The folks at KCET asked me to do a two-minute essay about the Los Angeles City Council, the highest paid such body in the nation, and whether they should take a far bigger salary cut than the mere 10 percent being bandied about lately. My views air on SoCal Connected later tonight and on subsequent evenings if you miss it.
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Before we taped, Val Zavala, the veteran KCET news anchor, put powder on my nose and gave my hair some final hairspray. She was great. She's blogging about the City Council's evasive answers as they come under increasing pressure to take a long-overdue salary cut.
Not only does the City Council rake in nearly $180,000 a year, but they use taxpayer money for eight free cars per council member, and each of them employs a huge personal staff of 19 to 25 people. That's about 320 employees, costing Angelenos millions of dollars to support. Compare that figure to the White House Office Staff of 480.
Yesterday, as City Hall squabbled over its groaning $530 million budget deficit, the City Council came under attack in the Daily News from Antonio Villaraigosa's spokesman Matt Szabo, who accused the 15 council members, even at a time like this, of larding the budget with slush funds. Yeah, we know.
Catch me on KCET on the following dates:
TONIGHT, May 14th at 8pm
Friday, May 15th at 830pm
Saturday, May 16th at 6pm
Sunday, May 17th at 6:30pm.