Monday, May 17, 2010

CityWatchLA - Grabbing City Hall by the Ears

CityWatch, May 18, 2010
Vol 8 Issue 39

Friday’s article asking readers to imagine Walt Disney as the Mayor of Los Angeles struck a nerve and stirred a healthy response from CityWatch readers.

From E-Ticket fans to Season Pass holders, Disney fans agreed that Los Angeles would be a different place if the ideals of Walt were the foundation of City Hall’s commitment to the delivery of services.

● “Nice article. I want a City E-Ticket...My vision of a better city has Donald Duck as Mayor. Nobody can understand him either.” MC

● “Loved the Walt Disney piece. Very apt and clever.” LB

● “Wonderful column.” CB

● “Your Disney article encapsulates the driving theme. It is wonderful!” JB

● “This is the best editorial written about our city!!!! It should be in the LA Union Employee Handbook. I am a Disneyland season pass holder because I enjoy the experience whether it for two hours or twelve hours. It should be a requirement that all city employees, Mayor to the Street Cleaner and especially DWP Workers go through the Disney operations and guest relation classes.

The city employees have forgotten that all their jobs are service based. They are supposed to be providing the best services possible for the city stakeholders. Maintaining and upgrading the city infrastructure should always be the primary goal to make sure the experience of living here or visiting is enjoyable.

Thank you for writing what I have been saying since returning to Los Angeles in 1997. I loved it from the title to the last word.” GW

● “I just really want to congratulate you on the wonderful article you wrote for CityWatch. May 14, 2010. It is a very inspirational article and I would love to have someone in the City Government work outside the box.

I can't believe that the libraries need to be cut when a change in the hours would work for everyone. Open at 3 pm, so that they can be open when the school kids are out of school, and the extra hours can be used on the weekends. That philosophy would work for so many departments and everything could be covered and offices open when people need them open instead of having to take time off of work to do your business.

If the Mayor would listen to the people doing the jobs, the City would have everything done and probably have money left over. We need someone with a single vision for our City.

With your article, I am ready to volunteer.” SW

● I suspect if Walt Disney were Mayor, he would declare bankruptcy, as he did Disney with his first company. Check this Wikipedia report.

Presented as "Newman Laugh-O-Grams", Disney's cartoons became widely popular in the Kansas City area. Through their success, Disney was able to acquire his own studio, also called Laugh-O-Gram, and hire a vast number of additional animators, including Fred Harman's brother Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising, and his close friend Ubbe Iwerks. Unfortunately, with all his high employee salaries unable to make up for studio profits, Walt was unable to successfully manage money. As a result, the studio became loaded with debt and wound up bankrupt. Disney then set his sights on establishing a studio in the movie industry's capital city, Hollywood, California. –JH

● Nice closing paragraphs, all politicians should be that enthusiastic. Sev

● I never thought about it like this, but I go to Disneyland when I need to regain some faith in the multitudes of people who surround me.

Los Angeles has this ability. There are so many generous people that if we were encouraged to spread our happiness around, I do believe we would live a happier existence. CMJ

● It was once suggested to Walt that he should run for President of the United States. His response: "Why would I want to be President? I'm already King of Disneyland."

If you really want how Walt Disney would run Los Angeles, take a look at his original vision for EPCOT -- not the current Walt Disney World theme park, but his Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. BM

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at

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