Like the rest of us at the mercy of the one-dimensional City Hall political machine, the Chamber of Commerce constantly finds itself going along with a lot things it doesn’t like in order to get even a few crumbs from the table of power.
But this time, with the city’s future hanging in the balance and the mayor and City Council selling out any hope for the future, the chamber is drawing the line and demanding officials prove through a detailed five-year economic analysis that the proposed early retirement and guaranteed pay raise package is workable and in the public interest.
Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the LA-area Chamber, sent this letter to City Council members on Wednesday with a copy to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Re: Proposed City Employee Labor Agreement – Economic Analysis Request
Dear Council Members:
On behalf of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, I write to request that the Mayor and City Council provide the public with a 5-year economic analysis of the impact that the proposed city labor agreement will have on the city’s budget and taxpayers prior
to Council consideration.
For taxpayers, the proposed agreement outlined earlier this week does not appear to fulfill
the promise of “shared sacrifice” in a difficult economy. Instead, it appears poised to
deliver the kind of short-term political gain and long-term financial pain that has
contributed to California’s fiscal implosion.
We are particularly wary of the early retirement packages that will add to the City’s
massively unfunded and unsustainable pension liability. The moderate increases in
pension contributions do not begin to address this huge problem that is estimated to
require two billion dollars per year in city contributions in six years – 20-25% of the
entire city budget.
At a time when city residents and businesses are struggling to live within their means,
taxpayers deserve a detailed analysis of the future financial ramifications of this proposed
agreement. And, unlike Measure B, it is essential that this analysis be released and
publically discussed prior to a vote.
President & CEO
Cc: Mayor Villaraigosa