NEW DWP LEADER MAY BE OUT OF HIS LEAGUE.Byline: Sharon Woodson-Bryant
I have a good friend who was high on the political ladder back ladder back
a chair in which the back is made of horizontal slats between two uprights in the 1990s. When she had an unexpected opening that needed to be filled quickly at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, she called me in for an interview with her team.
Now, deep down inside I had some concerns about such a quantum leap quantum leap
An abrupt change or step, especially in method, information, or knowledge: "War was going to take a quantum leap; it would never be the same" Garry Wills. into a position that would oversee a staff of nearly 60 people with a budget in the millions. But my friend believed in me and said she had no doubts that I could handle the job. So I convinced myself that I should take the risk.
This is an opportunity of a lifetime, I told myself over and over. Here I was, someone with a strong background in public affairs Those public information, command information, and community relations activities directed toward both the external and internal publics with interest in the Department of Defense. Also called PA. See also command information; community relations; public information. , but had never supervised more than four or five employees or managed a budget anywhere near that amount in my life.
I accepted. We hugged. And it was the worst two months in my professional life.
At the executive staff meetings, I felt as though I was at a foreign film desperately searching for the subtitles because it was like these people were talking in another language. Every morning I would park, then sit in my car and pray I could make it through the day. Clearly, I was in over my head.
I had started the first of December but by the last Thursday in January, I gave my boss notice that I was quitting the next day. I will never forget his parting words to me: "Sharon, I wish I could leave with you!"
What is the moral to this tale? Sometimes loyalty in the political arena can be hazardous. And I believe that will be the case for H. David Nahai, who has replaced Ron Deaton as head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the largest municipal utility in the United States, serving 3.9 million residents in 2006. It was founded in 1902 to deliver water and electricity supplies to residents and businesses in Los Angeles. , the nation's largest public utility with a $6.16billion annual budget, 8,375 employees and a service area of 465 square miles.
Just like me, Nahai has no experience managing more than five or six people as a lawyer with a small environmental law firm in Century City. This is like appointing a meter maid to head the police department.
I am not alone with my assessment. City Beat News Editor Alan Mittelstaedt said recently in an opinion piece: "Someone should show mercy and tell David Nahai that he's the wrong guy for the job. You'd think as president of the DWP DWP Department of Work and Pensions (UK)
DWP Drinking Water Program
DWP Dynamic Weapon Pricing (gamin, Counter-Strike: Source)
DWP Department of Water & Power
DWP Drinking Water Protection Board of Commissioners he'd know he's not up to taming the 8,000-strong work force. But the mayor wants this erudite er·u·dite
Characterized by erudition; learned. See Synonyms at learned.
[Middle English erudit, from Latin fellow to become the next general manager of the very powerful and very important Department of Water and Power."
But Nahai is the buddy of Mayor Villaraigosa. In fact, Nahai has been one of the few politically active members of the local Iranian-Jewish community. And he was key in campaigning and helping Villaraigosa with fundraising efforts in the larger Iranian community for his 2005 mayoral race.
In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , he is the mayor's ATM to a very wealthy piece of the L.A. pie.
Now, most people agree that Nahai has earned credentials as a strong advocate for green power, but how does being a DWP commissioner for two years qualify him to lead the agency? Is it only because his main qualification is being a strong ally to the mayor.
From what I have been told, the DWP position is significant in that Nahai becomes one of only two Iranian Jews currently serving in local government in Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, . Obviously, heading this massive department would indeed be a great achievement for the Iranian-Jewish community. In addition to the fact that political activism is a fairly new phenomenon for Iranian-Jewish immigrants who, for more than 2,000 years in Iran This is a list of years in Iran. See also the timeline of Iranian history. For only articles about years in Iran that have been written, see . Twenty-first century
The right to vote on matters that are put to a vote of security holders. For example the right to vote for directors.
The type of voting and the amount of control held by the owners of a class of stock. and the right to partake in Verb 1. partake in - be active in
participate, take part - share in something
2. partake in - have, give, or receive a share of; "We shared the cake"
partake, share political activities.
But evidently Nahai still needs a better understanding of the civil- rights struggle in this country, because when someone questioned having an all-white male panel for a local utility's annual environmental forum, Nahai nixed the idea. Since he was on the panel, he said minorities were represented, and there was no reason to add a black or a Latino or an Asian-American. If the mayor's foot soldier is going to get a paycheck that matches Deaton's $345,000 a year, he should be required to take some diversity training and to take a junket outside the green community to meet with some of L.A.'s darker hues.