Supervisor (D3): Where they stand

On June 3, Los Angeles County voters in District 3 will pick among eight candidates to succeed termed-out Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. The contenders are Pamela Conley Ulich, a former Malibu mayor and councilwoman; John Duran, a West Hollywood councilman; Doug Fay, an automotive technician; Yuval Kremer, a private tutor; Sheila Kuehl, a former state lawmaker; Rudy Melendez, a motion picture lighting technician; Eric Preven, a television writer and producer; and Bobby Shriver, a former Santa Monica mayor and councilman.

FULL COVERAGE: Supervisor's race

Public safety

1. Two supervisors have proposed setting up a permanent citizen’s commission to oversee the Sheriff’s Department. Are you in favor of that?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I am absolutely in favor of setting up a citizen’s oversight commission, and the sooner the better. More »
John Duran: Yes. A citizen’s commission will assist the new sheriff and the board of supervisors in gathering information and implementing reforms.
Doug Fay: No, it’s the Supervisors responsibility to oversee the Sheriff’s Department. The problems are escalating because of the lack of leadership from the Supervisors. More »
Yuval Kremer: No…I support electing a GOOD non-political Sheriff, with oversight from the Board of Supervisors (which controls funding). If that becomes insufficient, that is what ACLU lawsuits, the County DA, the State, and the Feds are for! More »
Sheila Kuehl: I am strongly in favor of the establishment of a Citizens’ Oversight Commission to continuously evaluate the performance of the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s deputies, especially in their capacity as jailers. More »
Rudy Melendez: I am not in favor of a citizen’s commission. This is the responsibility of the LACBOS.
Eric Preven: I fully support the idea of setting up a citizen’s oversight commission and personally attended and participated in most of the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence [CCJV] hearings in 2012. The crisis of leadership in the Sheriff’s department has resulted in some very disturbing realities. More »
Bobby Shriver: Yes, I support a citizen’s oversight commission for the Sheriff’s Department. Community involvement will help make the Sheriff’s department more responsive and accountable.

2. What role should the supervisors play in the management and operation of the Sheriff’s Department?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Although the people elect the Sheriff, he is dependent upon the Board for funding. In addition, the Board of Supervisors manage payments that are owed from lawsuits and/or settlements involving Deputies in the Department. More »
John Duran: The new sheriff will have a mandate from the electorate to implement badly needed reforms. The supervisors should work in partnership with the sheriff and his department to ensure adequate funding for whatever reform is necessary. More »
Doug Fay: Management and operation is the Sheriff’s job. It’s my understanding that the primary roll the Supervisors perform is allocating the funds associated with all aspects of the Sheriffs Department. More »
Yuval Kremer: Oversight, budgeting,etc.
Sheila Kuehl: With no direct authority over the Sheriff or the operation of the jails, the Supervisors must use every tool available to reign in abuses in the Dept. and lack of supervision by the Sheriff. More »
Rudy Melendez: The LACBOS shall require the sheriff to report to each BOS meeting and at anytime the supervisors deem necessary.
Eric Preven: The Board has enormous power over the Sheriff’s 2.8 billion dollar budget and though there is evidence that the Board is willing to wield that power from time to time. More »
Bobby Shriver: Manage the budget!… I will support and advocate for resources for the Office of the Inspector General and… I will urge the new Sheriff to immediately implement the reforms recommended by the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence. More »

3. Former Sheriff Lee Baca has proposed replacing the Men’s Central Jail complex. What do you think should be done with the facility? If you believe it should be replaced, how large should it be?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I believe the jail should be replaced and the County should take advantage of the funds available for drug rehabilitation and other programs under AB 109. More »
John Duran: The facility should be demolished. The new facility should increase inmate population from 4,000 to 6,000-7,000… More »
Doug Fay: The facility needs to perform at a satisfactory level. If the cost of updating the facility is less than rebuilding or relocating, and could be done in phases, I would support the motion.
Yuval Kremer: It should not be replaced, but it should hold less people, be better staffed, and be better managed.
Sheila Kuehl: I strongly support the transformation of the Men’s Central Jail complex into a facility for prisoners with mental health issues. More »
Rudy Melendez: The facility shall be properly maintained to house inmates. I believe it would be irresponsible to replace the central jail complex.
Eric Preven: Rather than expansion of jail money, we should invest in diversion programs for the mentally ill population. Jail is not a therapeutic environment. More »
Bobby Shriver: The construction of a new jail will not solve long-term problems within our jail system. Right now, the issue of overcrowding needs to be addressed in a more pragmatic way. More »

4. Some officials believe the Sheriff’s Department should use vacant jails outside the county to relieve crowding and reduce the need to release inmates early. Do you agree?

Pamela Conley Ulich: To reduce crowding, all options should be considered including releasing non-violent inmates early and using vacant jails outside of the County for dangerous inmates who would pose a public safety threat. More »
John Duran: No. Punishment is only half of the equation in criminal justice. The other half is rehabilitation to prevent recidivism. More »
Doug Fay: I agree that there is an overcrowding problem that should have been addressed years ago. I don’t believe sending inmates out of the County will be financially prudent in comparison to investing into needed infrastructure here in Los Angeles County.
Yuval Kremer: Yes.
Sheila Kuehl: I don’t support the use of out-of-County facilities for low-level offenders. In analyzing the state budget on the issue of realignment, which is bringing more serious offenders into local jails, I concluded that there are two different populations involved in the Governor’s realignment plan. More »
Rudy Melendez: I do not support early release of inmates for any reason other than egregious cases of judicial impropriety. If necessary vacant jails outside the county should be used to prevent early release of inmates.
Eric Preven: A deal to bring 500 offenders to the Taft facility in Kern County was approved briefly, on 9/24/2013, before being ‘un-approved’ a couple weeks later. Taft is a good example of why, in general, sending offenders way up north is a non solution for LA County. More »
Bobby Shriver: The use of jails outside the county is not free. Moving mentally ill and chronically homeless people into mental health facilities would relieve overcrowding more effectively, cost-effectively, and humanely. More »

5. What would you do to improve the juvenile detention system, which is under federal review following the misuse of force against children?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Reform. We must break the cycle of injustice and dysfunction. More »
John Duran: Excessive force, substandard living conditions, use of solitary confinement or overcrowded dormitories does not foster rehabilitation of youth. Rather than use large dormitories with 100+ juveniles per unit, the dormitories should be reduced to smaller cottages with 10-12 individuals. More »
Doug Fay: Invest the time needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of current juvenile detention system and work with others to make the needed improvements. Currently, it is apparent that the Supervisors are failing to supervise all aspects of the system. More »
Yuval Kremer: Figure out who is responsible, replace them, and stop the misuse of force.
Sheila Kuehl: In order to concentrate on rehabilitation, which is the touchstone of juvenile incarceration, I would: Establish a Juvenile Facilities Citizens’ Oversight Commission… More »
Rudy Melendez: I would remove and or dismiss any individual that may be involved in the abuse and or misuse of force on juveniles in the county’s detention system. More »
Eric Preven: Follow Paragraph 73 and release the kids unless a specific public safety threat would prevent it!! More »
Bobby Shriver: Get away from the lock-‘em-up culture. Many of the kids within the juvenile system have the ability and desire to get out of the system if we offer an earned path to get there. More »

