Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012


L.A. City Council Approves $5 Increase in All Parking Tickets

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Mon, May 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM

The red envelope gets fatter. - LAIST
  • LAist
  • The red envelope gets fatter.
L.A. politicians are pleased to announce this afternoon that they avoided laying off any city employees in the 2012-13 city budget. (So union heads can put down their daggers, for now.)

But guess where they found $2.4 million of the emergency cash they needed to save their City Hall family?

Your overflowing parking-ticket fund, of course!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bill ya later.
  • Bill ya later.
When the Los Angeles City Council is low on cash, they tend not to look to their own overfunded executive offices -- or alleged untouchables like the corrupt, bulging Housing Authority -- for the answer.

Nope: They look to their broke-ass constituents, already drowning in a dismal economy (even worse as of today, we hear), if not completely jobless.

In a report prepared by Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller and being mulled by City Councilmembers, in which Miller proposes 15-odd ways the city could fix its budget crisis without voter consent, a few hidden taxes stand out as particularly insulting:

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

He'd have been a shoddy salesman.
  • He'd have been a shoddy salesman.
Governor Jerry Brown may have appeased the California Teachers Association, one of his most generous campaign backers, for now: In his revised May 17 budget proposal, he shields K-12 schools and community colleges from the big, stern cuts that will be necessary to pull the Golden State out of the red in 2011-12.

But billions of dollars central to keeping that promise are still up in the air.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

  • Kyle T. Webster
  • oops
Today L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will receive amendments made by the City Council to his 2011-12 proposed City budget.

The big issue is more than $40 million that Villaraigosa had wanted to borrow on commercial paper. That debt plan has now been trashed, and the burden has been placed on the L.A. Police Department to come up with $40 million in cuts.

But with no plan and no deadline, this could be a bit too easy to procrastinate on:

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Council Prez. Eric Garcetti: game face.
  • Council Prez. Eric Garcetti: game face.
This morning, the LA Daily News and Daily Breeze throw around the word "realistic" in their wire-service headlines on the City Council's 2011-12 budget, approved last night. How horribly misleading.

The piece begins with an eerie quote from City Council President Eric Garcetti, describing the $6.9 billion consensus: "After 10 years on the council, this was the smoothest one we have had."

Uh oh. When Garcetti says something's going smoothly, it's time to sound the alarm. (See: Hollywood Farmers Market "negotations" with the L.A. Film School.)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Excuse the councilman's Dr. Evilness; he's got your money in mind. - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Excuse the councilman's Dr. Evilness; he's got your money in mind.
City Councilman Dennis Zine got 99 problems, but a blind eye to L.A.'s extravagant set of city-worker privileges ain't one. His op-ed in the LA Daily News this morning calls out his fellow politicians for gutting crucial city services while preserving its most frivolous bits: "300 different types of employee bonuses offered in the city, which total nearly $150 million each year."

Public anger over the city's inflated pensions and too-perfect health-care packages has finally made it into mainstream budget talks -- and for that, they take a hit in both Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 2011-12 budget proposal and the budget committee's followup. But, exasperatingly, hundreds of additional benefits still fly under the radar.

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  • Kyle T. Webster
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villlaraigosa's proposed 2011-12 City budget is anything but transparent, as illustrated in L.A. Weekly's Broke and Broken. Even the simple basics -- the number and cost of his own staff -- are calculated with smoke and mirrors.

Today the Los Angeles City Council will begin discussing changes to the mayor's proposed budget - but they employ the same bag of tricks. On the books, the 15 City Council members list 108 people employed on their personal staffs for the last decade. The the L.A. City Council consistently employs more than double that under "As-Needed" hires:

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

  • Kyle T. Webster
Less than 60 minutes ago Jay Handal received a "courtesy call." Handal chairs a committee for the 93 neighborhood councils called the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates.

"Basically they are gutting and shutting down the neighborhood council system," Handal says.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to borrow $50 million on commercial paper was heavily criticized -- and now, at the last minute -- thrown out. His 2011-12 City budget proposal that will go before the City Council tomorrow will now need to account for this gaping $50 million hole:

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fire Chief Millage Peaks actually has a backbone
  • Fire Chief Millage Peaks actually has a backbone
RonKayeLA reports that Friday morning United Firefighters Los Angeles City union leader Pat McOsker will lead a "massive outpooring" of firefighters to the City Council meeting. T.V. cameras are likely to follow.

It's budget talk time and McOsker is calling Fire Chief Millage Peaks's re-orginization plan for L.A. Fire Department a disaster. L.A. would save $200 million in three years.

Peaks is behaving very out of character for someone of power in L.A.: rationally defending his plan against the powers that be - and taking full responsibility for his ideas:

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fire union: Budget cuts equal death
  • Fire union: Budget cuts equal death
You'd be hard-pressed to find a city worker who's happy with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's latest budget proposal, or his budget committee's follow-up: Unions are forced to choose between a fat new round of furloughs or major benefit shrinkage.

But no one is unhappier than the L.A. city firefighters union, who would be deprived of 300 paying members if the City Council approves the plan. KPCC reports that "The department also would close 18 engines, seven hook-and-ladder trucks and four ambulances. All this would save the city $190 million over three years."

Surprisingly, Fire Captain Jaime Moore backs (and actually helped design) the plan...

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