Tom LaBonge represents the council's 4th District. He is one of City Hall's most recognizable figures, a fixture since the days of Mayor Tom Bradley. A legendary "pothole politician," LaBonge is attentive to his constituents and dedicated to solving their problems. His record on the deeper issues of city government, however, is thin; he votes the conventional line on the budget -- meaning that, along with many of his colleagues, he has allowed a humane instinct to protect employees to delay reckoning with the fiscal crisis. The council's inability to recast the size and duties of government represents a failure of imagination.
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