6. State prison realignment has shifted more felons to local law enforcement oversight. How well do you think it has worked? Would you do anything to alter it? Has the program had any impact on public safety?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Realignment has put additional burdens on the County without additional funding, but it has also forced California and LA County to fix a system where “we deem it normal that prisoners come out at least as dysfunctional as when they went in.” More »
John Duran: State prison realignment is another example of Sacramento shifting its responsibilities onto the backs of the counties and cities. It has not worked and has created additional problems for local governments. It has had a huge impact on public safety. More »
Doug Fay: The system has failed if early releases are occurring. Local jails are for short-term offenders, not felons. Yes, I would recommend changes that benefit both the incarcerated and law enforcement. More »
Yuval Kremer: It has not worked well, it has reduced public safety, and I would alter it, but need to analyze the matter further to make specific recommendations. More »
Sheila Kuehl: Just as when mental health hospitals were shut without funding for community services, creating the mental health disaster now facing jails and prisons, the idea of having more felons housed locally may have been the only answer for the state but it is very problematic… More »
Rudy Melendez: I believe state prison realignment has helped reduce overcrowding in state prisons and although costs to the county jail system may have increased it is my understanding it is still less expensive to house low level inmates in county jails versus state prisons which may be some relief for CA taxpayers. More »
Eric Preven: The realignment process from State Prisons to County Jails is here, and despite the preference among certain factions for whipping up ‘public safety’ hysteria, crime is once again down. More »
Bobby Shriver: I do not want to see prisoners dumped back onto LA county because the state can’t finance itself. So far Los Angeles’ crime rate, for both property and violent crimes, has dropped since this practice began. However, cities and communities still need to be concerned… More »

7. Is the Sheriff’s Department doing enough to lower the cost and frequency of use-of force, harassment and traffic-related lawsuits against the agency? If not, what should be changed?

Pamela Conley Ulich: No. I believe we need a new Sheriff who will be accountable to the people of Los Angeles and who believes Reform is needed, wanted and starts with the person elected. More »
John Duran: The current system of graduating deputies from the academy and assigning them to jail service downtown first is contrary to all good community based policing programs. Early on the job training in the militaristic setting of the jails is not easily transferable onto the streets. More »
Doug Fay: No. Improved leadership, equipment, training, protocol, more frequent performance (including mental and fitness) evaluations, and overall improved team work. More »
Yuval Kremer: No. First and foremost, the Sheriff should be changed, and that has happened on an interim basis. Hopefully the Times will help the public choose a good non-political permanent replacement.
Sheila Kuehl: To date, the Sheriff’s Department has not provided sufficient oversight to even know when incidents of excessive force, harassment and excessive speed chases occur. More »
Rudy Melendez: I do not believe enough is being done to eliminate the cost and frequency of use-of-force, harassment and traffic related lawsuits against the department. More »
Eric Preven: The Sheriff’s legal bills are in three words: out of control. Over 40 million dollars in 2012-13. Just last week, the board agreed to “appeal” - that means keep fighting at our expense - a case involving a finding against the department for excessive force. More »
Bobby Shriver: Last year the Department’s litigation cost the county $43 million, about half of the overall litigation costs for the County. This is simply unacceptable. More »

8. Would you support state legislation that would give more authority to Sheriff’s Department civilian monitors? Would you support legislation that would make county sheriffs less autonomous and more accountable to county supervisors?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, I would support legislation to give more authority to civilian monitors whom are adequately trained and supervised. Yes, I would support legislation that would make County Sheriff less autonomous and more accountable to county supervisors. More »
John Duran: Yes. And yes. Democracy works best when there are checks and balances.
Doug Fay: It’s the BOS responsibility to monitor the Sheriff’s Department. Yes, barriers that obstruct public safety need to be removed. More »
Yuval Kremer: No.
Sheila Kuehl: I would support legislation putting the question of whether the Sheriff should be appointed by the Supervisors or independently elected to the people. Until then, we need more oversight by the Supervisors, themselves. More »
Rudy Melendez: I do not support state legislation that would give more authority to sheriff’s department civilian monitors. I do not think it works and it is a waste of resources. More »
Eric Preven: I certainly would support legislation but to quote the great Zev Yaroslavsky, “the devil is in the details.” The Sheriff should be accountable to the people. “Let the chips fall where they may.” Whatever that means. More »
Bobby Shriver: I support empowering the Office of the Inspector General and also support the creation of a citizens commission, which can ensure that the community’s voice is heard in efforts to achieve and maintain reforms of LASD. More »

Child welfare

1. What would be your top priority in improving the county’s child welfare system and how would you accomplish it?

Pamela Conley Ulich: My top priority would be protecting all children who are in need of help… First, I would ask my colleagues to hire a child welfare czar who would oversee operations and coordinate responsibilities for protecting children that are spread over several agencies. More »
John Duran: My top priority to improve the county’s child welfare system would be to reduce the case load of our social workers. I would work to accomplish this by expanding the use of private sector non-profit organization social workers to ease the burden on the system.
Doug Fay: Preventing children from entering the system. Outreach to the parents and children by offering a variety of voluntary programs to improve their quality of life. These programs should be policy based on humanitarianism, not politics.
Yuval Kremer: Child safety. For one thing, I’d like the various police departments, the Sheriff’s Department, LAUSD, etc to be more involved in monitoring and reporting…it takes a village.
Sheila Kuehl: Lowering the caseload for social workers so that each may more adequately attend to the children under their care. More »
Rudy Melendez: Case loads for social workers in LA County need to be reduced to more appropriate levels and I would hire more skilled and highly trained social workers to achieve these desired results.
Eric Preven: On February 4, 2014, the supervisors finally shared out loud and in public, at item 10, their frustration about the regulatory framework for the way our DCFS and public health nurses cooperate. More »
Bobby Shriver: The biggest problem with the child welfare system is a lack of integration, coordination and transparency among agencies. This needs to be addressed in several ways. More »

2. The Los Angeles County child welfare system has been criticized for mishandling victims of abuse or neglect. Many experts say social workers are insufficiently trained to know when to separate a child from a parent. Do you agree, and if so what would you do to improve the system? Do you believe social workers should be required to hold a master’s degree in social service, as some others counties require?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I would defer to the recommendations made by this group of experts as to whether or not social workers are insufficiently trained. I do, however, believe that a master’s degree in social services should be required of new workers. More »
John Duran: I do not believe that a master’s degree should be required. There are qualified social workers who do a good job without a master’s degree. The issue is not the education of the social worker. More »
Doug Fay: Yes, all social workers should be trained, certified, and sufficiently supervised. I don’t believe every social worker should have a master’s degree. The supervisors should have a master’s degree. More »
Yuval Kremer: No, I think they know…they just don’t do it…I would improve the system with better leadership and oversight. Yes, they should be required to hold a master’s degree in social service, but not from a particular school or small group of schools. More »
Sheila Kuehl: When a worker’s caseload is so high, it becomes virtually impossible to find and visit families as often as is required to make certain the child’s environment is safe. It’s not just training that’s at fault. More »
Rudy Melendez: I am not an expert but I disagree with the assumption that LA County social workers are insufficiently trained. I think the issue here in Los Angeles is the overwhelming number of cases social workers are expected to address. More »
Eric Preven: A requirement for master’s training does not seem to be a tenable solution, as it appears we are already struggling to hire social workers without such a high-end requirement, in place. More »
Bobby Shriver: I agree that we need better training for social workers on how to identify abuse, and we need staffing policies to ensure that the most experienced and knowledgeable social workers are the ones making the most sensitive decisions based upon full access to information. More »

