Paul Koretz

One of the few bright spots in Los Angeles politics over the past several years has been Ron Galperin's masterful use of the office of City Controller to shine a light on fiscal machinations at City Hall. 

In particular, his in-depth analysis of expenditures of Proposition HHH funds has had a profound effect on the public's perception of how tax dollars are being squandered even as our homelessness (and affordable housing) crisis grows.  And when City Councilman Mark Ridley Thomas was brought up on Federal charges and refused to step down, it was Galperin who took the bold step of suspending his paycheck, saying he "could not use city money to pay the salary of an elected official facing federal bribery and fraud charges who is now legally unable to do his job."

In short, at a time when corruption was rampant at City Hall, it was Galperin's use of the City Controller's office which brought much-needed transparency and accountability.

With Galperin termed out, we hope that his successor will continue this work.  And it's noteworthy that Galperin has chosen to endorse City Councilmember Paul Koretz, calling him "an ally in my efforts to hold local government accountable".  Galperin is one of four former city controllers to endorse Koretz, who began his political career on the West Hollywood city council 34 years ago and has served on the Los Angeles City Council since 2009.  

Former City Controller Laura Chick, in her endorsement of Koretz, refers to his opponent, Kenneth Mejia, as "erratic, intolerant and extreme", and we agree.  Mejia -- who appears to have been devoting all of his time to running for office (until recently, as a candidate of the Green Party) since he left his job as a hedge fund accountant in 2016 -- has, in his social media posts, accused President Biden of being a rapist and a racist, and called for Hillary Clinton to be locked up. 

The LA Times lauded him for showing the kind of "transparency-and-data-driven controller he would be" by downloading readily available data from the City and loading it into politically inflammatory Power Point presentations which he features on his website, but such a characterization both underestimates and misrepresents the role the Controller plays.  As for transparency, Mejia refers to himself as "the only CPA in the race", but there is no evidence that he has been a practicing auditor or accountant for several years, and as reported by Los Angeles Magazine, until January of this year he allowed his CPA license to lapse.

Koretz's incontrovertible experience and competence, which includes a decade on the Budget and Finance Committee, will serve him well as Controller, and this is why the Current is endorsing him.