L.A. Council Coughs Up A Little Dough For Budget Mess

The city budget's tight, there are less cops and firefighters on the streets, and entire departments are being consolidated. So, of course, our fearless Los Angeles City Council stepped up to the plate with its own sacrifices to deal with L.A.'s $212 million deficit: Each of 15 council members will cough up about $800,000 each of the council's $36 million or so of discretionary fun money.

The move would put about $12 million back in the city's emergency reserve fund: The council plans to drain that account to deal with the deficit rather than make the more difficult cuts recommended by city administrator Miguel Santana. As many as 4,000 layoffs have been recommended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the council, but few have happened, and union contracts likely have to be renegotiated in order for them to happen.

Of course, the council has a lot of extra cash laying around. Villaraigosa wanted the council to pony up $40 million to help solve the deficit, but so far, that's not happening. Council salary accounts have $22 million, and a five percent across-the-board cut for council office salaries would bring the city more than a million.

Several council members said they already slashed salaries in their office, however.

-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us.


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