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The 4,000 Layoffs Document: Proof of Their Neglect of Duty and Crimes Against the City

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
deficit.

“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
themselves.

Their pleas fell on the same deaf ears that didn’t head this report’s
recommendations:
 
1. Request the Mayor and instruct the CAO to submit to the Executive
Employee Relations
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
Program.
 
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
core services.

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.

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38 Responses to The 4,000 Layoffs Document: Proof of Their Neglect of Duty and Crimes Against the City

  1. Hey, I warned people NOT to vote for Villaraigosa.
    They didn’t listen.
    (sigh…)

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
    Napoleon Bonaparte

  3. Walter Moore says:

    “I’m holding you all responsible — you elected these people and look what they’ve done to you. It’s a crime.”
    Nearly 72,000 of us have an air-tight defense. . . .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Everyone knew that no action would be taken till all of them were safely reelected to their positions. None of them care about the city.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Don`t forget Antonio was running for Gov in Dec 2008. He did not want to deal with the problem at that time, he thought he would let others deal with it later. His selfishness has ruined the City. What a legacy!

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”
    Stewart Potter

  7. Ron, you are too optimistic.
    The $212 million deficit this year and the $500 million deficit projected for next year is only 20% of the projected 4.5 year deficit of $3.5 billion, reaching $1.1 billion for the the 2013-14 fiscal year.
    And these numbers are understated. They do not include the necessary money to repair and maintain our infrastructure nor do they include the proper amortization of the $11.5 billion pension shortfall.
    The only light at the end of the tunnel is the freight train speeding towards us.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Boy does it feel great knowing I campaigned hard for Mayor Hahn and got beat up by the people who wanted Antonio. They said Antonio would be better and Los Angeles would become a world class city because Hahn had no personality or character. Hahn wasn’t the best but now he’s looking great compared to the fool and clown we have running the city. Antonio is out of town again, council members refuse to do their job and start those layoffs, everyday the city is losing money. How responsible and serious do the council members think this financial crisis is? Paul Koretz is surprising me with his leadership. In fact on Monday when a community member suggested the CRA be audited Koretz and Rosendahl made a motion to get it going.

  9. John P says:

    Maybe the layoffs could start with the 100+ Deputy Mayor’s Villainraigosa decided he needed.
    On second thought we better keep some of them; somebody has to run the City when the Mayor is not here…

  10. Kristin Sabo says:

    Rom, you may just have gotten Gary Miller fired for telling the truth by publishing information given to the City Council two years ago.
    Thankfully the CLA is hired and fired by the City Council and not the paranoid policy makers in the Mayor’s office (Jeff Karr and friends.)
    He’s likely safe then. For now.
    Unless we all push those utter liars (Perry, Reyes) on this.
    Which we should.
    Because it is called ACCOUNTABILITY.

  11. Kristin Sabo says:

    Wow – the typos! Ron, Carr…. sorry.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “How serious can the financial crisis be?” I guess not that serious since a Budget & Finance Committee member Council girl Huizar hasn’t shown up to two public hearings. Eagle Rock is deteriorating and becoming like his other areas looking like 3rd world countries and he doesn’t given a crap. These council members make so much money it should be a crime how they don’t do their job. Remember all even seat numbers Council Districts 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 (Huizar) all up for re election. Do they really think they deserve a second chance knowing they failed and were the most incompetent council members?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Krekorian for Mayor.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Get rid of their “extras” beginning with their city vehicles which we pay for … including gas, maintenance, etc. Let them pay for their own transportation just like the rest of us city workers!!!!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Small point, but December 17, 2008 is not “16 months ago.” Nor is it “nearly 18 months ago” as indicated in the post below, or “18 months ago” as one of the bureucrats says in the clip below.
    It is just over 14 months ago(14 months and 8 days ago today).
    Again, a small point — but emblematic of a looseness for facts, numbers and dates that makes both sides in this debate look stupid as well as incompetent.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Why DWP, Airport and Harbor are not included in this?

