Comment on this post

A Dose of Reality: They’re Robbing You Blind

Do you get it yet? Or are you too numb and defeated to react to anything except the latest ball score or smutty sitcom?

You are being robbed blind in broad daylight by people who would steal the last morsel off your table without a qualm, people you elected to serve you who are so venal they have no qualms or are so weak and stupid they convince themselves you are willingly sharing a feast.

Watch CBS2 David Goldstein’s shocking report showing six-figure DWP workers going to strip clubs, drinking on the job, driving giant trucks while drinking beers wrapped in paper towels. Do you think those are isolated scenes of the few miscreants or a window into widespread abuses by a workforce that has total immunity from discipline as long as they don’t cross their union?

See the mayor’s “boys will be boys” smirk as he promises to investigate as if it’s a teenage son and his buddies getting in trouble for stealing booze from the liquor cabinet and making fools of themselves.

Is it any wonder that Austin Beutner — Jobs Czar, First Deputy Mayor and Interim DWP General Manager — is turning the DWP Headquarters into a fortress to keep the public from seeing how little is really going on inside a rogue agency that claims it’s losing money even as it jacks up rates, gives out big pay raises and has been hiring nearly 100 extra workers a month for the last two years?

That’s right when everybody else is losing their jobs and getting no raises or pay cuts, the DWP is hiring madly, giving 6 percent raises followed by five years of raises of up to 4 percent and wanting 20 to 30 percent rate hikes. Does anybody know what the 1,400 extra bodies at the DWP are doing for the public benefit?

What passes for Beutner’s and the mayor’s economic development and green energy policies is becoming clearer by the day — China gets the jobs and our green and we get the bills.

They are trampling on DWP bidding procedures in a mad rush to buy solar panels made in China and cutting deals with an “upstart Chinese electric car company — best known for making cellphone batteries” — to buy their vehicles with city money, reduce port fees and provide $1 million in subsidies to create 150 jobs in LA and thousands in China.

“Villaraigosa is basically bribing a Chinese car company to come to Los
Angeles — and he’s using your money to do it…It illustrates that L.A. is such a
hostile place for businesses that the only way they’ll move employees
here is if City Hall gives them taxpayers’ money,” Walter Moore writes.

“Do you understand, now, why Villaraigosa wants so desperately to raise
your DWP rates?  It has nothing to do with ‘green power’ — unless by
‘green’ you mean ‘money,’ and by ‘power’ you mean ‘political power.’

Day after day, City Council members, as they have for a year, go through every department eliminating services that make life better for the people of the city and create healthier neighborhoods even as they look for ways to squeeze more money out of you every which  way they can.

All this is done in the name of cost-cutting when in reality it is service cutting, and revenue generating.

A quarter of the city’s working population is unemployed or under-employed and nearly everyone’s income and wealth have decreased but the budget for next year with its $484 million deficit, papered down to $80 million, takes an optimistic view that recovery is just around the corner.

Their fantasy is your nightmare. But keep pretending it’s all just a terrible dream and the morning will be bright and filled with optimism when you wake up.

It is business as usual at City Hall. Nothing has changed or will change until you open your eyes and see the truth of what is happening.

This isn’t a make-believe movie, it’s real and it’s your life and your city.


This entry was posted in City Hall, DWP, Hot Topics, Los Angeles and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to A Dose of Reality: They’re Robbing You Blind

  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought there is an Ethics Commission and a City Attorney (guess he is busy with marijuana shops) to investigate these shady deals. Well, why rock the boat.

  2. Anonymous says:

    HOW MANY DWP EMPLOYEES DOES IT TAKE TO PPUT IN A LIGHT BULB? Five………one to hand over the light bulb…….one to get the beer……..and the rest to grab the beach chairs and watch.

  3. David T. Vahedi says:

    Ron,
    Did you notice the bravado and hubris of each of the workers confronted.
    They acted like how dare anyone actually question them about anything. Maybe controlling the city through IBEW has finally gone to their head. lol
    Have a great weekend my warrior!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This problem is far beyond the DWP.
    Go to the liquor stores in Watts, especially Central Ave, Compton Ave and Wilmington Ave.
    You will see all types of city vehicles stopped there everyday. City employees coming out with alcohol.
    Many already too drunk to drive.
    Nuch needs to get on this before he has more DUI accident cases to defend the city on.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What has Beutner offered to Villaraigosa? It does not make sense for this narcissist to surrender his power to a novice. I guess time will tell.

