VICA’s leader to seek reforms

first_imgUNIVERSAL CITY – Robert L. Scott, a longtime San Fernando Valley civic leader, was elected Thursday as chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and pledged to lead an effort to reorganize the city’s school district while supporting job-creating businesses and industries. Scott succeeds Martin M. Cooper, chairman of Coopers Beavers Inc. Scott, director of the Calabasas-based CivicCenter Group, a civic support and public policy enterprise consulting firm, had been chairman-elect for the past year so the selection was expected. He was also one of the leaders of the Valley’s unsuccessful secession movement. In taking the top leadership role, he noted that the Valley has one of the nation’s highest concentrations of entrepreneurs. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “However, we also have suffered the loss of many of our corporate headquarters and traditional industries, including aerospace and manufacturing,” Scott said. He blamed that on over-regulation by the city, state and federal governments and abuses of the legal system at the expense of business. Scott also said it is time to reorganize the massive Los Angeles Unified School District. He’s been involved in this fight since 1993 and this time he’s got a powerful ally. Scott offered his district reform agenda on the same day that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa asked VICA to back his efforts to reform the city’s public schools and boost its economy. Earlier local efforts to reform the district were beat back by powerful union and downtown business interests, and that enabled school managers to put in their own measures to boost performance. “Now that we’ve see that none of those early reforms worked, we have a (new) opportunity with the mayor putting it on the front burner,” Scott said. He wants to see the massive district broken up in about 30 separate districts clustered around several high schools. Principals would have financial control over their programs rather than bureaucrats downtown and it would be easier to hold teachers accountable for student performance, he said. Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, agrees with Scott and the mayor. He believes that Scott can use his experience championing various Valley causes to help get legislation drafted that could lead to an LAUSB breakup, too. “He will do an absolutely phenomenal job. Bob is just one of those rare people you come across who is an absolute public policy wonk,” Ackerman said. Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more