  17. Concern says:

    Drastic times calls for drastic measures. Even due LA Department of Water & Power (LADWP), Harbor and LA World Airport (LAWA) are not Council controlled departments; they are owned by the City of LOS Angeles. I have no idea why the Mayor and Council are afraid of the big three. LADWP, Harbor and LAWA were built with City of LOS Angeles Funds, for the City and on the property that the City owns. The Mayor, and Council must reduce LADWP, Harbor and LAWA’s employees working hours from 40 hours to 32 hours per week and transfer the savings into city’s General Funds. In addition to all city employees must stop home garaging city vehicles. This includes: Fire Department, Police Department, Mayors, Harbor, Water & power, and etc. (There are few exceptions). Savings generated by these simple implementations will millions of dollars and saves thousand of jobs. Layoffs should be the last resort.

  18. pam says:

    if you are going to quote a Supreme Court Justice, get his name right. It’s Potter Stewart.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Mayor talks of “shared sacrifice” unless you work for LADWP, the Police Department or the other proprietary departments. If reductions were made in these departments similar to what city employees elsewhere have already taken, the projected deficit would be much less if not balanced.

  20. Anonymous says:

    EVERYONE — IN EVERY DEPT — should be subject to pay cuts and furloughs!

  21. Anonymous says:

    The mayor already got rid of a lot of take-home cars throughout the city, but people say that it was dumb to auction them off, getting pennies on the dollar when they’d just been paid for – it’s another thing not to renew or reduce allowances for maintenance if possible. That’s one of those easy cheap shots. It came up in council also that it’s hard to maintain the cars they’ve got, they sit for days or longer waiting for service, because so many skilled maintenance workers took the ERIP! Lots of lost institutional memory.
    Meanwhile the Police Political League today sends out an email blast against cops taking any cuts or furloughs if hiring is to continue, which has been their position all along. The heads of the union would rather see fewer cops on the street. But people want cops in their neighborhoods, including Parks and Perry whose areas need them but who want to cut the force, and are going against the mayor on that.

  22. Anonymous says:

    No city cars should be allocated to the electeds and their staffs and General Managers.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone ever done an efficiency study for LAPD and LAFD. Surely these agencies could not be models of efficiency so perfectly run and managed that they could not do better.

  24. Anonymous says:

    FAA rules prohibit airports operating with Municipal General Fund revenues. LAWA is required to be self-sustaining.

  25. Anonymous says:

    FAA rules prohibit airports from operating with Municipal General Fund revenues. LAWA is required to be self-sustaining. In terms of taking their cars away, I’m with you but only if they are reimbursed for mileage according to the Fed rates. Amazing how stuff floats, imagine Janice as Lt. Gov. it’ll be like voting for Antonio, Arnold or Meg… self-inflicted. Thanks to Wendy and especially to my new Council Hero, Council member Krekorian.

  26. Anonymous says:

    FAA rules prohibit airports from operating with Municipal General Fund revenues. LAWA is required to be self-sustaining. In terms of taking their cars away, I’m with you but only if they are reimbursed for mileage according to the Fed rates. Amazing how stuff floats, imagine Janice as Lt. Gov. it’ll be like voting for Antonio, Arnold or Meg… self-inflicted. Thanks to Wendy and especially to my new Council Hero, Council member Krekorian. BTW Ron. Is it true that after serving a term on the Council, Members are entitled to a substantial lifetime monthly pension?

  27. Angie says:

    I love Krekorian, Alacorn and Koreatz because they are the ONLY that are not jumping on the lets screw the city band wagon and delcare we are saving it.
    I have never seen such DIRTY politics going on, destroying TINY depts and selling that as if they are tough on budget–they wiped out 3 depts and are saving a measly 3million????? HSD which if you look at their public docs actually are efficient and provide real community services, and EAD actually was able to bring money into the city–what the hell is going on in city hall??
    and now 4000 layoffs and the mayor sits on top of a staff of over 200 people acting as if he is king–well he is king–king of bull sh**! shame on garcetti, perry, reyes for bending over and taking it and then telling us its for the cities own good.
    it is DISGUTING! I know i am going to campaign for anyone running agianst any of these idiots in the future.

