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Beutner on Planning Dept, Goldberg's Exit, and Zappos for All

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When Planning Department head Gail Goldberg exited earlier this year, some people wondered if she left on her own accord or if she was pushed out. Those who believed she may have been pushed out said part of the reason for her departure had to do with the lack of progress on updating the Community Plans, the blueprints for development and the guides that help dictate how tall and dense, for instance, buildings should be in each neighborhood. Goldberg's exit was mentioned yesterday by First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner on KCRW's "Which Way, LA" show. Beutner, of course, is the finance-oriented guy brought in to revamp the city's departments, including the Planning Department, and make them more business-friendly. On the topic of the vision for the Planning Department, and the change in leadership, here's what he had to say: "...It's been five years, we've issued no new community plans in five years so I think a change in leadership is appropriate. I have a lot of respect for Gail, I think she's a delightful person, very accomplished, but I think that it's time for a change and I support the change that the Mayor made."

Later in the show, he said: "Most of the community plans are older than me."

Meanwhile, using the shoe company Zappos, and its efficient order-to-door business model, he called for a greater level of commitment to service in the Planning Department. Knee-high boots for all, and delivered quickly, it would seem!

And he called for more transparency, so "there won't be any back door or under-table deals." Hmm, now we're going to have to go back and start cataloging all those pre-Beutner shady deals.

Meanwhile, after shaking things up at the Planning Dept, the DWP, and elsewhere, how long is Mr. Beutner, who has been on the job for 9 month, going to stick around? He "ducked the question," by his own admission.
· Deputy LA Mayor Austin Beutner: Nine Months on the Job [KCRW]