to be excelling at creating his own. support base.Kinda like Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony,

    1. Astonished says:

      Yeah, how about that. He thinks he is the Hero of Los Angeles.


      1. bhnative says:

        He doesn’t think, he believes it,

      2. Astonished –

        So refreshing to see a few folks out there actually get it.

        The Democratic Party is doing all in their power to court the ever-growing Hispanic voting block.

        And anybody who thinks the Mayor of this nation’s largest Hispanic city, being the key player in the upcoming Democratic Convention, is a coincidence, is on drugs.

  9. geeM says:

    If it can be seen as something that promotes Tony Vilar…….Put out a TV camera, he’ll show up.

  10. barneyruble says:

    Tony Viagra is a third world mayor and has turned Los Angeles
    into a third world city. KNX knows it but is to cowardly to speak out.
    KNX will not run any of the corruption news about LA City government.

    Mayor Tony Viagra only cares about his ego, making money for
    doing nothing, and his social life,. He is E Coli.
    Make sure you elect another parasite for your next mayor..

  11. ginny says:

    Everyone needs to calll the City Treasurer and demand that we the taxpayers get a full, detailed accounting of how the Mayor is paying for all of these trips he is taking as well as all of his spending on our dime. You know it won’t happen but we should have it available to us as part of our fair infomration access. Besdies, he is done being Mayor so he could care less at this point.

  12. bhnative says:

    Reality sets in to some people in Los Angeles. The Mayor AV is a career politician as many are, I believe he has used all the seats in politics in LA, maybe in California, now he is moving on to National circut, what do you expect? The Latino community will continue to vote “Latino” and AV has manipulated the “Vote for Latino” I ask WHY not vote for the most qualified candidate? Maybe the LA times or La Opinion would take on the real role of reporters and research what all this Latinos, and non latinos in Los Angeles significant done for the City, and those that ran on the Latino Vote, what positive changes have they done for the all the Latinos Community? The Mayor has not change, he is Antonio Villaraigos and he always will, the Latino community should have woken up when he allowed his side kick reporter to announce his personal business that only concern his family. And he took it and built a stage that did not give him good returns, so he drop it, never apoligize for the disrespect he showed to his Wife, family, and to the so call Catholic Boy he represents in the Latino Community. This was in insult to everyone that is married and respects the marriage comitment, or just simple respect to a women that has been devoted to her marriage at all cost. If he can do what he did to his wife, and chldren in public setting, nationally, what do the rest of us expect.

  13. george elias says:

    is all about mony hi is a phoni socialist los angeles look like TIJUANA

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