Let’s have a party — millions in small change found lying around City Hall
If your house is like mine, there’s little boxes here and there with coins lying around that could add up to enough for a pizza or something on a rainy day.
Imagine how much is lying around City Hall? $3.8 million is the number City Controller Laura Chick came up with. And she only looked at about half the pots of money in one department, Public Works, when there’s 700 special funds hiding the public’s money in various departments.
The biggest chunk of change is sitting in the Griffith Observatory Trust Fund which has $3.3 million left over from the restoration project.
Actually, Public Works paid $5.4 million in labor costs on the project that should have been reimbursed but it bungled the budgeting so it gets stiffed out of $2.1 million even if it listens to Chick.
Then, there’s the $957,852 sitting idle in inactive accounts that have been all but forgotten — or at least ignored and unmonitored.
“There is no reason millions of dollars should be sitting gathering dust especially when we are seeking to raise fees and taxes on the public,” Chick said, in urging every department to look for hidden pots of money.
So is all that small change going to lower fees and taxes – don’t hold your breath
Chick suggested all Public Works’ small change be moved to General Fund to ease the burden on taxpayers but that’s not going to happen if past performance is any guide.
Two months ago, she offered 18 recommendations on how the General Services Department could save energy and money in city buildings and turn the money over to the General Fund. The department responded a month later, saying, “Thank you for the recommendations…there will be no impact on the General Fund.”
It appears the savings will be eaten up having to hire consultants and staffs to figure out how to save energy.