Bring it on — we beat you at the polls and we’ll beat you in the mail!
That’s my attitude to the latest audacious plan of the mayor and City Council to rob the public because they have failed in their sworn duty to serve the people.
This gang of 16 has stolen the trash fee they tripled to supposedly hire more cops so they could fund their sweetheart contracts with unions, contractors and consultants.
They have violated the law by stealing $30 million a year from water service charges to pay inflated salaries. And when they still ran out of money, they turned the entire DWP into a cash cow that squeezes every resident and business already struggling to make ends meet.
And still it’s not enough.
So now they want to corrupt the election laws by holding an unprecedented citywide mail-in election to skirt the taxpayer protections in the state Constitution to gouge even more money out of the public to cover up the $530 million budget deficit they created with their irresponsible actions.
They have nothing but contempt for the law and the people of LA.
On Monday, the mayor’s cronies on the Board of Public Works approved a plan to seek a four-fold increase in the storm-water pollution fee to pay the salaries of workers engaged in cleanup projects that are funded by a $500 million bond issue voters approved five years ago.
The increase would free up nearly $25 million to pay the six-figure salaries of the Public Works board and to cover up the waste and inefficiency and misguided policies.
And they don’t even want to allow a public discussion.
Today, the City Council put the measure on Budget and Environment committees’ agenda as a special item for Friday with the intent of hurriedly rushing it to the council next Tuesday so that ballots can be sent to the city’s 788,620 properties owners by June at a cost of $450,000.
It’s Measure B all over again and the fate will be the same.
This has as much due process in it as an armed robbery on the street: Give me your money or your life.
This is nothing but a betrayal of public trust, a dirty trick, more poisonous to the health of the city than the polluted runoff.
It allows them to win approval of the increase from $23 to $99 per property (a fee charged regardless of value or size) with a simple majority rather than the otherwise required two-thirds majority.
We already are paying $500 million for the infrastructure of this because we want clean waterways as much as we want clean water to drink and clean air to breathe.
We want those just as we want safe streets, good schools, healthy neighborhoods and good jobs. But we’re fed up with being robbed and deceived time after time.
Let them clean up the mess they have made of city government before they come asking for anymore money. We are willing to pay but we’re not willing to be robbed.
If City Hall doesn’t understand the mood of the people struggling financially in these terrible economic tmes, they will have to learn the hard way.