The last time Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addressed the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, he skipped the softball talk and threw a bomb instead. Business luncheons are normally staid affairs with platitudes about the importance of industry tossed about over plates of chicken. But Villaraigosa turned his address last year to discuss his ambitious plans for school takeover. School board member Julie Korenstein stalked out in a huff, setting off a year of acrimony between the Los Angeles Unified School District administration and the mayor. As the Van Nuys-based business group prepares for its annual meeting with local mayors Thursday at the Warner Center Marriott, organizers wonder what its most prominent guest will offer up this time around. “This year, we’re expecting something comparably explosive,” chuckled UCC chairwoman Pamela Corradi. “I think he’ll come up with a more specific direction for his plans for the schools and we’re hoping to hear more about the business team.” The Mayor’s Office was unable to provide specifics of what Villaraigosa plans to cover in his speech, but press secretary Matt Szabo said the group’s past assistance will not go unrecognized. “The mayor will thank the United Chambers of Commerce for its civic engagement and particularly for its support of the mayor’s plan to reform public schools,” Szabo said. “The mayor will also discuss his vision for smart, sustainable economic growth in the San Fernando Valley.” In addition to Villaraigosa, UCC invited the mayors of San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Westlake Village, as well. San Fernando Mayor Nury Martinez said that while smaller cities often are eclipsed by the high-wattage Los Angeles leader, she looks forward to working with him and the City Council to further economic development. While in the past, neighboring cities fought with one another to attract the same businesses, Martinez said she is more interested in planning on a regional basis. Of particular interest, she said, is the redevelopment of the former Price Pfister plant in Pacoima, which is represented by Councilman Alex Padilla. “We want to have more of a partnership with the city of Los Angeles,” she said. “We’re talking with Padilla to make sure we know who’s going into Price Pfister. The people who don’t fit there can come to San Fernando instead. There’s a good opportunity for us to both attract good stores.” Her counterpart to the north, Mayor Laurene Weste of Santa Clarita, pledged to use the event to get a better feeling for what local enterprises want from their elected officials. “I’m looking forward to hearing about people’s issues, exchanging some cards and finding out what’s on people’s minds,” Weste said. — Brent Hopkins, (818) 713-3738 [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’ 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!