An awful proposal

Antonovich's idea is a backward step in managing the county's government

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has been called the panel of the five kings because of the power its members have and how hard it is for them to be defeated at the polls. As if that were not enough, if Supervisor Michael Antonovich gets his way, they will be able to stay in office up to 20 years.

The proposal, which they are seeking to put on the November ballot, is a slap to voters, who years ago approved Measure B to limit the job to three four-year terms. The new initiative would raise the term limit to five four-year terms.

In practice, this means a term extension for Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky-who would otherwise be termed out in 2014-in addition to Antonovich. In the latter case, this would allow the supervisor to break a record, staying on the job for 44 years until he turns 80.

We think the proposal is atrocious and that the argument that facing the economic crisis needs experienced hands, like those of an 80-year-old Antonovich, is laughable.

What the Board of Supervisors actually needs is exactly the opposite of prolonging the entrenchment of a handful of politicians.

If we are discussing reform, the change should be to expand the number of supervisors on the Board, so that there is more adequate representation of a county as massive as Los Angeles. One of the current problems is the large size of the districts, which makes it difficult for candidates who are trying to defeat an incumbent to achieve their aspirations.

Antonovich’s idea is a backward step in the process of the county government and does not deserve to be put on the ballot.