Ever the Debbie Downer of City Hall, Councilman Bernard Parks says it's time to pay the piper: The city faces a $408 million deficit next year, a $98 million deficit this year, and the likelihood that layoffs will cut into Los Angeles' 30,000-strong workforce.

While the rest of the council is nit-picking over how much weed a pot dispensary can have and deciding whether or not cats should be declawed (the council recently passed a ban) Parks, ever the sober member, is crying wolf over the city's decaying budget. Parks called layoffs “the next step … inevitable.” Unfortunately, he's probably right.

Parks has his sights on members of the Engineers and Architects Association because they did not agree to trim pay when the council asked at the beginning of the fiscal year.

“Because 90 percent of our budget is in hiring people,” the former police chief said, “the only way to reduce it for he long term and satisfy many of the concerns is to reduce our staff.''

As we reported, Fitch Ratings lowered its score last week on nearly $3 billion in debt held by the city. The move will make it a little harder for the city to borrow money at a time when it needs cash flow. “The downgraded ratings reflect the city's reduced general fund reserves and the limited ability to replenish them given the city's weakened economy … ,” Fitch stated.

Que the Downer music … wahh, wahhhh.

LA Weekly