Even with this aspect of their political life over, the five Los Angeles City Council members leaving office on June 30 say they expect to remain involved in public service one way or the other.
From running for another office, such as Councilman Dennis Zine is considering, to working for Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, as Councilman Ed Reyes is pondering, all of the outgoing council members plan to be involved in some manner.
Two former council members said it is not an easy transition, leaving a legislative job with the highest paid City Council in the nation with an annual salary of $178,790 and a full staff of aides.
"City Hall gets in your blood," said former Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, who now serves on the Harbor Commission. "I think each of them will find a way to stay connected either in jobs or with appointments."
The one piece of advice she would offer is for the council members to take their time to decide on their future.
"I took on too many nonprofits because I was afraid I would be completely cutting off relationships," Miscikowski said. "There will be plenty of opportunities for them to remain involved."
Former Councilwoman Ruth Galanter agreed on not rushing in to a new job.
"I found one of the hardest things was not having the staff around," Galanter said. "You don't realize how much time goes in to scheduling events. But the main thing is to take time and realize you don't have to call in every pothole you see.
"I think you don't really know who you are until you have six months out of office," Galanter said.
None of the outgoing members say they have firm plans.
"I am not going away," said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who ran for mayor in the primary. "People will know where to get me. I did this work because I care about these people."
Councilman Richard Alarcon said he wants to remain involved with either charities or nonprofits, including the pediatric center named after his son.
"We have a golf tournament every summer with (comedian) George Lopez and that raises money for the foundation," Alarcon said. "I want to work on that and also to try to revive the Children's Museum."
Alarcon will also have to spend some time working on his legal troubles, as he and his wife are still facing perjury and fraud charges that they lived outside his council district and lied about it on official documents.
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the only one of the five who served only two terms because of health reasons, said his first priority will be his health care even though his cancer is in remission.
At the same time, he said he has been approached on the national level to offer political commentary.
"I really don't know what I'll be doing next," Rosendahl said. "I'm of the firm belief that when one door closes, another one opens."
Rosendahl was unique in that he was elected from outside the traditional City Hall power structure, coming from private business as a cable television executive.
Zine and council members Jan Perry and Ed Reyes were all elected in 2001 when there was a two-term limit in place. They were able to serve an extra term when voters extended the limits.
Zine had been a police officer for 33 years before winning his council seat, while Alarcon, Perry and Reyes had held jobs with the city as deputies to elected officials.
Zine, 65, was termed out of his office when he ran for city controller this year, losing to businessman Ron Galperin.
However, it did not turn him off politics, saying he has been approached about a possible run for the Board of Supervisors seat being vacated by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky or for the county assessor's job.
"My whole life has been serving the public and I don't want to stop now," said Zine, who plans to remain a Los Angeles police reserve officer.
In addition to items like new structures, including two police stations, Zine said he is most pleased with the basic services he was able to bring his district.
"We were able to work with homeowner organizations and neighborhood councils to fill potholes, improve our parks, get streets paved and trees trimmed," Zine said. "All the stuff that people appreciate."
Alarcon, 59, who worked for former Mayor Tom Bradley and became his Valley liaison before running for the City Council in 1993, went off to serve in the state Senate and Assembly, before returning to City Hall in 2007.
The biggest projects in his district spanned the two periods he served on the City Council, from the transformation of the General Motors assembly plant to the shutdown of the Lopez Canyon landfill.
Perry, 59, who was termed out and ran for mayor this year, has been teaming up with another mayoral candidate, Kevin James, on possibly developing a talk radio show. Perry had been a deputy to former Councilwoman Rita Walters and worked on census issues for former Mayor Richard Riordan before winning her seat on the City Council in 2001.
She said she is not committing to any future job, but is waiting to see what develops for her.
It is not the large projects -- such as L.A. Live -- that she cites as accomplishments.
"I think those things would have happened on their own," Perry said. "What I am proudest of is that people have over 5,000 new choices on where to live, that we have the Expo Line and two wetlands in South L.A. No one would expect to see wetlands in this part of the city."
Reyes, 54, who was a deputy to former Councilman Mike Hernandez, said he has already begun to talk with aides to Garcetti about assisting on issues related to the Los Angeles River or economic development.
"I want to continue to work with the city," Reyes said. "One of the things I'm proudest of is how the community has stepped up to demand a better life for themselves. When I came in to office, they weren't involved. Now, you see grandmothers out there demanding a better way of life for their families."
Rosendahl ticked off a number of accomplishments during his eight years, from housing for the chronically homeless to creation of parks and skateboard parks and involving the community.
"Any time a developer would come to me with a project, I would tell them to go to the homeowner groups or neighborhood councils and to do their homework," Rosendahl said. "I wouldn't even talk to them until the neighborhood councils agreed to a project."
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