L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council have earned a pat on the head from the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce for approving a budget that includes 761 layoffs.

But as the layoff date approaches, the Chamber is worried that the mayor and council will find some way to back off.

The mayor has repeatedly said that he would prefer to extract a pay cut from city unions rather than slash city services. But so far, the city's elected leadership and the unions have been unable to strike a deal that would avert layoffs.

In a letter at Fox & Hounds, Chamber CEO Gary Toebben urges his membership to call or write to their council members and urge them to hold firm against union pressure.

It is important to acknowledge the severity of these budget cuts. There is no corner of the City that will be immune. The reality is that libraries and recreational centers will be open fewer hours. Tree trimming and pothole repairs will be delayed for months. Many programs that benefit children and seniors will be impacted. These are gut-wrenching decisions. However, as in our personal and business budgets, the City of Los Angeles must reduce the services that it cannot afford.

If it doesn't, of course, businesses can expect to face higher taxes and fees. That — not bankruptcy — is the real fear.

LA Weekly