I’m holding you all responsible — you elected these people and look what they’ve done to you. It’s a crime.
And since it’s a crime we need to look at what they knew and when they knew it and, more importantly in this case, what did they do about it.
The specific crime in questions — among the long list of allegations having to do with destroying our park, library and museum systems among dozens of others — is the 4,000 layoffs that has City Council members tearing their hair out and bleeding on their laptops as if the only people suffering hard times are city workers.
At least, they are the only people the politicians care about since the city workers with help help from developers, contractors, consultants and political operatives put them into office.
On Tuesday, Ed Reyes and Jan Perry sneered and snarled at Paul Krekorian who had the guts to ask how the Council could go into a back room session at noon for a catered lunch six days ago to discuss firing 1,000 workers and come out to announce a “technical change,” as Perry put it, that would result in 4,000 layoffs.
On Wednesday, Bernard Parks, Greig Smith and Perry once again carried on and on about how everybody knew as long as 18 months or two years ago that the city had to eliminate 4,000 jobs because of the deepening budget deficit. So newcomers like Krekorian and Paul Koretz should just shut their damn mouths and so should the liars among the press and public who can’t get their facts straight.
Methinks they protesteth too much, so I got hold of the document which they seem to think proves their innocence. In fact, it does the opposite. They are guilty as hell.
The 4,000 layoffs document (4000layoffs.pdf) actually dates to Dec. 17, 2008, 14 months ago, and came from Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller and Interim City Administrative Officer Ray Ciranna with the title Structural Deficit Mitigation Measures.
They referred to the economic “meltdown” that was occurring and the likelihood things would get much worse, noting that the steps taken days earlier to erase an $86 million deficit involved one-time savings to paper over the problem.
The mayor’s own proposal on Dec. 12, 2008 spoke to that, calling for “a combination of budget reductions, expenditure deferrals, and expediting of revenue receipts to the current year.
The CLA/CAO report said tougher measures were needed:
“This deficit is not the first that the City has faced, nor will it be
the last, but due to the magnitude of the revenue loss, combined with
the dismal prospect for revenue recovery and the City’s escalating
operating costs it will be the most difficult deficit to resolve.
Business as usual is simply not sustainable. Absent the elimination of a
significant number of City positions, restructuring of City services
and programmatic cuts) City expenditures will continue to exceed
projected City revenues. Given that one time-revenue enhancements will
only delay the inevitable and the City has very few significant and
on-going revenue options.”
They estimated the deficit for this year would be $433 million and for
2010-11 reach $550 million but likely would go higher as they have. They
noted that police and fire cost $3.3 billion or 70 percent of the
general fund, meaning even the “entire.elimination of funding for the
Library and Recreation and Parks would not completely solve” the
“In terms of staffing levels the elimination of over 4000 filled
civilian positions would be necessary to address the $433 million
deficit,” they added.
So there it is, the magic 4,000. It didn’t come out of thin air. It
was right in their face and they did nothing about it and now they are
wringing their hands and ready to sell the city’s assets, squeeze 10
percent discounts from contractors with threats they’ll never get
another city contract, bludgeon every dollar they can out of the public
through higher rates, fees, taxes and fines and take any other measure
they can to avoid actually solving the problem.
City government costs too much and delivers too little in public
services — and soon will deliver next to nothing.
How they think that making a big deal about when they were first told
the number 4,000 somehow exonerates them can only be explained by
acknowledging they are truly stupid or so intellectually and moral
corrupt as not to know the difference between right and wrong.
The document that are calling attention to is the smoking gun that
proves they are guilty of misfeasance in office, if not malfeasance.
Their best defense might well be they really are crazy and can’t tell
the difference between right and wrong.
Day after day now they are spending all their time looking for more
one-time solutions, pressuring the financially hard-pressed Harbor and
Airport to absorb workers transferred from the general fund and counting on
the DWP’s unlimited ability to raise rates to find a place for vast
numbers of city employees, all of whom will get handsome raises.
The 4,000 layoffs document on which they rest their defense contained
very different advice that they ignored and still ignore.
It called for the mayor and Council to delineate core and non-core
services, to understand that 85 percent of the overall budget goes for
salaries and benefits, and that police and police and fire account for
almost 70 percent of the unrestricted General Fund budget.
“The City will likely be unable to address looming shortfalls without
changes in the level of salary,” the CLA and CAO said.
Even city workers begging to keep their jobs during public comment on
Wednesday were urging the Council to work out a deal for reductions in
pay across the board, including police and fire and the DWP and
Their pleas fell on the same deaf ears that didn’t head this report’s
1. Request the Mayor and instruct the CAO to submit to the Executive
Committee (EERC) an Actuarial Report detailing the costs and benefits of
a retirement incentive plan. This report should include various options
for implementing such a plan on both a Citywide basis, and on a
targeted basis that takes into account revenue shortfalls projected for
FY 09-10. The actuarial study was not done until two months after
signed an agreement with the unions for the Early Retirement Incentive
2. Instruct the CAO and CLA working with the Mayor to submit to the
City Council a report
outlining a plan for restructuring departmental operations in a manner
that focuses resources on ‘core’ services, potentially in coordination
with the proposed retirement incentives. The restructuring plan has
only not come forward but without clear details and a clear focus on
3. Authorize and instruct the CAO to report to the EERC on the impact of
the negotiated COLA’s on the 2009-10 Budget. Contracts approved 10
months later without deferrals of cost-of-living raises and guarantees
of no layoffs, furloughs or other actions.
4. Authorize and instruct the CAO to report to the EERC on the potential
fiscal impact of COLA authorization in any of the upcoming sworn
employee negotiations. Contract with police signed 10 months later
but hiring continued until recently and promised cuts in operational
costs have not been achieved.
5. Instruct the CAO to report to the EERC with options for reducing the
long term costs associated with civilian and swom pensions. Slight
increase in civilian contributions, overall unfunded liability at $11
billion but no action steps taken.
OK, we’re all responsible for this but were not the guilty ones.
They are, and no amount of spinning and deceit will get them out of this
because everything they are doing is only making matters worse.