3. The Children’s Special Investigations Unit looks into problem cases and recommends ways to prevent the deaths of juveniles under the oversight of county workers. Because findings in each case have been declared confidential, the public and front-line case workers never learn what happened and how it might have been prevented. Would you support making the unit’s final reports public?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, I favor transparency; however, I do believe the names/addresses of those involved should be redacted to protect privacy of minors. More »
John Duran: Yes. Public reports serve in a watchdog capacity over the procedures of DCFS. There is still a way to protect confidentiality of minors by using numeric or first name/last name initial reporting systems. More »
Doug Fay: No, as an educator I know mastery of a subject can only be achieved if the problem is understood and solution(s) identified. The front-line case workers can learn through training that does not include the names of the individuals that were involved in actual CSIU investigations.
Yuval Kremer: Yes.
Sheila Kuehl: I do support making the reports available to front-line caseworkers, as well as to the public. Secrecy can help protect family privacy, of course, but it can also lead to inaction and dangerous paralysis. More »
Rudy Melendez: I believe these special investigation cases can be studied by experts in the field to better prevent these types of events from occurring but cases are private family matters and the final reports should not be made available to the public.
Eric Preven: This is a systemic problem and the Los Angeles County Counsel and the Board of Supervisors need to reset the terms of this critically important relationship. More »
Bobby Shriver: Yes.

4. A special commission on child welfare is expected to recommend overhauling the child protection service and imposing greater oversight on private foster care providers. The group also wants to create a child welfare czar to coordinate services. Would you support such recommendations?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes – absolutely and the sooner the better.
John Duran: I support overhauling the child protection service and oversight on private foster care providers. However, I do not support creating a child welfare czar to coordinate services. More »
Doug Fay: I would support changes to the child protection service including improved foster care provider screening, not a czar.
Yuval Kremer: Yes to the first question and No to the “czar.”
Sheila Kuehl: I do support both these recommendations. If we are to get our County departments to concentrate their information and their actions, we need an empowered task force and a chief officer for that task force directly accountable to the Supervisors. More »
Rudy Melendez: I believe there is always room for improvement regarding social services but I do not support adding any additional layers of bureaucracy to an agency that already needs to be overhauled to optimize better child welfare services.
Eric Preven: The Czar, if approved, should be empowered to manage a zero-based budget, whereby he or she can direct resources where he/she sees fit. A ‘change agent’ with control over all the county departments working on these issues makes sense. More »
Bobby Shriver: Yes. No one person can accomplish reform without support from the Board to change the culture. The Board must support a culture of collaboration, information sharing, and accountability that does not currently exist. More »

5. With more than 36,000 children under county supervision, social workers complain that they have too many cases to effectively handle. The special commission was recently told that 683 caseworkers oversee 31 or more children and that some even have more than 60. Do you believe more workers should be hired? What would you consider a proper caseload? And if more social workers are needed, how do propose to pay for them?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, I believe more workers should be hired and the proper caseload should be reduced. More »
John Duran: I do agree that the caseworkers are severely overloaded. However, I would be more interested in contracting with non profit organizations in the private sector to fill most of the new positions to avoid saddling the county with additional benefits and pension obligations. More »
Doug Fay: In general, the most difficult cases should be given to the most experienced workers. A sufficient workforce should be employed and compensated through the County’s budget. More »
Yuval Kremer: Yes; a proper caseload might be 30 (I would need to analyze the matter further); and I would pay for it by keeping wages, overtime, health benefits, and pensions in check, finding other places to cut waste … and outsourcing to nonprofit partners, if necessary. More »
Sheila Kuehl: I would like to see no caseload over 15-18 for any one social worker. Perhaps even more importantly, I would like to see better communication between and among the various departments with whom they must interact. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes of course more social workers need to be hired…In my opinion a reasonable work load for social workers would be no more than 20 cases per month. Consumer fees from city owned utilities such as the DWP would be a good place to start searching for extra revenue… More »
Eric Preven: Hiring Social workers is underway and caseloads should be dramatically reduced by closing cases. This issue is a lightning rod, but not really the core issue we face. The many workers we have are being asked to operate a system that is not functional. More »
Bobby Shriver: Over 66% of the county’s social workers manage a caseload of 31 children and sometimes 40 children. The best practice is 15 to one. More »

6. What is your view of the job being done by Department of Children and Family Services Director Philip Browning and would you support his retention?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I am impressed with the courage Director Philip Browning has exhibited since his appointment. More »
John Duran: Phillip Browning has only been in place for about 2 years. He needs additional time to determine whether he is being effective or not. I do support his retention until the end of this year to determine whether or not the department has seen improvement over the years since his hiring. More »
Doug Fay: If Director Browning feels he still has what it takes to be in the leadership position he needs to make that argument. I would support the most qualified candidate to serve. His credentials are exceptional. More »
Yuval Kremer: I would have to analyze if he is being blamed for an insufficient budget for his department before I would consider removing him.
Sheila Kuehl: Director Browning is doing a good job attempting to correct some of the most egregious problems and I support his retention. That said, I do have some ideas on how the structure of the Department might be more efficient and effective. More »
Rudy Melendez: From all accounts I have read Phillip Browning was carefully selected for his role as DCFS Director recommended by the BOS and accepted one of the most challenging positions in the County. Although I believe the DCFS can still do better I would continue to support retaining Director Browning.
Eric Preven: If the Blue Ribbon Commission’s recommendation for a Czar over child protection is adopted, as it should be, Mr. Browning’s importance will be appropriately reduced, thereby obviating the need for an immediate change. More »
Bobby Shriver: We must address the needs of L.A. County children in a consistent, thoughtful and informed way. As a Board member, I will rigorously evaluate Director Browning’s performance based on better outcomes for kids.

Homelessness

1. A $100 million plan to regionalize homeless services by placing a stabilization center in each supervisor’s district was shelved after community opposition arose in 2006. Should that plan be revived? How should the county deal with the homeless?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I am open to all alternatives to helping homeless and would consider stabilization centers in each district. More »
John Duran: I support the construction of permanent housing for the homeless with attached social services. More »
Doug Fay: The County needs to build upon programs that are successful and embraced by the community. Unfortunately for many, homelessness has become an accepted lifestyle in Los Angeles. More »
Yuval Kremer: My main concern is protecting the Residents of the county from the homeless population, while being compassionate with that population. I see homelessness as a major public safety, health, and quality of life issue. More »
Sheila Kuehl: That plan failed from a lack of community support and a vagueness of detail that made residents uncomfortable. There was also a failure to build any meaningful collaborations with local service providers who could have helped. The plan will not be revived, as it was proposed. More »
Rudy Melendez: The growing homeless population in Los Angeles County is out of control particularly in downtown…A plan for stabilization centers throughout the five districts is long overdue and needs to be implemented. More »
Eric Preven: The endless debate about a more Countywide approach (think federal) or a more district specific initiative (think local) is part of the problem. More »
Bobby Shriver: It makes perfect sense to assess at one location all the types of services that homeless or about-to-be-homeless people need. More »

