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LA Chamber: Sweetheart Deal Means “Short-term Political Gain and Long-term Financial Pain”

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.


Gary Toebben
President & CEO

Cc: Mayor Villaraigosa

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3 Responses to LA Chamber: Sweetheart Deal Means “Short-term Political Gain and Long-term Financial Pain”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ron Kaye-
    You should read some of the good reporting Garment & Citizen did on park land the City of LA bought downtown….no one else picked up on it…a shame. $5 million for less than an acre, in this market….

  2. Anonymous says:

    And Ron, it’s time to call Tom LaBonge out on his unquestioning support of a proposal to allow the Autry Museum to continue to receive 13 acres of OUR parkland for free while the Autry Museum seeks to move the collection of the Southwest Museum from private land owned by Autry onto PUBLIC land in Griffith Park. Why would City Council and the Mayor (we know the Mayor is now whoring for Latham & Watkins on behalf of Autry) not require a non-profit substantially supported by Mrs. Jackie Autry, one of the wealthiest persons in the nation, to pay the fair market value of the continuing use of our land. THAT is in the public interest, especially during the City’s dire financial crisis.
    Instead, this Council proposes to GIVE away unsustainable pension obligations to the public employee unions while also giving away parkland for which the City could at least be changing fair market rent.
    Stop the GiveAway to Jackie Autry and her museum at the public hearing on Tuesday, June 30, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. at City Hall Board of Public Works Hearing Room.

  3. I suppose this post was penned after a good level of preliminary research.

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