Neighborhood Councils vs. Villaraigosa: How come the city is still in the red despite higher rates, taxes and fees?
The mayor will have to be at his smooth-talking best Saturday when he meets with hundreds of NC members for Budget Day or it likely will become a Day of Reckoning.
Until now City Hall has had an easy time of it as it gouged the public and gave away the treasury in sweetheart contracts and deals but the hole in the budget keeps getting deeper and resistance to the nine tax and bond issues on the Nov. 4 ballot is growing.
Concerted efforts by the Dept. of Neighborhood (Dis)Empowerment and the City Council have kept NCs fragmented and confused but they are growing more sophisticated and better organized and may be ready to challenge the way the city does business.
“I think one of the things the mayor and his staff
will hear is that we understand the need to cut back,” Jill Banks
Barad, president of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood
Councils told Rick Orlov. “What we don’t want to hear is more tax or fee increases.
What we want to hear is where the city will be cutting back and that
it’s getting back to basics and don’t start new programs we can’t
Cut city spending? What a novel idea. The truth is there’s little room left for creative bookkeeping with a phony budget in place, revenue falling and costs soaring through with many employees getting raises of up to 5 and 6 percent.
Villaraigosa’s goal is to defer the pain until
after the March primary when he hopes to win re-election but the
nation’s economic crisis may be worsening so fast that tough decisions
likely will have to be made sooner.
In honor of Helen Bernstein: One of L.A.’s few true leaders
Today, at 10 a.m., the new Helen Bernstein High School in Hollywood at 1309 N. Wilton Pl. will be formally dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
the brilliant leader of the teachers union who embraced genuine reform
of the schools and City Hall, died tragically in 1997 when she was hit
by a car crossing Olympic Boulevard rushing to a community meeting on
city charter reform.
Few civic leaders earned the respect of so
many across political lines as Bernstein and I often heard people
suggest that the course of L.A. history in the last decade would be far
different of Bernstein had lived. It’s certainly something I believe.
Clean money, ridiculously dirty politics
slowly coming around to thinking “clean money” — public financing of
political campaigns might be a good idea since the local and state
electoral processes have been taken hostage by the dirty money of
But the state legislature’s recent approval
of a measure to put the issue before voters in 2010 is more like a
satire on the subject than real reform.
notes that the ballot measure if approved would provide $1 million for
candidates for secretary of state who refuse private money.
financing would be a little weird: $350 annual fees assessed to Capitol
lobbyists and their employers…No legislation is perfect,” Skelton comments..