2. The county periodically assigns the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to move people off the streets, offering assistance and shelter. Many who go in for treatment, however, quickly leave. How should the county close this revolving door while making sure money is not wasted?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I believe LA County must explore having more Mobile units that offer assistance and medical treatment for those on the streets. If those on treatment leave a facility, they may still be able to get help from these Mobil units.
John Duran: Temporary shelters are short sighted solutions. More »
Doug Fay: I will conduct a comprehensive review of the LAHS and ensure money is not wasted and review current and proposed General Plan language to ensure sufficient programs are available including partnerships that are cost effective and productive. More »
Yuval Kremer: I need to study this matter further before making a recommendation.
Sheila Kuehl: When a homeless person is offered shelter and assistance, it is limited in time. It’s like saying, “Hey, get cured in six days, or else out you go.” The answer is permanent housing with services. More »
Rudy Melendez: In my opinion in order to best allocate resources The County should pursue the steps outlined in the Coordinated Entry System (CES) to develop a strategy that targets those individuals that are “chronically homeless and most vulnerable.” More »
Eric Preven: Los Angeles County has a pilot project for Laura’s law and we need to follow up. More »
Bobby Shriver: The short answer: Long-term supportive housing. People who have been living on the streets for a short time can benefit from temporary shelter and treatment, but the chronically homeless need much longer-term support. More »

3. About 60% of those on welfare are homeless. Some say they remain on the street because their monthly check of around $250 is far less than what it costs to rent. How would you address this issue? With federal housing vouchers frozen and rents continuing to go up, would you support raising the general relief amount? If so, how would you pay for it?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, but I also believe we must provide businesses with opportunities to develop more with less beuocratic red-tape and reduced taxes. If we make Los Angeles business friendly, then we can attract and retain more jobs and opportunities for growth. More »
John Duran: I do not support raising the general relief amount. Welfare should be a temporary source of relief, not a permanent status. Dependency on the county should be disfavored and re-employment favored.
Doug Fay: If there was an easy solution to this concern, it would have already been addressed. There are individuals on welfare and unemployment that are capable to work, especially unskilled labor jobs. It is impossible to survive on $250 a month without significant assistance. More »
Yuval Kremer: No, I would not. I already see the homeless community in my area using their money for booze, smokes, lottery tickets, and drugs. And a lot of people give them money and food, too.
Sheila Kuehl: I do support raising the general relief amount and I would seek state help in doing it. More »
Rudy Melendez: More affordable housing is necessary to alleviate the homeless population in LA I would support raising the general relief amount to offset the disparity between high rent and lack of affordable housing. More »
Eric Preven: GR is not going to solve homelessness but I would certainly support raising GR while reducing the numbers of individuals who need it. More »
Bobby Shriver: The core issue is a lack of affordable housing. As Supervisor, I will fight for a significant increase in our stock of affordable housing. More »

Healthcare

1. As the Affordable Care Act increases the number of people with health insurance, a once-captive client base for county hospitals and clinics will be free to seek care elsewhere—and to take their newfound insurance coverage with them. What can you do as a supervisor to insure that county facilities don’t lose these now-paying customers?

Pamela Conley Ulich: The County must offer premium customer service and excellent health results at competitive prices.
John Duran: The county hospitals and clinics will have to compete with the private sector in the delivery of health services. Raising the skill level of county health care workers and upgrading delivery systems will allow the county to participate in competitive markets.
Doug Fay: County healthcare providers should be able to accept all clients with or without insurance. All County employees should be insured through the County healthcare system. More »
Yuval Kremer: I don’t believe they will lose them. Just the opposite…I think they will be flooded with more patients. More »
Sheila Kuehl: The County must aggressively market the services available and make the case for why our facilities are the best and healthiest option for working class and middle class residents, as well as the most affordable. More »
Rudy Melendez: As a supervisor I would encourage county hospitals and clinics to provide the best care possible to patients and in doing so I believe they will be “awarded more for their quality of care than they are for their volume of patients.”
Eric Preven: Dr. Mitch Katz is leading the charge on this and the next Supervisors need to support his efforts to do smart things that will make the network appealing to consumers. That includes getting the message out. More »
Bobby Shriver: Make county facilities more customer/patient service oriented. Local health care innovators both in and out of government are already taking the first steps and I will encourage this practice and find ways to provide better service to compete in this market. More »

2. County health officials have said they will continue to care for people who remain uninsured, including immigrants without legal status. Do you agree with this policy? Should there be limits to this care?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, I agree with this policy. I would also try to ask illegal immigrants to help repay their debts if/when they are able. More »
John Duran: I do agree with this policy. To prevent the spread of infectious and communicable disease, there should not be a service requirement based on legal status. More »
Doug Fay: Yes, immigrants without legal status should be treated to stable condition and assigned a caseworker to assist in evaluating the legal options of recourse. There should be limits to care provided to individuals that have performed illegal actions in the County.
Yuval Kremer: Yes and Yes.
Sheila Kuehl: I absolutely agree with this policy. What good does it do us to take care of our own healthcare if we’re coming into constant contact with those who have no healthcare? This is a matter of public health and a very good investment for the County. More »
Rudy Melendez: I agree with the County health officials policy and any limits to this care may perhaps be dependent on specific types of coverage and or reserved for emergency type services only.
Eric Preven: We absolutely need to ensure that DHS and its community partners continue to be the safety net for the uninsured. It’s a thankless job, but in our system, that is what we got. More »
Bobby Shriver: We cannot protect the public health without providing basic medical care to all. The impact of denying care on communicable diseases, infant mortality, and chronic illnesses would be enormous and create additional risks and costs for everyone.

3. The projected $237 million cost for rebuilding Martin Luther King hospital rose to $281 million last summer. Its reopening has also been delayed for months. Do you think the delays and increased costs are justified? Is there more county officials should be doing to get the project completed; and, if so, what?

Pamela Conley Ulich: In hindsight, the Board of Supervisors could have tried to include pecuniary incentives for the contractors to build the project on or ahead of time. More »
John Duran: Delays are sometimes unavoidable. In the future, general contractor bonuses should be considered when a project is completed ahead of schedule to encourage time sensitivity.
Doug Fay: Without conducting an in depth comprehensive evaluation of the MLK Hospital refurbishing, I cannot comment on the increased investment into the facility. More »
Yuval Kremer: No to the first question. The delays and increased costs are likely due to lousy contracting, which is very common.
Sheila Kuehl: It’s not clear whether every delay or increase is justified. There must be continuous oversight over this project. I do believe, however, that MLK must re-open to provide services in our central communities. More »
Rudy Melendez: I do not think the delays are justified and county officials should be holding these contractors accountable for delays and be willing to assess penalties and or fines. More »
Eric Preven: As Supervisor Ridley Thomas will attest, when you get into the walls of a facility sometimes problems that were not originally envisioned materialize. This has been the excuse for what amounts to serious cost overruns and delays. More »
Bobby Shriver: I am eager to see Martin Luther King hospital fully staffed and operational and will work closely with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and others to make sure this hospital budget and deadlines are carefully projected and met. More »

