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No-shows force LA Council to cancel meeting

January 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A Los Angeles City Council meeting was cancelled Tuesday after too few members showed up in the council chambers on time.Five members had excused absences, two were at a police officer's funeral and others were out of town on city business. But two were running late.

Councilman Paul Koretz said he was stuck in traffic coming in from the Westside.

"I apologize," Koretz said. "I'll be much more careful in the future. You'll never see me late again, I promise you. I was two minutes later than what usually is our grace period. Whether the meeting needed to be called, well that's obviously not my choice."

Councilman Jose Huizar was apparently in the elevator at City Hall when the meeting was canceled.

Residents who spoke at Wednesday's meeting were not happy with the excuses.

"I come three trains, one bus, I get here at 10 o'clock," said one man.

City Council records dating back to October show that there are absences at just about every meeting. Some suggest council members shouldn't get paid if they don't meet.

"They make $750 a day, whether they show up or not, that's what I'm saying to you," Los Angeles resident John Walsh told council members. "Go dock yourselves."

This is not without precedent. Several years ago then-City Council President John Ferraro canceled three meetings in a row because council members kept coming in late.

Council members on Wednesday said that won't happen again.