LA County supervisors reflect on decades of service, leave legacy of accomplishments

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two longtime Los Angeles County supervisors are leaving office due to term limits, and both reflected back on decades of service to the community.

Memories span more than three decades. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors' two most senior members are termed out and are reluctantly leaving their projects and their people.

Bonds were formed through budget battles. Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center was a big one for Don Knabe.

"I called it the Monday night massacre. My colleagues voted four to one to shut it down, and we were able to save it," he said.

What touched him most were the abandoned babies rescued through his "safe surrender" initiative.

"We've have saved 149 lives since 2001. Now I have a scholarship fund, we're raising money," he added. "You think back to 2001, some of these kids are coming of age to be able to go to college."

Through disasters, Knabe and Mike Antonovich guided the largest municipal government in the nation.

"Rebuilding Olive View Hospital, which the people had stated, after the earthquake, would never be rebuilt and we proved them wrong," Antonovich said.

From repairing the past to preparing for the future, Antonovich got the MTA to convert buses to natural gas and expanded acres of wild space.

The supervisors represented two of every five people in county districts.

"Always work from the bottom-up, not the elitist from the top-down," Antonovich said. "You can do whatever you want -- it is persistence and good staff and community support."
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