4. Studies suggest emergency room use is likely to increase at least initially as newly insured people drop their reluctance to seek care because of cost. Given that most county emergency rooms are already overcrowded, what would you do to manage this growth?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I would work with private entities that we have partnered with like MLK Foudation to institute best practices to insure we can adequately manage the growth. More »
John Duran: In order to manage the growth of emergency room use, I would work to expand the use of both county clinics and private sector non profit clinics for routine health care and preventive treatments.
Doug Fay: Working with other healthcare providers, ensure that there are sufficient emergency room services throughout the County. Account for current and planned population growth and the needed healthcare infrastructure to serve in the County General Plan Update.
Yuval Kremer: The only way to manage this growth is with more funds, and way to get those funds is to increase premiums and/or get more money from the State/Feds. If the State cancelled the Bullet Train Boondoggle, that would be one way to free-up around 10 Billion dollars.
Sheila Kuehl: I don’t agree with the conclusion. When people have insurance, they do not generally choose emergency rooms for treatment. More »
Rudy Melendez: We need to encourage hospital administrators to change the culture of “elective admissions as the economics of this practice are the driving force of emergency room overcrowding.” More »
Eric Preven: In a word, triage. MLK has a special area to divert mentally ill patients who do not need ER attention exactly. More »
Bobby Shriver: The first priority in managing the increased demand on County emergency rooms is to distribute Measure B funds fairly. More »

Finance/Labor

1. Do you have any concern about the amount of influence business or organized labor groups exert in county politics and this race specifically?

Pamela Conley Ulich: 13-year old, Dylan Strickland, hit the nail on the head when he observed, “Money is basically a system by which you can cheat in politics [and] drown out everyone else’s voice if you have enough cash.” More »
John Duran: Yes. When either business or labor exerts too much influence on county politics, the residents of Los Angeles County suffer. More »
Doug Fay: Yes, a specific example would be my campaign. I am not accepting political campaign contributions or contributing to political parties for potential endorsements. The result of these actions has been exclusion from participating in candidate forums and debates. More »
Yuval Kremer: Of course I do…I call campaign contributions “legalized bribes,”… Independent Expenditures are a Loophole that you can drive a truck through, and it’s often a fiction to believe that they are not coordinated with the campaigns of candidates. More »
Sheila Kuehl: Of course both business and labor have the right to support candidates as they wish, but, although the LA City Chamber of Commerce has endorsed in this race, the County Labor Federation has not. More »
Rudy Melendez: No not particularly and i can tell you that neither organized labor nor any specific business has exerted any influence on my decision to run for Supervisor.
Eric Preven: Organized labor has a permanent and critically important seat at the county table. In a county where voter turnout has been disappointingly low, the power and influence of Labor can be outsized. More »
Bobby Shriver: I respect both Labor and Business participation in the political process. In my public service, I listen to both and many other points of view and make my decisions based on what I think is best. More »

2. Supervisors boast of having maintained the county’s fiscal health by keeping purse strings tight during the recession. In that same period, the jails have been overcrowded and fallen under federal investigation; the child welfare system has been accused of failing abused kids due to heavy caseloads; public hospital emergency rooms have overflowed with patients, and programs to move tens of thousands of people off on the streets have seen limited success. What would you do as Supervisor to raise new revenue or free up existing resources to address these budget challenges?

Pamela Conley Ulich: In addition to reducing costs by having people practice self-reliance, I believe revenue can be raised through creative partnerships with non-profits and businesses in LA County and not through taxes. More »
John Duran: Each of the issues identified above are complex and there are a multitude of reasons for the failures and challenges. The answer is not always to throw more money at the problem. More »
Doug Fay: It has been my personal experiences with the County that the BOS boast of many things that are untrue. More »
Yuval Kremer: In a roughly 25 Billion dollar annual budget, I’m sure I can find a lot of waste, shady contracting, misplaced priorities, subsidized special interests, and bloated pensions. We can also lobby the State and the Feds for more money, when appropriate. More »
Sheila Kuehl: First, new money: There will be millions in so-called “boomerang” redevelopment funds coming to the County because city redevelopment agencies no longer receive 100% of the tax increments created by redevelopment projects… More »
Rudy Melendez: If we can not find the revenue here or free up resources from existing funding streams the BOS should explore raising new revenue through voter approved bond measures that target very specific needs and services. More »
Eric Preven: Reducing waste and maximizing efficiency should be a constant mantra in a big and clumsy bureaucracy. Anyone who has attended a board meeting knows what type of constructive but directed comments, I make, and will continue to make. More »
Bobby Shriver: Not all of the reform efforts require funding, and many of them will reduce costs in the long term. Initial steps for reform and technology upgrades do require funding investments. We need to be strategic in finding the funding to make those investments with existing resources. More »

3. The county currently requires many contractors to pay a “living wage” that amounts to $11.84 an hour. Given the current national and local movements to raise the minimum wage to a much as $15.37, do you believe the county’s required living wage should be increased; and if so, to what amount?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes. I believe the County’s should be a leader in paying a fair wage and increase the living wage to $15 an hour. More »
John Duran: This is an issue that is best resolved at the national level. However, I have supported increases to living wage amounts in my city before – but only after a careful analysis of the impact on consumers, construction costs, and a possible decrease in workers and jobs.
Doug Fay: I’m not a fan of inflation and a greater separation between the wealth of the working class and the 1% that has the most influence over the welfare of society. Unskilled laborers should be compensated by the minimum living wage. More »
Yuval Kremer: No, because it’s a Job Killer.
Sheila Kuehl: I do believe the County’s living wage amount should be incrementally increased. This is also an important part of driving the economic engines in the County as people tend to spend locally on goods and services and the tax money on goods comes back, in part, to the County.
Rudy Melendez: The County should require contractors to pay an acceptable living wage that allows workers to break free from the current state of “economic apartheid.” More »
Eric Preven: Full time $11.84 would be $24,627/year or at $15.37 it would $31,969/year. That’s the kind of math I’m willing to do, day-in, day-out. Tough to raise a family on that. The rates need to go up as high as we can get ‘em. The solution to inequality takes work. More »
Bobby Shriver: We cannot wait for the federal government act and we cannot afford piecemeal approaches. We need basic minimum wage protections that help bring working families out of poverty. More »

4. Los Angeles County government has the largest workforce in Southern California, with about 101,000 employees. Many went without pay raises during the recession. Would you vote to give county workers higher pay at this point in the economic recovery?

