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The Los Angeles Times drew up an interesting profile of Gail Goldberg, who spearheads planning for our neighbor to the north. Goldberg is San Diego’s former planning director.

According to the article, Goldberg has become one of the most recognized faces around the big city’s government since moving there in late 2005.

In the 15 months since she was hired away from San Diego by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Goldberg’s public profile has steadily grown, owing to hundreds of appearances before community groups who can spot her just as quickly as their photogenic mayor and tough-talking police chief.

At once plain-spoken, funny, motherly, charismatic and diplomatic, Goldberg, at 63, finds herself in a position to determine whether a city tolerant of sprawl, traffic and cheap architecture can grow elegantly. She, too, represents the mayor’s radical new take on Los Angeles: Both are determined to rebuild some of the city’s old neighborhoods and make them taller, denser and linked to mass transit.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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