  28. Chris Rowe says:

    Dear Ron,
    Great job in finding this document! Now the truth is out.
    What else was going on around that time period?
    Well, first, we had a lot of people preoccupied with the election of a President that November. We had great parties too. Some of us had a lot of HOPE!
    Then, there was this little vote at Council that November – that became a lawsuit around Christmas 2008 – later to be known as “Prop B”.
    January 2009 – we have hope for an Inaugeration – a few people distracted – some out of town.
    There are a few more – some Neighborhood Council people and some other activist groups – that decided that they would challenge “Measure B”.
    The Council never knew that these people would or could organize in a manner to get Neighborhood Councils, some unions, Chambers, some Democrats, some Republicans, to all agree on anything.
    So today, we see the result. Some City Council members would like to get rid of the Neighborhood Councils.
    I think that we learned in Education and Neighborhoods that Paul Krekorian and Dennis Zine will support us.
    Now that we know the truth about the history of this document, the NC’s should make sure that we don’t have DONE and BONC rolled into the CDD.
    It is obvious that the Mayor and the Council are only as good as their advisors. So whoever dropped the ball on this recommendation more than a year ago – that is who should be sent packing if anyone goes.

  29. Anonymous says:

    That is a true crime if they had knowledge of this since 2008 and did nothing about it Wow!
    someone should be doing jail time.

  30. ANONYMOUS says:

    Recall the mayor & start to get these nonsense over!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Chris Rowe – do you honestly think BH Kim should be collecting a paycheck? You think DONE was competent, much less useful?
    CDD is fine, as long as the right support and admin is included.

  32. Anonymous says:

    The Mayor, and Council must reduce LADWP, Harbor and LAWA’s employees working hours from 40 hours to 32 hours per week and transfer the savings into city’s General Funds.
    That would be illegal. You should learn how the city operates if you’re going to throw out solutions.

  33. Anonymous says:

    8:06 -
    So is transferring charter-protected funding or Recreation and Parks, and Libraries to the General Fund, but the CAO, Mayor, and City Council are planning on doing it anyway.
    So what’s your point?

  34. Constant Adaptation says:

    They should let people resign by offering years-of-service bounce (no money) before starting lay offs. An employee who is close to retirement may take the years-of-service bonus and resign and wait until he/she reaches the retirement age in the future. This will help to reduce the payroll and does not put load on the retirement fund until way in the future. Higher salary employees would leave and their work will be done by younger and lower salary employees who are on the chopping block.

  35. Chris Rowe says:

    To: By Anonymous on February 26, 2010 7:38 AM
    The Mayor’s office and CDD do not really want the NCs. This is a way to control the NCs. The NCs and DONE were created by a Charter. DONE should actually be taking over CDD – not CDD taking over DONE. We should be cutting the junkets and the staff that are going on them.
    There are 501cs that lobby the City. Some of these were mentioned at BONC. NC Board Members take mandatory Ethics Training. They should not be involved with any 501c that lobbies the city.
    NCs cannot ask for transparency and distance from those who make the backroom deals if they become involved with one of those entities themselves.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So what’s your point?
    My original point was you can’t tell the difference between a viable solution and a stupid one.
    So is transferring charter-protected funding or Recreation and Parks, and Libraries to the General Fund, but the CAO, Mayor, and City Council are planning on doing it anyway
    And so is murder, kidnapping, and prostitution. What’s YOUR point?

  37. LA Moderator says:

    Chris, what do you bet that some of those bad-advicers were amongst those who didn’t stick around for Tony’s Term Two…
    They were probably only slumming in L.A. until they could join him in Sacramento.
    That shows how smart THEY were….

  38. Anonymous says:


    By Constant Adaptation on February 26, 2010 11:00 AM
    They should let people resign by offering years-of-service bounce (no money) before starting lay offs. An employee who is close to retirement may take the years-of-service bonus and resign and wait until he/she reaches the retirement age in the future.

    Why would an employee do this? I find it difficult to envision anyone in a situation where this would work. There are very few employees who have 30 years but are younger than 55. There would be no benefit for someone like this to resign and then wait for a few years for retirement age to kick in. What will they be living on during this time? If they will be working anyway, why not stay in the job you already have?

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