Pamela Conley Ulich: It depends on how the economy and the budget look in 2015. We could be one disaster away from bankruptcy, and I cannot in good conscious say whether or not we can give more raises and bonuses in 2015 until we are in 2015.
John Duran: Yes. A cost of living adjustment is necessary to ensure that worker salaries keep pace with the increases in rents, groceries and other costs of living. More »
Doug Fay: I will need to approach the financial structuring of the County with caution and only after gaining a thorough understanding of our financial resources and workforce capabilities, consider higher pay across the board. More »
Yuval Kremer: No; they’re lucky to have good-paying jobs with great benefits in this economic environment, and I expect the economy to get worse, not better. More »
Sheila Kuehl: I do believe every worker should be able to look forward to incremental increases in their pay as they acquire longevity, not to mention to try and keep up with increases in the cost of housing, food, retail goods and education. More »
Rudy Melendez: I would vote to give pay raises to county employees based on the current contract offer that is subject to negotiation. More »
Eric Preven: Raises should first and foremost be merit based. In general, we need to reward competence over endurance. More »
Bobby Shriver: My first priority in contract negotiations will be to ensure the long-term sustainability of the County’s pension and healthcare benefits system and to implement reforms to deliver better services to every client of County. More »

5. Los Angeles County is one of the few remaining jurisdictions that does not offer peace officers “3% at 50,” which would mean sheriff’s deputies can retire at age 50 and receive 3% of their highest year’s pay for every year of service. Do you believe the county should move to that standard?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I do not support instituting this increase at this point in time because I believe the unintended consequences of this benefit could put the financial stability of LA County at risk. More »
John Duran: No. Retirement ages are now on the rise in the private sector beyond the age of 65 to 70 or higher. More »
Doug Fay: If “3% at 50” is an industry standard offered elsewhere, it should be considered in Los Angeles County and approved if feasible. More »
Yuval Kremer: No.
Sheila Kuehl: To bring peace officers up from 2% at 50 would be expensive and would have to be compared to the benefits of health, dental, and eye care insurance now provided. Primarily this is a matter for collective bargaining, which looks at other chips on the table at the same time. More »
Rudy Melendez: The county simply can not financially support 3% at 50 retirement plans for officers. I think it is unconscionable to think if you work for example thirty years as a peace officer that you would expect to receive 90% of your highest year wages in retirement salary.
Eric Preven: If an officer worked for 25 years he could get 75% of his/her salary for life? That’s a lot and we can’t underwrite such programs for folks to retire at 50. I would rather increase the salaries when the workers are working. More »
Bobby Shriver: I support the collective bargaining process and will discuss retirement and pay within those negotiations. Pensions and retiree health care benefits must be financially sustainable. We need to plan for the long term and look at reforms that decrease unfunded liabilities.

6. Current civil service protections prevent the county from moving some veteran employees to posts where their experience may be most needed; for example, social workers who have already spent time in a difficult region of the county cannot be sent back without their permission.

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, I believe all civil service employees should be willing to go to where they are most needed. I would implore SEIU to work with the County in the collective bargaining process to insure the needs of the people we serve come first. More »
John Duran: Yes. It is illogical. I would open a discussion during labor negotiations for pay/benefit incentives for those more tenured workers to be attracted to the more challenging posts.
Doug Fay: Yes, if legally possible. After reviewing the civil service protections and rules I would poll the veteran employees. If there were obvious areas that needed improvement I would draft an update for consideration.
Yuval Kremer: Maybe; I would need to analyze the matter further.
Sheila Kuehl: I have never liked the idea of changing civil service rules unilaterally…They are in place to protect the thousands of workers who provide all the services the County is required to provide. More »
Rudy Melendez: No I would not change the rule as it is my understanding there is an appeals process that does not necessarily authorize the employee to refuse the assignment, transfer or change pending a completion of the appeal process to the director of personnel.
Eric Preven: I have no tolerance for rules that are contrary to the public’s best interest. More »
Bobby Shriver: County management needs flexibility in staffing assignments but not at the cost of losing veteran employees to burnout or exposing them to the threat of retributive staffing assignments. More »

Environment/Development

1. Oil extraction is on the rise in parts of the county and residents fear that some techniques might pollute the air and water. Do you believe it is acceptable to extract oil and gas in urban settings? Do you believe hydraulic fracturing is safe.

Pamela Conley Ulich: No, I do not believe it is acceptable to extract oil and gas in urban settings. No, I do not believe fracturing is safe.
John Duran: I do not support fracking.
Doug Fay: No and not in environmentally sensitive habitat. There are too many unknown impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing due to an unwillingness of the industry to disclose information. More »
Yuval Kremer: No and no.
Sheila Kuehl: Fracking is not safe. It’s not safe for groundwater, not safe for land stability, not safe for air quality and doesn’t even make economic sense, as it uses millions of gallons of water in a time of drought and extracts natural gas that is primarily sold to other countries. More »
Rudy Melendez: I am not an expert on hydraulic fracturing and no I don’t think it probably is very safe but can we ignore the fact that the oil and gas industry in California creates jobs in Los Angeles Co.
Eric Preven: I am against fracking in urban settings in earthquake-prone California.
Bobby Shriver: I do not support fracking in L.A. County because of my concerns regarding groundwater usage and the safety of the water supply. I believe that we should expand the moratorium on fracking to include all of L.A. County.

2. What is your position on the proposal to develop a 14,000-square-foot San Gabriel River Discovery Center in the Whittier Narrows wildlife sanctuary, which would be equipped with interactive exhibits and a 7,000-square-foot model of the San Gabriel River featuring flowing water?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I believe this is a good idea and would continue to transform the area into a National Recreation Area.>
John Duran: I am supportive of limited use of the national forest for campers, hikers and other recreational uses provided that the impacts on the native plants and animals is not significant. More »
Doug Fay: I would have to investigate the motivation behind the proposed change. More »
Yuval Kremer: I need to study it further, primarily because of the location involved.
Sheila Kuehl: Virtually everyone is supportive of the idea of making the 655,387-acre forest now managed by the US Forest Service into a National Recreation Area. More »
Rudy Melendez: I support congressional legislation that would be required to transform the San Gabriel Mountains’ Angeles National Forest into a National Recreation Area managed or co managed by the National Park Service.
Eric Preven: Char Miller of Pomona College says, “We may proclaim that the public lands are national treasures, but we treat them like dirt.” The Park Service investing in the San Gabriels and the surrounding communities could be good. More »
Bobby Shriver: Yes, I support designating the Angeles National Forest a National Recreational Area and transferring management to the National Park Service. More »

3. Should the county make another attempt to ask voters to approve a storm water cleanup fee? If not, how should the county address the cost of cleaning up storm water?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I believe the Board of Supervisors should be honest with the voters and call the fee what I believe it is, a tax. This measure should be put before the voters and not instituted by the Board alone. More »
John Duran: Yes. We need to do a better job educating voters across the county about water management in a desert environment. More »
Doug Fay: No. The County has partnered with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and their purported non-profit The Bay Foundation partner … In my professional opinion this partnership has done more damage to the Santa Monica Bay and its tributaries than easily recognized. More »
Yuval Kremer: Everybody should pay it, not just property owners.
Sheila Kuehl: I would like to see the County try again to ask the voters to approve a storm water cleanup fee, as the burden of cleaning up storm water before it is dumped into the ocean has fallen most heavily on coastal towns. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes the county should make another attempt to ask voters to approve a storm water clean up fee and if it is not approved the county than must address the cost of cleaning up storm water through public education public service announcements and better enforcement of the states current litter laws.
Eric Preven: We ought to get a comprehensive look at what specifically we are doing about runnoff currently countywide and then focus our attention on that. Then we can see if those resources can be better deployed before we go for another costly surcharge.
Bobby Shriver: As Supervisor I will be a leader on the storm water issue as I have been in Santa Monica. I will also lead on cleaning the toxins out of the large aquifers under the San Fernando Valley and incentivizing businesses and residences to install water-capture tools on-site. More »

4. Given the statewide drought, should the county be doing more to conserve water; and if so, what? Would you limit new residential or commercial development?

