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TIPOFF MAYOR KEEPS THEM GUESSING ABOUT PLANS.

Byline: RICK ORLOV

It's like reading tea leaves to try to figure out what Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will do about the 2010 governor's race. Actually, with Villaraigosa, it's more like reading green tea leaves (his drink of choice).

He is driving folks at City Hall - including his own staff - crazy with speculation over whether he will get into the mix with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Jerry Brown and a field of others.

And he is not helping clear anything up with his actions.

Those who think he will pass on the race got their views confirmed when Villaraigosa flew back to Rhode Island last week for the United States Conference of Mayors.

But then he flew back to L.A. to take part in the Gay Pride Parade - with Newsom - fueling speculation he will run for governor.

However, after the parade he flew back to Rhode Island where the USCM elected him second vice president - putting him in line for the group's presidency in a few years - supporting those who think he will not run.

Yet, over the weekend, he was scheduled to participate in a couple of gubernatorial-style campaign events in Stockton to speak to Latino activists and then on to Oakland to participate in a Juneteenth event with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland.

Before all that happens, of course, the mayor needs to be sworn in to his second term on July 1 with inauguration ceremonies at City Hall.

So far, the mayor is making the inauguration a low-key affair, passing on the hoopla that surrounded his first swearing-in that included a black tie fundraiser for the L.A.'s Best after-school program.

And, unlike four years ago and what many other officials are doing, the mayor is waiting until that morning to take the oath of office.

He is planning to allow short remarks by City Attorney-elect Carmen Trutanich and Controller-elect Wendy Greuel to the audience, a gesture not allowed by mayors in the past.

Almost every other official is planning to be sworn in - and some already have - before that date to make sure there is no problem that would prevent them from taking office.

Councilwoman Jan Perry threw her own party at St. Vibiana's, the former church that is now a performing arts center, two weeks ago where new Superior Court Judge David Cunningham administered the oath to her. More than 1,000 people attended.

City Council President Eric Garcetti also has already been sworn in, but no details were available on when or where it took place.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn also has taken her oath of office already and is planning a community event leading up to the inauguration.

Greuel is planning an event Tuesday at CBS Studio Center with supporters.

Councilman Bill Rosendahl is planning an event for June 28 at the Mar Vista Farmers Market where he will be sworn in and then provide free ice cream.

Councilman Dennis Zine is planing a private event in his office this week.

Councilman Richard Alarcon is also planning to be sworn in privately and then will hold a community event in July at the MEND Center.

As he prepares to take office, Trutanich has assembled an impressive transition team to help him develop his agenda and a work plan.

A 72-page Blueprint for Change was given to each of the members, with a pledge to "end politics as usual."

"I will take risks," Trutanich said in a statement. "I will challenge the status quo and fundamentally change the way we do business at City Hall."

Trutanich created a dozen working groups on everything from gang violence to mundane tasks like how the office provides advice to city agencies.

A battle is brewing over portions of the new lobbying ordinance being developed by the city Ethics Commission as part of the measure that extended City Council term limits.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, one of the sponsors of Measure R, is upset about a provision that exempts unions from registering as lobbyists.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 22, 2009
Words:671
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