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"God to Run DWP!"

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, October 29, 2004, at 10:54AM

There's a lot about LA politics I don't know or understand, but there's one thing I'm pretty sure of: Ron Deaton is a powerful man. Now the long-time city hall guru is Hahn's choice to take over as top man at DWP. I first read the story last night on LA Observed (today's followup has links to the Times and Daily News).

My first Ron Deaton experience was at the meeting over the new LAPD headquarters held a month or two ago at City Hall. Deaton was there answering questions and responding to public comments. I vividly remember an exchange after someone had been particularly forceful about asserting that the Caltrans site had been promised as a park. Deaton went to the mic and responded something along the lines of "Go back and look at who negotiated that contract for the city. I did. Don't try to tell me what the contract says. I wrote the contract." Obviously his response was a little more political, but you get the idea. I was standing in the back of the room next to Brady Westwater and I turned and asked him who this guy was. Brady's response: "I'd call him god, but I don't think he'd accept the demotion." (Brady today sent an email to the newdowntown list titled "God to Run DWP!")

From Hahn's email (available at the LA Observed link above):

We all know of Ron's commitment to the success of LADWP, and his even deeper dedication to the City of Los Angeles. Because he began his career at LADWP and has a long record of support for the Department, Ron is perhaps one of the only people who can successfully bring the Department into the City family.

I think that's important. From my limited perspective of just watching through the news it does often feel like DWP is out doing its own thing separate from the rest of the city. It'll be interesting to see if Deaton is the one who can change that image.


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