Mayor Tony has given banking billionaire Austin Beutner control over 13 city departments as his ‘jobs czar’.
According to Steve Lopez, here’s how it came to be:
Beutner broke his neck in 2007 after flying off his bike on a trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. After months of recovery, and still not 50, he decided to retire from private business.
He was about to take a job with the U.S. Treasury Department under President Obama, but changed his mind after a Breakfast of Champions meeting at the home of former Mayor Richard Riordan.
Eli Broad, Michael Milken and Steve Soboroff were there, the usual power elite suspects. The topic was the crummy local economy, and there was a consensus on the fix.
As Beutner summed it up: "City Hall has to lead."
Before breakfast was over, Beutner had emerged as the man who could make that happen.