Supervisor Don Knabe
County of Los Angeles, Fourth District
822 Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
For Immediate Release
Los Angeles, CA
December 2, 2008
Assistant Press Deputy, New Media Manager
ph: (213) 974-4444
fax: (213) 626-6941
ph: (213) 974-4444
fax: (213) 626-6941
Dec 2, 2008
Supervisor Don Knabe’s Board of Supervisors Chairman’s Speech
Thank you. Even though she’s now officially enjoying retirement, I’d first like to begin by thanking Supervisor Burke for her service as Chair of the Board over this last year.
Her many years leadership and grace guided the County through very challenging times and all of us appreciate her work on behalf of the 10 million people that call our County home.
Now looking towards the future, it is my privilege to welcome our new colleague, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
I thank you again for the invitation to speak at your swearing-in ceremony yesterday and I look forward to working with you.
I am certain that your talents and passion on the issues will be of great benefit to this Board in the years ahead.
If there is ever anything my staff or I can do for you or your staff, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I would also like to thank my colleagues on the Board for this opportunity to once again serve as Chairman.
We have been through a lot as a board over the last several years, the ongoing health care crisis, the state budget crunch and labor negotiations.
And I know we have many more challenging days ahead of us.
But I believe that if we continue to work together as a strong, cohesive group, we will get the job done.
I appreciate the efforts of Sachi and the Board of Supervisors Executive Office staff and that of our CEO, Bill Fujioka and his staff.
I look forward to working with every one of our departments as we chart the course for the County of Los Angeles over the next year.
In my opinion, charting that course is straightforward and uncomplicated.
It doesn’t require long speeches, rhetoric, or partisanship.
As we establish the vision of this Board and this County for the year ahead, I want to remind everyone that the answers to some of life’s most complicated questions are rooted in common sense solutions.
I believe the same can be said for the challenges that face Los Angeles County.
We need to ask ourselves:
Are we being thrifty with County tax dollars?
Are we being helpful and courteous to the customers of
Are we prepared to meet the needs of our citizens and seize new opportunities when they surface?
And are we brave enough to make the hard decisions even when they are not popular or politically advantageous?
I want to commit to you now as Chairman of the Board, the answers to those questions will be yes.
I also pledge that there will not be a Democrat or Republican solution to the challenges faced the County in the year ahead.
But, there will only be solutions that benefit our customers… the taxpayers and residents of Los Angeles County.
There is no denying that the current economic challenges facing our nation also going to have a significant impact on the County of Los Angeles.
With that in mind, I am not going to lay out a list of goals or projects for you today that I intend to achieve this year.
As it is, we face a myriad of tough decisions to ensure our County will continue to be the excellent service provider it has been in years past.
The one critical goal I do want to address today is in the area of healthcare.
As a Board we must continue to work with the Department of Health to solve their predicted budget deficit in the coming years.
I have said it before and I will say it again, we need to re-prioritize and find creative solutions to health care to make the system work and work efficiently.
And a critical part of ensuring our healthcare system is working efficiently is ensuring that we get MLK Hospital back on its feet and back open for business, serving the critically underserved residents of South Los Angeles.
In just a few weeks, our County leaders will begin working with a new Legislature, a new Congress, and a new White House.
But regardless of the party affiliation of our new leaders – our attitude of working together must transcend party lines.
As Chairman of this Board of Supervisors, I assure you I will be working hand-in-hand with elected officials from every level of government, no matter what political party they may be affiliated with, to find solutions to our challenges.
It is from this effort that we can forge an environment where Los Angeles County can continue to flourish.
As I said during my own swearing-in ceremony ten days ago, an attitude openness and cooperation must exist across our entire County workforce – from management, to the individual departments, to the thousands of employees represented by our Union partners.
Cooperation thrives in a climate of open, honest dialogue.
Political rhetoric for the sake of private goals pollutes the atmosphere and blocks out progress.
Our competition is NOT with each other, or the next County, or the other party.
Instead, the competition is to ensure the success and ensure the future of Los Angeles County.
My friends, we have a lot of work to do.
Let’s begin now.