Engineer Challenges All-Powerful LA County Board of Supervisors

Many of Los Angeles’ ten million residents don’t know their county supervisors’ names—or even how powerful they are. Here’s how the five most powerful local elected officials in the country describe themselves on their website:

As the head of county government for the United States’ largest and most complicated county, the Board of Supervisors is the only body that serves both as an executive and legislative authority.

The Board could have punished her for her overreach or fired her, but they chose not to. Even worse, they named her Woman of the Year.

An engineer in Rancho Palos Verdes is trying to put an end to the madness. John Cruikshank, a third-generation Californian, has a weekly radio program called “SAVE Los Angeles With John Cruikshank,” is the owner of a civil engineering firm and the Mayor Pro Tem of Rancho Palos Verdes. He’s also running for the 4th District of the county.

The 4th District contains “more than two million people in its 411 square mile area and encompasses a large swath” of eastern cities within LA County, from Long Beach to La Mirada. He’ll be up against the incumbent Board Supervisor Janice Hahn and any other candidates running for this seat.

My wife, Roxanne, ran for the third Supervisorial district seat last year. I didn’t know that the LA County BOS had such power until she did. Although all California counties are governed by five elected supervisors each, no county is as populous in California as LA.

Cruikshank explains why he thinks he can break up the all-female board that my wife refers to as “the ladies from The View”:

I am running for supervisor because of the fact that the current Board of Supervisors is not focusing on issues that are important to us all here in Los Angeles County. Public safety, homelessness, and business infrastructure are my four core issues. These four issues have a symbiotic relationship with one another, which is why they are so vital.

Public safety is essential for economic opportunity. If you lack economic opportunity you will end up more homeless. Infrastructure also helps to support us all in society.

Hahn, on the other hand, posts a completely different set of priorities on her website:

Supervisor Janice Hahn, during her tenure on the Board, has worked tirelessly in order to invest in communities that she represents and fulfill LA County’s mission as a safety net, for those who are incarcerated have mental illnesses, or live in poverty.

It’s good to know that the city is plagued by crime.

She does discuss homelessness but doesn’t point out that it rose 9 percent in the county last year under the board’s watch. (Of course, it’s only fair to point out that the “progressive” policies of Governor Gavin Newsom, the LA City Council, and former mayor Eric Garcetti contributed to the problem as well.)

Hahn is looking to convert hotels into homeless shelters:

Her top priority is to address the homelessness crisis with the urgency that it requires. She has converted motels and hotel rooms into affordable temporary housing for formerly homeless residents.

When I asked Cruikshank what he thought about that, he said that Hahn’s idea would harm the tourism sector:

Housing is not a right, so I do not believe we should give people housing subsidies forever. These should at best be transitional apartments from the streets to apartments then they find housing they can pay for. By taking away hotels and motels that are used in our tourism industry that generate tax revenue for cities and counties in LA County.

Declaring a state of emergency is great. But eight months later, the issue hasn’t been resolved. When I asked Cruikshank about his approach to the homelessness problem and the crime problem, he replied:

There are solutions to homelessness and criminality, but we need leaders willing to implement them. For example, Orange County Rescue Mission, which has a 98% rate of success in transitioning homeless individuals into housing and employment, requires that they stay at their facility for 1.5-2 years in order to become clean and learn the skills needed. They also require that these individuals remain in their facilities in order to acquire some necessary skills and get cleaned up. We need to build more humane jail

Cruikshank prioritizes public safety and the business environment. Perhaps if the leaders of Los Angeles and California had spent more time on quality-of-life issues and less time on woke policies so many people would not be fleeing California.

Janice Hahn, and the BOS, do not listen to the 88 cities of LA County. The BOS gets its marching order from the Democratic Party and then implements many bad ideas before discussing them with the affected communities. As an example, Janice Hahn will open a vacant County Building in Whittier to be used as an LGBTQ+ Community Centre even though the Whittier City Council voted to reject the center.

The BOS is made up of five people, all of whom have been involved in government. Since 1996, I’ve run an engineering firm in LA County, taken risks and signed paychecks. Because the current BOS does not have this experience, they are unable to address the Core Four Issues, which include homelessness, economic empowerment, infrastructure, and public safety. My issues are nonpartisan and I will listen to the people of LA County

Although Cruikshank calls himself a Republican the position for which he is running is non-partisan. There are many entrenched interests that are paying attention. These include the powerful unions in the public sector, who are 100% behind Democrats.

Unions are a powerful force in politics. Can they be stopped? We need to have people in government who do not simply rubber-stamp union policies. As long as the government does not tip the balance in favor of unions for tax dollars, I’m okay with them.

The primary voting begins on February 5, 2024. Angelenos should pay attention to their Board of Supervisors, as they have a greater impact on the decline of Los Angeles.