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Why rats — vermin and human — are so happy in L.A.

Think about this: The city has $8 billion to spend every year but it somehow can’t provide even basic services.

That’s more money than City Hall has had in history, yet there is a $400 million deficit that has been papered over and there aren’t enough cops, housing inspectors, planners, traffic engineers or — now we learn — cleanup crews.

The Times today exposes  the travesty of neighborhoods waiting up to two months for Public Works crews to clean up unhealthy filth left by illegal dumpers, ignoring visible evidence that might lead to those responsible and blaming the lack of staff for its failure.

“We can only run so fast, and right now we’re running as fast as we can,” said
Bruce Howell, the Public Works bureaucrat who oversees alley-cleaning. He’s paid $107,824.32, according to the Daily News city salary database, presumably to make excuses and avoid accountability.

Of course, when the mayor and Councilwoman Janice Hahn were about the hold a self-promoting publicity event in Watts a few months ago, trash littering three alleys nearby suddenly got cleaned up — three weeks after being reported.

The rats must have loved  the delay.

What really ought to concern people who want a great city instead of what we got is that the mayor, the Board of Public Works and the council are so out of touch with their responsibilities as the nation’s highest paid municipal officials that they didn’t know about this breakdown in basic services.

With the Times asking questions, the mayor’s office went into high gear. Emergency meetings were held at the highest levels, urgent reports were being prepared and threats of crackdowns were being made.

“The department’s response time for this cleanup work is totally unacceptable by
any measure,” said Villaraigosa spokesman Matt Szabo. “The mayor is not
interested in explanations or excuses . . . [and] believes that the bureau is in
need of structural change. And he will hold his managers accountable for
implementing this change.”

Take him at his word. Heads will roll and private firms will be hired in place of city workers to clean up litter faster and cheaper. The revolution at City Hall is under way.

Oh no, that will only happen when the community — neighborhood councils, resident groups, service clubs, Chambers of Commerce — join together and take back L.A. and go to work to create the kind of city that’s good for people and good for business, a city where the politicians and bureaucrats know it’s the people who are the bosses — not the fatcats, union bosses, developers, contractors and lobbyist machine.

So come all ye faithful to City Hall at noon on Bastille Day July 14 and let City Hall know that a coalition of concerned citizens is forming and the revolution to save L.A. has begun.

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6 Responses to Why rats — vermin and human — are so happy in L.A.

  1. Anonymous says:

    The mayor has, however, recently inspected the conditions of streets in Israel, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Miami.

  2. AnonymouslyYours says:

    We should have this tattooed across our foreheads to save us the touble of repeating it ten times a day, but then we couldn’t be firemen.
    Cleaning up three alleyways in Watts for their photo-op event is just another in the series of:
    “They only do what’s in their self-interest.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is always about the photo opportunity!

  4. neighborhoodwatchdog says:

    I visited 118th Street many years ago. Illegal dumping was alive and well then as it is now. For LAPD, it’s another one of their hundreds of ‘low priority’ issues. I’ve litteraly caught illegal dumpers in industrial areas of North Hollywood in the evening hours. I called L.A’s Finest on my cellphone, gave descriptions and license plate numbers and still could not get them out to arrest the bastards.
    Back to 118th. Go across the tracks to the small, industrial city of Vernon. The streets are neat as a pin. Dumpers would not dare come into Vernon. The Vernon cops would be down on them like rain in Oregon.

  5. spiffy says:

    No time to read the paper this a.m.—-I’d have to get up at 4:00 to fit it in—but the one headline I did notice was “man confronts taggers, gets shot”.
    What else is new?
    I need to move in the next 30 days. I’m trying to find an area that is clean and also affordable. Sadly, the clean areas of LA County tend to be outside of LA City or they are the portions of LA City that are the least affordable.
    Trash = cheaper rent. Perhaps the streets are left neglected so that renters and house hunters can easily figure out what they will pay for housing in a particular area?

  6. from cd-14 says:

    If cameras were outlawed, only politicians would have cameras.

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