Pamela Conley Ulich: We must educate and empower people in LA County to be environmental leaders. Rather than limit new residential or commercial development, we can institute best practices to improve sustainability and environmental stewardship. More »
John Duran: I wouldn’t limit development. I would instead propose smart development with electric and water conserving devices in new construction. More »
Doug Fay: Conservation, awareness and education are all good measures. Recycling and reuse will increase availability. More »
Yuval Kremer: The public needs to be reminded how to not waste water on their lawns. After that, yes, I would charge the big water wasters a lot more, in order to stop their behavior. More »
Sheila Kuehl: I do not favor limiting development as much as I favor requiring water-saving devices in all aspects of new development and identification of a real source of water. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes the county needs to be doing more to improve public education and mandate much needed high priority water conservation efforts. More »
Eric Preven: Water conservation is a top priority and the county should be doing even more to educate residents about smart effective solutions to conserve. We simply can’t waste a drop. More »
Bobby Shriver: Of course, we could all being doing more. We need to make sure that we are using the best technology to detect leaks, monitor and decrease usage and landscape appropriately. More »

Open government

1. The supervisors have been chastised for violating the state’s open meetings law, as they did in 2011 when they met in private with Gov. Brown to discuss state prison realignment. What will you do to improve government transparency and avoid violating the open meetings law and public records act?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I will insure that all meetings are open to the public, especially whenever I meet with more than 1 supervisor. More »
John Duran: Transparency in government is critical and i would always follow the open meetings law. The problem is not that the open meeting law is inadequate. The problem is in adherence to the law.
Doug Fay: Follow the law. I prefer discussions and debate in a public forum, not behind closed doors. More »
Yuval Kremer: Hold more open meetings.
Sheila Kuehl: I have never supported closed meetings for any other reason than the discussion of sensitive personnel issues. More »
Rudy Melendez: As someone who has already completed certified ethics training in Los Angeles I would take an oath an abide by the Brown Act and open meeting laws in the State of California.
Eric Preven: I have been a tireless advocate for open government and am currently a named party in a lawsuit to compel the board of supervisors to produce legal billings for cases in which we payed outside law firms.
Bobby Shriver: I believe in open meetings with the public being exposed to difficult discussions. More »

2. Unlike a standard practice at Los Angeles City Hall, people paid to lobby county officials are not required to disclose the issues they work on, and they sometimes violate existing reporting standards without punishment. Would you do anything to change the county’s lobbying rules?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Absolutely. I would duplicate the practices at LA City Hall and require that every person who lobby’s county official disclose the issues they work on.
John Duran: I would gather best practices models from not only the City of Los Angeles, but also from other counties in California in determining what would be the best practice for the county. More »
Doug Fay: Yes, the County lobbying rules should be similar or identical to City of Los Angeles rules. I will require mandatory disclosure information prior to meeting with groups and individuals, including detailed lobbying information.
Yuval Kremer: Yes, I would require these lobbyists to disclose the issues they work on and punish them for violating reporting standards.
Sheila Kuehl: I would vote to update the current lobbying rules to bring them more into line with the City. I would also put a moratorium, as we did in the state, on how quickly a County employee could turn around and become a lobbyist in the County. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes I would require lobbyists to follow the rules and enforce strict penalties for violations of the County’s lobbyist ordinance municipal regulations code.
Eric Preven: I have been lobbying [pun intended] for changes to the way the county reports about its lobbying activity. More »
Bobby Shriver: Yes. I will increase transparency and disclosure in every aspect of government, including lobbying activities and enforcement of reporting rules. More »

3. Each supervisor has a pool of money that can be spent at their discretion and without full board approval. What would you do to insure that the public easily sees how you spend your share?

Pamela Conley Ulich: First, it seems unconscionable that Supervisors can spend the public’s money without any transparency or checks by the Supervisors or public. More »
John Duran: Provide an accounting on my supervisorial website and district offices for any member of the public to inspect.
Doug Fay: Have an accountant within my staff that will provide detailed annual and possibly quarterly reports posted on our District 3 website. More »
Yuval Kremer: Post how each and every penny is spent on the county website.
Sheila Kuehl: I don’t think there should be any secrecy about these expenditures. They should be reported the same as any other expenditures, openly and online. More »
Rudy Melendez: I would provide a full public disclosure of any funds that were spent at my discretion.
Eric Preven: In my book it is not appropriate to deploy such money out of public view. It ought to be a requirement to post the details. I would post it, myself. More »
Bobby Shriver: I will make publicly available all of the spending for my office and will seek public input on priorities for spending their money.

4. The county’s current campaign finance law is designed to reward candidates who stick to a voluntary spending limit for elections. But critics say the current limit of $1.4 million is too low. Do you believe the campaign finance law should be changed; and if so, how?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I believe the system isn’t broke - it was built to keep politicians and special interests backing them in power and the dangerous “trend to spend” has spiraled out of control since the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. More »
John Duran: No. I believe that the $1.4 million cap is adequate. What i do find frustrating is that donor information is not readily available to the public online for inspection. The system needs upgrading (like most of L.A. County’s information systems).
Doug Fay: There is an obvious and overwhelming problem with politicians accepting ridiculous amounts of special interest money for an office that represents 10 million residents. More »
Yuval Kremer: Independent expenditures are the problem; the only way to level the playing field is to increase the limit and increase the allowed individual contributions, while requiring full reporting and transparency. More »
Sheila Kuehl: I don’t think the cap is too low, so long as everyone plays by the rules. More »
Rudy Melendez: Spending 1.4 million dollars on a county election in my opinion is wasteful and obnoxious and I would encourage anybody that might be considering a campaign donation to rethink your decision and make a charitable contribution to a serving and deserving organization in your community. More »
Eric Preven: The absence of a level playing field dissuades players from playing. More »
Bobby Shriver: Yes, the law was passed in 1996 and the financing system is out of date and contains many aspects that violate current constitutional law. The current law is not transparent and favors incumbents. More »

5. Should the supervisors create or seek voter approval of a regulatory body similar to Los Angeles’ City Ethics Commission, which attempts to shape, administer and enforce laws regarding governmental ethics, conflicts of interests, campaign financing and lobbying?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes. If elected I would create and seek voter approval of a regulatory Body which to shape, administer and enforce laws regarding governmental ethics, conflicts of interest, campaign finance and lobbying. More »
John Duran: Yes.
Doug Fay: They should create it. I’m for it because it will create accountability and oversight. If not, the voters should gather the required number of signatures to get it on the ballot and voted in.
Yuval Kremer: No. The LA City Ethics Commission is picked by the same politicians that they monitor, slaps offenders on the wrist years after their misconduct, and is highly ineffective. I think the County DA should have a division that handles these matters. More »
Sheila Kuehl: I would strongly support a County Ethics Commission. It not only sheds light on the activities of electeds, it also lets the voters know how they are behaving, compared to adopted standards. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes LA County Supervisors like any other elected city official must be held accountable for their actions and should seek voter approval to expand the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission to allow oversight and evaluate the effectiveness of the LA County Supervisors. More »
Eric Preven: I have been raising an idea, that would have the far richer county fund and empower the far poorer city’s ethics commission to act as one city/county ethics commission, like in San Francisco. More »
Bobby Shriver: I support a County Ethics Commission, but would also support efforts to better use the County Registrar’s office to make public all contributions more quickly, to make forms simpler, and information more readily available.