  6. Is it permissible for DWP to use Rate Payer money to finance non utility investments?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The city is overstaffed and underworked with overpaid employees. Blame the politicians who allow this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    WTF???? Did you read Wendy Greusome’s dumb ass idea on how to balance budget? Don’t because pretends to lay out 4 steps and doesn’t say anything. DWP is the protected dept. Cops are walking on egg shells hoping nothing bad happens at tomorrow’s bullshit march for illegals. Yet, where the hell are the Politicians for the LEGAL residents fighting for us? All their energy is on the wrong issue right now. Our city is going under and instead of dealing with the budget they are all over the media talking about boycotting Arizona. The only voice of reason surprisingly is Jerry Brown who is saying Boycotting isn’t the answer and he’s right.

  9. Walter Moore says:

    Who knew? “DWP” stands for “Drunks Watching Pole-dancers!”

  10. anonymous says:

    Did you know this?:
    Beutner later became a founding partner of Evercore Partners with former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Altman. Beutner helped build Evercore into a major financial services firm that assisted General Motors in its bankruptcy, and AT&T on consolidation in the telecommunications industry, according to the Mayor’s Office.
    http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_14916571
    If confirmed today, Beutner will succeed S. David Freeman, who served for six months as interim chief after General Manager David Nahai left to join the Clinton Climate Initiative.
    Jack Humphreville of the Neighborhood Coalition, said he believes Beutner should focus on finding a permanent general manager and sorting out contracts involving the DWP.
    “Step back and see what the hell is going on with both labor and purchasing,” Humphreville said.
    rick.orlov@dailynews.com
    City News Service contributed to this article.
    Print Email Font ResizeReturn to Top
    Local businesses related to this subject view all
    La.com
    Los Angeles City Guide | Los Angeles CA 90001
    Mr V’s
    Hair & Nail Salon | Los Angeles CA 90066
    Carpet Cleaning | Home Pride Chem-Dry | Rug Cleaning
    Ca, Carpet, Steam, Rug, C | Los Angeles CA 90012
    advertise your business here
    SHARE YOUR COMMENTS GOT A QUESTION? Type in your comments to post to the forum
    Name
    (appears on your post) You are currently logged in as . Not ?
    Name
    (appears on your post)
    Comments
    4000 characters left
    Type the numbers you see in the image on the right:
    Please note by clicking on “Post Comment” you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.
    SHARE YOUR COMMENTS GOT A QUESTION? Read questions about this story >>
    Ask your own question >>
    Have a question about something in this story? Ask it here and get answers from other users like you.
    ——————————————————————————–

  11. Cyndi says:

    Did you know this?:
    Beutner later became a founding partner of Evercore Partners with former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Altman. Beutner helped build Evercore into a major financial services firm that assisted General Motors in its bankruptcy, and AT&T on consolidation in the telecommunications industry, according to the Mayor’s Office.
    http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_14916571
    If confirmed today, Beutner will succeed S. David Freeman, who served for six months as interim chief after General Manager David Nahai left to join the Clinton Climate Initiative.
    Jack Humphreville of the Neighborhood Coalition, said he believes Beutner should focus on finding a permanent general manager and sorting out contracts involving the DWP.
    “Step back and see what the hell is going on with both labor and purchasing,” Humphreville said.
    rick.orlov@dailynews.com
    City News Service contributed to this article.
    Print Email Font ResizeReturn to Top
    Local businesses related to this subject view all
    La.com
    Los Angeles City Guide | Los Angeles CA 90001
    Mr V’s
    Hair & Nail Salon | Los Angeles CA 90066
    Carpet Cleaning | Home Pride Chem-Dry | Rug Cleaning
    Ca, Carpet, Steam, Rug, C | Los Angeles CA 90012
    advertise your business here
    SHARE YOUR COMMENTS GOT A QUESTION? Type in your comments to post to the forum
    Name
    (appears on your post) You are currently logged in as . Not ?
    Name
    (appears on your post)
    Comments
    4000 characters left
    Type the numbers you see in the image on the right:
    Please note by clicking on “Post Comment” you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.
    SHARE YOUR COMMENTS GOT A QUESTION? Read questions about this story >>
    Ask your own question >>
    Have a question about something in this story? Ask it here and get answers from other users like you.
    ——————————————————————————–

  12. Anonymous says:

    The Arizona legislation was a miracle for Antonio. He can get away from the task at hand to deal with the City financial crisis and go around giving B.S. speeches. He is good at that.
    Anyone wants to bet he will be in Arizona very soon?

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Arizona legislation was a miracle for Antonio. He can get away from the task at hand to deal with the City financial crisis and go around giving B.S. speeches. He is good at that.
    Anyone wants to bet he will be in Arizona very soon?

