Another year, another budget deficit.
As we head into summer L.A. City Hall will face a $200 million deficit. That said, revenues are improving, and the budget might be turning a corner for the better. Still, the mayor has been opening up the process to you, the citizen, and once again has asked what your priorities are.
Antonio Villaraigosa's recently released annual budget survey says …
… the biggest group of you (43 percent) would like to see “employee pension reforms” as a way to cut costs.
That topped five choices that included salary freezes for public employees (38 percent), higher health-care contributions from workers (35 percent), reducing all City Hall salaries by 5 percent, and laying people off (17 percent).
But the most popular money saving measure of all? 77 percent of the nearly 5,394 respondents wanted reductions in “funding and support” for elected officials in the city.
Yay! You read us, you really do. LA Weekly has been hounding the mayor's office and the L.A. City Council for its outrageous spending. City Council members get a nationwide high salary of $178,898 a year. The mayor's office has more than 200 staffers. Each city council member gets a car. You see what we're saying. Obviously.
But lower salaries and a few less GMC Yukons aren't going to fix the city budget. And the survey shows that you're most reluctant to reduce the city's most expensive people — police and firefighters.
For good reason.
So, like all of California, you want a lot. You just don't want to pay for it (while your representatives take in 10-percenter salaries on your dime).
Read more here (PDF).