Transportation

1. Supervisors also serve as members of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board, overseeing billions of dollars in subway, light rail and bus transit services. Do you use public transportation? If so, how often and what routes?

Pamela Conley Ulich: I have used public transportation throughout the world, in NYC, Washington DC, Boston, Maryland, San Francisco, Zurich, and many other places… Unfortunately, in Los Angeles, I live in a location that is not served by light rail or a subway. More »
John Duran: Yes. I occasionally use the Red Line to travel to the Civic Center. However, the system today is still not adequate for continual use since it does not reach my destination points in a timely fashion. More »
Doug Fay: Yes, I have seldom used bus service in the Los Angeles area and enjoyed using rail service in Australia and Asia. I prefer to commute to work by bicycle and carpool to meetings whenever possible. More »
Yuval Kremer: Yes. I choose not to have a car and I take the Bus primarily, although I often walk, and sometimes take taxis or rail. I used to use the Beverly Blvd Rapid to get to LA City Hall…until MTA inexplicably eliminated the route. More »
Sheila Kuehl: I don’t use public transportation, yet. But I can hardly wait for the Expo Line to get out to Santa Monica and open. I’m excited! More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes, I do use public transportation approximately once a month and generally when I do I use Amtrak metro link and light rail service from LA to Orange County.
Eric Preven: I ride the Red Line to board meetings and other downtown appointments on average two days a week. I have also used the park n’ ride service for the Hollywood bowl and have concerns that the cost for a family of 4 over the next couple years will rise from $20 to $28. More »
Bobby Shriver: I am not a regular user of public transit, and that is why I look forward to the completion of the Expo line, which will stop in Santa Monica at Colorado Avenue and 4th Street—less than two miles from my house. More »

2. Should Metro’s rail system be extended all the way to LAX; and if so, how?

Pamela Conley Ulich: . We have to look for alternatives such as the people mover in the interim. Los Angeles is a world-class city and we need world-class public transportation. More »
John Duran: Yes. Finish the Green Line to LAX Airport until we are able to connect other lines to the airport in the future.
Doug Fay: Yes. By implementing the most environmentally sensitive and financially feasible extension possible. A sky train over the center of the 405 freeway or possibly a subway depending on the cost and community support.
Yuval Kremer: Yes. As for how, I would need to study the matter more to respond.
Sheila Kuehl: I would like the Green Line, the Crenshaw Line and, eventually the Sepulveda Pass Line to end at a terminus near Terminal One or Terminal Seven, where people could disembark, check in, check in their luggage and access a people mover to take them around the airport. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes Metro’s rail system should be extended from the Culver City station via Venice Blvd. to Lincoln Blvd. to LAXx or from Culver City station to Culver Blvd. to Lincoln Blvd. to LAX.
Eric Preven: At this point, people movers is the most cost effective solution, but frankly, it is hard to see how we landed in this awkward situation. If the train can get close to JFK and Denver Airport and many other airports… it comes down to vision and resources and compromise.
Bobby Shriver: I strongly support connecting LAX to the light rail system. I support the most seamless option possible and will work to secure funding to support it. More »

3. What do you believe is the most pressing transportation issue that county residents face right now and how would you address it?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Traffic throughout the heavily traveled commuter corridors is bad and only getting worse as population increases. More »
John Duran: The county needs to build additional lines/connectors/parking for the Metro rail system… An entire grid light rail system must be developed to serve the entire San Fernando Valley. More »
Doug Fay: Failing to get people out of their cars and not developing sound smart growth jobs to housing goals and policies that would reduce commuter travel distances in the County General Plan Update and corresponding City General Plans. More »
Yuval Kremer: Traffic. Let’s first understand that Traffic in the Valley and on the Westside is Horrible because the MTA has decimated Bus Service, contrary to the promises made to Bus Riders in order to pass the Measure R Sales Tax Increase. More »
Sheila Kuehl: The most pressing issue is traffic. More »
Rudy Melendez: Automobile traffic is priority number one when talking about transportation issues that county residents face right now. More »
Eric Preven: Traffic is off the charts bad. We need to increase transit ridership and reduce automobile congestion, stat. I certainly support accommodations for bicycle commuters. More »
Bobby Shriver: Congested roads and freeways waste enormous amounts of fuel and time and create environmental and health problems. More »

4. A sales tax for transportation projects (a new Measure R) will likely be on the 2016 ballot. Do you support a tax increase for transit? If so, what specific projects do you think such a tax should fund?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, but I believe voters should also decide whether the money raised through taxes should be spent on local or USA based companies who will provide opportunities for good jobs in Southern California… More »
John Duran: Yes. I support funding for expansion of rail lines, connectors and parking.
Doug Fay: I will support what the public wants and that includes shorter commuting times.
Yuval Kremer: No…Not until the Valley and Bus Riders get our fair share of MTA funds!
Sheila Kuehl: I do support a slight tax increase (which is what is proposed) for transit. I would like to see a light rail through the Sepulveda Pass from the Valley to LAX, as well as a north-south line in the northeast Valley. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes I support Measure R for very specific light rail projects to and from LAX and for a network of bicycle pathways from the Encino Basin recreation area to Los Angeles via the Los Angeles River and from downtown Los Angeles to the Westside via the Los Angeles River, Washington Blvd. and Ballona Creek.
Eric Preven: This should be a countywide conversation because if a family in Lancaster is asked to pay an extra half cent, they should enjoy some benefit, beyond the knowledge that West Hollywood continues to be a thriving development zone. More »
Bobby Shriver: Yes, I do support extending Measure R and hope to gain voter support to do so. It is critical that any extension ensures a fair share of funding for the Valley in the transit projects outlined above. More »

5. A year ago, Metro and Caltrans converted the carpool lanes on the 110 and 10 freeways into experimental toll lanes that solo drivers are allowed to use. Would you support a similar conversion to toll lanes on other county freeways, like the 405 or the 5?

Pamela Conley Ulich: Yes, I would support toll lanes for solo drivers to ease congestion, but hopefully commuters will be able to have alternatives such as light rail and subway which will offer additional choices. More »
John Duran: Yes. Any effort that moves traffic more quickly should be considered and expanded.
Doug Fay: No. I’m not a fan of toll roads.
Yuval Kremer: No…and I would end the experiment on the 110 and 10 freeways…I consider this Double Taxation. You want a toll lane? Borrow the money to build a new one and use the tolls to pay back the loan…That’s how it’s normally done. More »
Sheila Kuehl: I do not generally support toll lanes, as they have proven neither economically beneficial nor better for traffic. More »
Rudy Melendez: Yes as long the experimental toll revenue generated is designated specifically to treat storm water clean up and remove litter garbage and trash from these same sections of freeways and on and off ramps.
Eric Preven: I think this type of congestion reduction program is worth of consideration, but tolls and “Freeways” are not a perfect fit. More »
Bobby Shriver: In general, I believe in ride-sharing to reduce the number of cars on the freeway rather than congestion pricing that allows people to pay to bypass traffic. More »

Credits: Bill Nottingham, Samantha Schaefer