If anyone had any doubts about the clubishness of City Hall, all they had to do was read about Councilman Dennis Zine’s almost certain decision to run for City Controller.
Rick Orlov reported that Zine checked in with Wendy Greuel to confirm if she was committed to running for mayor. If so, that would clear the way for his candidacy.
Greuel affirmed what everyone already knows: she will run for mayor.
Why should an open seat make a difference to Zine?
Sure, running against an incumbent is a challenge, but if he truly believes he can deliver in that position, it shouldn’t matter. Besides, Zine has name recognition, can raise sufficient money and he is serving his third and last term on the City Council. So, he should just go for it regardless of Greuel’s plans.
What this appears to suggest is the existence of a career network in City Hall. Our elected officials are more interested in facilitating the personal advancement of their peers than in representing the best interests of the public.
This is not exactly breaking news to anyone following the comings and goings of our representatives. However, it is a practice designed to crowd out potential opposition to incumbents.
If Greuel decided to run for re-election as Controller, would Zine stay out of the race so as not to interfere with her career plans? If that were the case, what would he get in return from Greuel?
I don’t know if Zine is qualified to serve as the city’s financial watchdog, although I’d hazard a guess he would be better than Greuel – that’s not a very high bar, though.
I will be taking a closer look at Zine’s background in the months to come. I certainly have one major concern which I will cover in a later post. However, that concern is not unique to Zine.
I am more concerned that he will run unopposed. That would deny us the opportunity of a meaningful debate over his credentials and vision for the office.