The Pension Haves and the Have-Nots
By George Skelton, LA Times
Except for the super-rich, our financial well-being has become
chillingly shaky in the global economy and downright scary during the
There’s cheap labor overseas and job-killing technology at home.
Private-sector workers have been taking it on the chin for a decade or
more: Future pensions frozen for current employees and eliminated for
new hires; retirees at the mercy of risky 401(k) plans and Wall Street.
Plus layoffs and elimination of retiree health benefits.
Now it’s the public sector’s turn to suffer, in the eyes of many in
private enterprise. It’s sort of an American civil war between
government and non-government families.
Krekorian Seeks Input on Neighborhood Empowerment
A survey on how to improve Los Angeles’ policies toward neighborhood
councils was posted online today by Los Angeles City Councilman Paul
The survey focuses mainly on the finances, training and responsibilities of neighborhood councils.
“This survey is another vehicle through which the community can help
shape local empowerment,” said Krekorian, who chairs the Education and
Neighborhoods Committee. “The feedback we get from this survey will form
the foundation of how we will improve local democracy and the
Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.”
The survey is available on the councilman’s blog, which can be found here. It will be up until March 22.
Hidden Fat to Pay for Libraries: 477 Mayor, Council Staffers
By Patrick Range McDonald and Mars Meinicoff, LA Weekly
Meanwhile, the city’s Quality and Productivity Commission hasn’t
produced a report in years on how to make City Hall more efficient. But
the commission is busy. Its real job? Producing an annual QP Awards, broadcast on City Hall’s public-access TV channel to give awards to city workers.
The libraries could be made whole via Measure L without public-safety
money, but Villaraigosa and the City Council have never attempted such a
discussion. The council members, who at $178,789 each are the highest
paid in the U.S., earning more than members of Congress, don’t even know
the cost of their staffs.
Controversy Follows Union-backed Candidate Challenging Councilman Parks
By Beth Barrett, LA Weekly
Hogan-Rowles’ public track record is fraught with controversy.
She was quietly forced from her appointment to the DWP Retirement Board
in 2009 by the mayor’s office after the poverty program she runs
solicited and received $12,800 in donations from money managers who were
doing, or seeking to do, business with DWP.
L.A. Weekly learned of the incident from former DWP chief David Freeman
as it conducted interviews about Hogan-Rowles’ five votes in favor of
DWP rate hikes when she sat on the utility’s other board, the DWP Commission.
According to Freeman, who at the time was Villaraigosa’s deputy mayor
for energy and the environment, “She solicited or obtained
contributions from people doing business with the Retirement Board, and
we didn’t like the smell of it.” He adds: “She resigned from the
Retirement Board at the request of the mayor’s office.”
Hogan-Rowles eventually also left her corollary post as a DWP commissioner — having missed 47 of the commission’s 142 meetings.
She left a wake of criticism behind her.