It's been a rough year for Los Angeles. The city is facing a $400 million deficit and the "b"-word (for bankruptcy) has been mentioned by at least one councilman. The City Council got a black eye over the taxpayer tab ($3.2 million) for cops and other services during the Michael Jackson memorial television special at Staples Center. A transportation research group announced that Los Angeles has the worst roads in the nation. The council has struggled and, frankly, stumbled in its attempts to regulate marijuana stores. And Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took some heat for taking off to Europe and other exotic locales, often at taxpayer expense.
The City of Angels needs an angel or, barring that, a rotund white man with a biker beard. Here are a few of things we wish Santa would bring the city of Los Angeles:
-Elves to fill all the potholes.
-A sensible medical marijuana law that allows sick patients to get their sticky on without burdening neighborhoods with outright drug profiteering and shady suppliers.
-A privately funded private plane so Mayor V. so he can jet-set it without having us pay for it.
-Funding for the City Hall graffiti-removal crews to take the names of all living current or former L.A. politicians from all the buildings, parks, walkways, parking structures, halls and other public edifices that these blowhards smeared with self-aggrandizing, taxpayer-funded testaments to themselves.
-An end to intermittent fire company closures.
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-A definitive map of officially recognized city neighborhoods.
-A ban on using the word "Eastside" to describe anything west of downtown (we're looking at you Echo Park and Silver Lake).
-A successful motion to have each council member give up $100,000 in salary to help the city budget in 2010. (Yeah, right). (The council is the highest paid in the nation and has a salary -- $171,000-plus -- that's higher than that of the governor of California).
-A makeover for the official city website.