told theon Thursday about an encounter she had recently with a woman on an elevator. The woman praised the City Controller for her no-nonsense audits and for finding nearly $100 million in wasteful spending.
“But does anyone still like you?” the woman asked Greuel.
It’s true that many bureaucrats and city department officials may be unhappy with Greuel’s history of looking under the rocks and finding ways of saving money, but she said, “The public has been very supportive of what our office has done.”
And that’s what she said is one of her prime reasons now for running for a higher office—mayor of Los Angeles.
“People don’t trust that their money is going to something good in government—there is no public trust in government, and I don’t blame them,” she said. “What I want to do is to show what we are doing with your money, and give some confidence back.”
A self-professed Valley Girl, who lives with her family in Studio City and co-owns a family business with her brother in North Hollywood, Greuel served as city council member for the area, and then was elected as city controller, getting 65 percent of the vote citywide.
“Now I’m excited about this challenge,” she said to the room full of chamber of commerce locals—most whom she had known for years. “I want to be the first Valleyite and first woman to be mayor of this city.”
About 10 people have filed as potential candidates for mayor for the March 2013 election, but Greuel isn't worried about the competition, and is taking it seriously, saying she will give up her job to run.
“We had a bad year and a lot of us are glad it is over,” Greuel said.
She talked about how she helped cut business taxes for small businesses while on the city council, and how the city needs to keep the entertainment business in Hollywood. She also talked about improving the airport and the Port of Los Angeles in order to remain competitive in a world market.
She said she does not believe in delaying dealing with budget issues in the city. Rather than “kicking the can down the road,” she said, “We will need to be making tougher choices today.”
Her own staff of 160 employees is down 30 from what it was when she started, and with the workload her staff is facing, it should be a staff of nearly 500, she said.
Her staff has identified problems with police overtime that has saved up to 500 hours. Her staff is also auditing the Housing Authority and the Los Angeles Coliseum staff. In a few days, she expects to release an audit about bus advertising and some significant loss of money.
She discussed the proliferation of pot shops in Studio City, and pointed out that the people overwhelmingly voted to support the sale of medical marijuana, but also that the federal government said it is illegal. “There needs to be some regulations,” she said.
Studio City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Esther Walker said she was thrilled at the prospect of Greuel being mayor.
Next week, Greuel is speaking to the Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter of Business and Professional Women at Out Take Bistro. for more information.
“I love Studio City, this is a place that has given opportunity to my family,” Greuel said. “I want to use all my expertise to help improve this city.”