Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promotes Jeff Carr to Chief of Staff

LA Times
August 27, 2009

Jeff Carr at West Adams High School - 2008

Jeff Carr at West Adams High School - 2008

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa announced a major shake-up of his administration this morning, bidding farewell to two high-level advisors and elevating his anti-gang czar to the top policy post.

Villaraigosa announced the departure of Chief of Staff Robin Kramer, who has run the mayor’s shop since he took office in 2005. Replacing her will be the Rev. Jeff Carr, who has won praise for staging the Summer Night Lights recreation program in high-crime neighborhoods.

Kramer, who also worked for former Mayor Richard Riordan, informed the mayor two months ago that she planned to leave, officials said.

Also leaving is Dan Grunfeld, who spent the last two years as Villaraigosa’s No. 2 policy advisor. Grunfeld, who was one of two deputy chiefs of staff, plans to work for a private law firm.

The mayor also brought on Jay Carson, the spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. Carson has been working for billionaire Steve Bing, whose company hopes to develop a factory for the Italian rail car company AnsaldoBreda in downtown Los Angeles. The city’s effort to complete that deal has not been consummated.

Villaraigosa said Carson would recuse himself on matters involving his former employer.

Villaraigosa added that the city’s financial troubles — he and the City Council continue to grapple with a $530-million revenue shortfall — would “require new creative thinking.”

“We need this kind of leadership right now because we’re going to have to do more with less,” Villaraigosa said during his news conference at City Hall.

Supporters of the mayor have billed the shake-up as a way to invigorate his office two months into his second term, allowing him to focus more directly on top policy priorities such as schools, job creation and the environment. Some have complained privately that the mayor has moved too slowly in addressing the budget crisis and on filling policy positions.

After a yearlong search, Villaraigosa finally selected a new budget adviser, picking a onetime chief of staff to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina. The mayor is also searching for a new in-house lawyer and a new deputy mayor for public safety — positions that are viewed as critical to finding replacements for a departing fire chief and police chief.

— Phil Willon and David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

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2 Comments for “Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promotes Jeff Carr to Chief of Staff”

  1. We here at Sarges Community Base would love to get together with Jeff Carr. Our program is design to empower our behavior challenged youth to make better choices, to motivate a possitive behavior, and to educate the parents that they also have to be involved in this process in order to have lasting results. We are a youth Boot Camp with youth ages 7-17 boys and girls. We would love if you could get involved with our program we have a gang intervention component that we know you could share so much valuable information and resources.

  2. jacoby ford

    We here at Sarges Community Base would love to get together with Jeff Carr. Our program is design to empower our behavior challenged youth to make better choices, to motivate a possitive behavior, and to educate the parents that they also have to be involved in this process in order to have lasting results. We are a youth Boot Camp with youth ages 7-17 boys and girls. We would love if you could get involved with our program we have a gang intervention component that we know you could share so much valuable information and resources.

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