Los Angeles city administrative officer Miguel Santana on Wednesday put a buffet of budget-cutting options on the table for the City Council's consideration as it faces a ballooning $218 million deficit. One of the options is slashing council members salaries -- at $ 178,789 the highest of any city and more than what's budgeted for the governor of California -- by five percent.
Even that small of a cut would yield an extra $1.07 million for city coffers. Slashing the mayor's office budget by 5 percent, another suggestion, would put $1.26 million back into other parts of the city.
The suggestions come as the city is faced with the possibility of laying off 1,500 workers and lopping off entire departments. One of the more unpalatable options has been to cut police, including a freeze on recruiting cops, laying off 87 police cadets and letting go of 616 officers.
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L.A. is largely believed to have one of the smallest-per-capita police forces in the nation, with New York having a department that's staffed with nearly four times as many officers.