Early On, It’s Clear Prang is the Choice for LA County Assessor

jeffrey prang
Jeffrey Prang.

The 2014 election for Los Angeles County Assessor is seven months away. Already a half dozen candidates are in the running to replace John Noguez, who has taken leave from the position after being indicted for taking bribes.

One of those candidates is someone WEHOville has kept a close eye on since we launched in September of last year, and occasionally we’ve been critical of him. That said, as we review the roster of candidates for the assessor’s position, it seems obvious to us that there’s only one choice.

That would be Jeffrey Prang.

There are several reasons for choosing Prang, a West Hollywood city council member for 16 years, over the other candidates.

For one thing, Prang has experience in the Assessor’s Office, which is tasked with valuing property so that it can be taxed properly. He has worked there since April 2012 and now is special public relations assistant to the acting assessor. He previously worked in the office in the 1990s under former assessor Kenneth Hahn.

Prang also has developed a reputation on the West Hollywood City Council for pragmatism and collaboration. Those are two important qualities in an elected official, qualities that we all now wish were required of anyone running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

But perhaps most important, Prang is focused on what matters — greater transparency and restoring public trust in the Assessor’s Office.

Prang is sure to face some criticism from opponents — notably that he was hired by Noguez and that the two knew one another in Democratic political circles. But in the world of local politics, it’s rare to find a politician who doesn’t know most other politicians. Prang has stated that if he had had an inkling of the alleged corruption in the Assessor’s Office, he wouldn’t have taken the position. And there hasn’t been a whisper of corrupt dealing during his tenure on the West Hollywood council.

Also, consider some of his competitors, who seem not to be focused on the issues the Assessor’s Office faces with the Noguez indictment. Dep. District Atty. John Morris, for example, is campaigning on his strong support of Proposition 13, the ill-conceived 1978 amendment to the state Constitution that restricts the ability of local governments to appropriately tax property owners (and has contributed to difficulties in balancing local budgets). Someone needs to tell Morris and anyone inclined to support him that the Assessor’s Office has nothing to do with Prop. 13.

Then there is appraiser Omar Haroon, a deputy assessor who, in an interview with the Los Cerritos News, said he did “not want to get into specifics” on how he would oversee and change the office. Except that he would pay the folks who hold his current position more money.

And last, although not least, is John “Lower Taxes” Lowe, a deputy assessor who officially added “Lower Taxes” to his name before the 2010 election for assessor, which he lost. Lowe’s new “middle name” contradicts his campaign statement that the assessor’s job is “NOT to generate or maintain tax revenue!” But worse, it is evident of a degree of silliness that we don’t need in an office whose new leader must work hard to restore public trust.

0 0 vote
Article Rating

11 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joan Henehan
6 years ago

West Hollywood loves Jeff Prang and Los Angeles will be equally impressed by his skills. He is a true public servant in an era that seems only to know those who self-serve. Jeff for L A County Assessor!

CallMeA Tbag Least ImNOT a Dbag
CallMeA Tbag Least ImNOT a Dbag
6 years ago

Who else is running?

anres2@yahoo.com
anres2@yahoo.com
6 years ago

John Morris is a fine prosecutor with a 23 year track record of honesty and integrity in the DA’s office. You really thing a democrat associate of the last guy [under prosecution for bribery!] is the trustworthy choice!

luca d
luca d
6 years ago

jeff prang is friends with the criminally indicted Noguez, and hired by Noguez…really?
and how about the new charges announced today about what Noguez was up to?

how about fresh leadership with no ties to the corruption that existed?
prang is a politician on his climb and i’m not voting to move the chairs on the titanic.
funny, no mention of the sexual harassment suit that the city of west Hollywood paid because of jeff’s wandering hands.

wehoville’s cozy friendship with prang is evident, and i’m not buying what they are selling.

Larry Block
Larry Block
6 years ago

Jeffrey Prang is a great public servant. He returns calls and is attentive. Hopefully he can stick to his promise of the ‘ad hoc’ committee on campaign reform before he hires Steve Afriat as his campaign manager and ooppsss there goes campaign reform where lobbyists manage campaigns… — But, Jeff has my vote because hes a good guy and fair person with a good heart.

Marco Colantonio
Marco Colantonio
6 years ago

Dana Miller and Joe echo my sentiments, Jeff Prang has the experience and dedication required to bring some order and dignity back to the Assessor’s office. Jeff has served West Hollywood well, without ego or personal agenda and he cares deeply about our community and beyond.

Should Jeff be elected, there will be a void on Weho City Council as his term here runs into 2015 and I wonder what the protocol for this is… Does the body get to appoint again or do the people get a chance to elect in our little democracy?

joetheplummber
joetheplummber
6 years ago

Jeff will make an excellent Assessor. Jeff has an incredible sense of integrity and accountability. He studied at Harvard in their Government program. With his experience of being a Mayor and an Assistant City Manager in Pico Rivera as well as his current job experience in the Assessor’s office, he will do a terrific job. Knowing Jeff, he will get in there, analyze the issues, find solutions and make fixes that are good for the public. He’s got my vote!

dana miller
dana miller
6 years ago

Hi Stephanie! I have discovered that when I’m not in my “right mind”, my left mind get’s pretty crowded. Generally beefed-up security and extra towels are required. Consider yourself warned. 🙂

Stephanie Bertrand
Stephanie Bertrand
6 years ago

Nobody in their right mind should vote for a guy who was appointed by a corrupt politician. Please be non partial when writing articles about politicians who are running for important positions. These people control our future! No corrupt politicians please!!

Todd Bianco
6 years ago

I think Jeff would do well as the LA County Assessor. It’s an important bureaucratic job that has been turned into a den of corruption where assessed values (for wealthy property owners) are for sale.

It would also create a rare opportunity for new blood on the WeHo City Council. Think of it – if John Heilman decides to “retire” and Jeff is elected Assessor, two seats without incumbents would be up for grabs. When is the last time something like that has happened in the City’s 30 year history?

dana miller
dana miller
6 years ago

Hank, at Monday’s City Council meeting I was thinking about Prang. (That feisty, ascorbic yet semi-nice older omnipresent lady who shouts at every meeting was especially ramped-up on Monday so a diversion of any sort was emphatically required). I’ve known Jeff for a long time, he even officiated at my marriage, (ultimately a failed sortie yet he performed the service with great aplomb and he holds no responsibility for that semester at sea). Anyway I was thinking about how pragmatic he is. Jeff is a politician in the best way. He respects process and has an opinion yet rarely if… Read more »

11
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x