Los Angeles: Sam Under Siege

Running Los Angeles is like driving through that bewildering conurbation without a road map. The municipal charter diffuses power among the mayor, the city council and sundry city commissions, an arrangement that confuses all and pleases none—least of all the flamboyant, aggressive mayor. Sam Yorty. He complains that he has insufficient power to manage his urban empire; His critics, who are growing in number, reply that Sam has misused the very real power he has—and they are banding together to block his reelection next spring.

Criticism last week focused on a parks...