If we took a straw poll of what you Angelenos think overpaid city staffers should be doing with their free time, we think filling potholes, fixing sidewalks and directing traffic and our clogged intersections would probably be popular choices.
But some of South Bay city Councilman Joe Buscaino's staff members made … a music video!
At least some of the video was taped in and around City Hall, but Buscaino spokesman Branimir Kvartuc assured the Weekly that none of it was done on the taxpayer's dime — “very consciously so,” he said.
The “Call Me Maybe” spoof celebrates Buscaino's birthday, which is today. Kvartuc:
The camera is my camera. I made it on my own personal computer during off-hours.
Okay. Now get back to work.
[Added at 5:41 p.m.]: After thinking about this some more it occurred to us that if someone who didn't work for a city councilman wanted to shoot a video at City Hall permits would have had been issued. And those permits cost filmmakers money, money that ultimately belongs to the public. Just saying.
[Added at 3:48 p.m. Friday]: Kvartuc emailed to say that filming at City Hall is “free,” which isn't really the whole story.
FilmLA spokesman Philip Sokoloski told us that, while “use fees” for filming at most city properties are waived as a Hollywood industry incentive by the city, folks who make, say, a music video at City Hall would still have to pay an application fee of $625, a notification fee of $150 and the costs of any use of city personnel (ahem).
Still, those use fees can often run from $2,000 to $5,000 a day.
Kvartuc also says that folks in Buscaino's office do, in fact, fill potholes on their time off. To prove it he sent a link to this video of a photo-op of the councilman standing around and, at one point, using equipment as city workers (not from Buscaino's office) fill potholes.
So, uh, that was his day off? (And remember, L.A. council members make a national high $178,789 a year).