He was met with total resistance. Out of the question, said the supervisors' surrogates.
“I don't think the city would be able to come up with $10,000 for each district with what we have facing us economically,” said Zine, ignoring the fact that the supervisors and L.A. council members have millions of dollars in discretionary funds at their disposal.
Think about it: This is the great hope to get a fair share of those billions of transit dollars going to the Westside, South L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley, and officials don't care enough to put up a bit of seed money or to attend a meeting every three months.
In the San Gabriel Valley, Conway has been able to parlay $750,000 in dues into a $4 million annual budget supported by grants that allow the COG to develop detailed plans and present a unified front.
Like Scott, Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian — who is chairman of the COG — is undeterred by the resistance.
“We're in our honeymoon period still,” he said. “With all the cities just getting used to be at the same table together, we're hopefully starting to build some trust so we can move on and get past the totally L.A.-centric way of thinking.”
Conway offered some simple advice based on his own experience: “Pick an issue and everyone work hard on it together.”
The issue is clear enough to everyone involved: Connect Pasadena through Glendale and Burbank to the subway and Orange Line busway in North Hollywood.
There is money left over from extending the busway north to Chatsworth and pressure is building to make permanent the 30-year transportation sales tax approved as Measure R in 2008.
As with Measure R, the valley region likely will get precious little of those billions of dollars unless people wake up and demand their fair share.
RON KAYE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.