  14. Anonymous says:

    The Arizona legislation was a miracle for Antonio. He can get away from the task at hand to deal with the City financial crisis and go around giving B.S. speeches. He is good at that.
    Anyone wants to bet he will be in Arizona very soon?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if Beutner has been confirmed yet by council? IF he hasn’t then everyone on LANC, all the Alliance and Coalitions of NC’s and stakeholders all need to be in city council speaking out AGAINST HIS APPOINTMENT AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST. We need to say he has to RESIGN FROM DEPUTY MAYOR as a conflict of interest. He can’t be both cause perception is everything and the mere fact it looks bad can’t be ignored. The dumb media missing key points on Beutner and his ties to Wall Street

  16. Citydweller says:

    To the anonymous poster who claims that you can go to Compton and see city vehicles everyday … thanks for posting that, but have you ever taken the numbers of those vehicles down and called anyone about it? And been willing to testify if the employee files an appeal for the discipline? Because if you haven’t done both of those, you’re contributing to the problem. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve fired from city service — dozens, at least, and I wasn’t the only one doing it. Yeah, it’s not easy, but it *is* possible, but only if we have cooperation from the witnesses, and if we’re told about the problem to begin with. Pick up a pen and write down those numbers, then call a Council office to complain, call Public Works (if they’re public works employees), DOT, whoever. Don’t just shake your head. We WANT to get rid of these creeps that cost money and make us all look bad. Help us to do it!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Shocking and Upsetting to know that city council staffers they say because of budget get to leave early on Friday driving a city car. Why do city council staffers get to drive cars with gas paid for by us?? How much of the budget does this cost? INstead of Wendy being a kiss ass to the Mayor and finding out about Arizona business she should be working on the budget and going after the $100 million in deliquent taxes that haven’t been paid.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Citydweller, you want private citizens to spend their time sending you information and testifying against employees. Are there not any internal controls to manage employee time and work product.

  19. anonymous says:

    Anonymous on April 30, 2010 4:54 PM
    ” Are there not any internal controls to manage employee time and work product.”
    Those controls have become protective cushions imbedded in union contracts. Supervisors will not report employees, unless the employee is someone who cares and isn’t playing the “good ol’ boys” game. Management cannot hopscotch over any of those layers/levels of “accontability.”
    In addition, investigations into improprieties is also a joke given jurisdictions. A deputy city attorney covers one area, police another and the controller, yet another. Try getting them to connect the dots. It’s almost impossible.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Villar and Clowncil…How dare you spend time on Arizona while Rome is burning!

  21. Anonymous says:

    4:54 and 5:22, the unions do offer a bureacratic layer of protection but employees can be fired if evidence is available. I’m sure Citydweller knows this, which is why he recommends taking pictures and reporting them. It’s the easiest way to gather evidence.
    IBEW workers have been fired before, but a case has to be in place with evidence to prevent a grievance from being filed. Hence the internal investigation and believe me, until the investigation is complete, these guys’ next couple months at work will be a nightmare. I’ve heard stories about some of these employee investigations and they include being tailed all the home by security in unmarked vehicles. These idiots messed up big time and will get fired.
    And in case people are wondering, linemen are the guys who are 50 feet in the air working on power lines with voltages so high they can jump through the air and kill them. These guys have to be either stupid or suicidal to be drunk on the job.

  22. Anonymous says:

    City Dweller, I am 9:50 who has seen it in Watts. I have called DWP, Bureau of Public Works for those issues and even DOT for seriously erractic Parking Enforcement drivers.
    Not only have I tried to get through supervisor levels, I have tried to call GM offices. Nobody follows up.
    I would have been more than willing to testify if somebody would take and return the calls.
    Finally discarded the info after a number of months.

  23. Anonymous says:

    As said earlier, it is a management problem, and the city is notorious for having the most incompetent managers accountable to noone. Rules are imposed erratically to punish employees they don’t like and reward/ignore the ones they do. Unions are needed as long as we have unfair managers.

  24. CityTaxpayer says:

    For goodness sakes, don’t do anything about the DWP workers drinking on the job until I get chance to get down there and get my car in front of that honking great truck and slam on my brakes, get rear ended and then I can sue the DWP for millions after I’m injured by a DWP driver that’s drinking and driving – Yahooo, America is so great, the sidewalks (and pavements) are lined with free gold, it’s there just for the taking and it comes right out of the taxpayers pocket because the city is self insured.
    Maybe that’s enough reason for observers to take pictures with their cellphones and instead of calling DWP maybe they should try calling LAPD first.

  25. Citydweller says:

    Thanks to the anonymous writer who supported me. To the person who said you tried calling, the response to your calls really puzzles me, because when I used to get tips from the public all the time (I’m in a different position now). I personally have fired a good 20 employees for crap like that shown in the video, and some of those were originated by anonymous tips, sometimes from other employees, sometimes from the public. The supervisors I worked with were, for the most part, very conscientious (I can think of only one who didn’t want to get rid of the crappy “workers” and he was crooked enough that he eventually was fired himself).
    As a supervisor, you have to work really hard, address problems as they happen, document everything, and be patient, but yes, it is possible to fire people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>