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Antonio’s Exit Strategy: Countdown to Midnight June 30, 2013

With one foot in a cast and the other in the political
grave, Antonio Villaraigosa hobbled into the lion’s den of San Fernando Valley
unrest Monday night and offered a little song, a little dance and a lot of
seltzer down everybody’s pants.

Mostly, he seemed preoccupied by the merciful end to his
reign and his pain at 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2013 – a fact he kept bringing up
during an hour-long performance before a crowd of 200 Valleyites who attended
the Daily News Town Hall with the mayor at Reseda High School, an event that is
part of the newspaper’s celebration of its 100th anniversary year as
the “Voice of the Valley.”

Editorial Page Editor Mariel Garza did her best to push
Antonio on the critical issues facing the city, its residents and businesses:
City Hall’s overspending and under achieving.

What she got was the well-worn narrative that everyone in
City Hall is using to conceal their failure:

We are victims of circumstances largely beyond our
control, the economic meltdown.  We are
in the same boat as every other big city in America and done a better job than
any of them in dealing with our budget problem. We have dealt with $1.5 billion
deficits in the last three years and made enormous progress by eliminating
4,600 jobs out of the 14,000 civilians paid from the general fund. We have gotten
concessions from city unions to increase their contributions from 7 to 11
percent for pensions and health care.

You have heard it all before, if you’re listening at all,
to the City Council and the bureaucracy’s financial managers.

The narrative is partially true and largely lies.

When you give sweetheart contracts to city unions over
two and three decades providing wages, pensions and health care with costs that
exceed your revenue even in good times, you are not managing the public’s money

When only 400 of the jobs eliminated were done by layoffs
and most of those part-timers and the rest are achieved by a sweetened early
retirement package and transfer to the DWP payroll at higher salaries, you are
not managing the public’s money prudently.

When you bludgeon the remaining civilian workers into
paying something for health care for the first time by promising to cover all
the future soaring costs of health care until the day they die, you are not
managing the public’s money prudently.

When you boast about adding 800 officers to the LAPD like
you promised when you tripled the trash fee and don’t mention you’ve taken that
same number of cops off the streets because you can’t afford to pay them
overtime or have them doing civilian desk jobs and civilian jailers jobs, you
are not telling the truth about where all those millions went and about what
was really achieved.

But who cares? You’ll be gone at the stroke of midnight
June 30, 2013.

Dakota Smith, the Curbed LA blogger turned legit reporter
for the Daily News, saw through the mayor’s presentation and ignored it,
preferring to focus on the audience’s concerns.


about a possible sewer tax. Concerns about budget cuts at a Porter Ranch fire
house. Frustration at a lack of adequate mass transit.

concerns aired at a Daily News-sponsored town hall with Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa in Reseda on Monday night reflected the worries of residents
living in a cash-strapped city

to the 200 people who attended, Villaraigosa offered little solace, repeating
over and over: The city is broke.

a finite pool of money here,” Villaraigosa told the crowd. “Everyone has
to shoulder the burden.”

This entry was posted in City Hall, Community Activists, Hot Topics, Los Angeles, The Valley and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Antonio’s Exit Strategy: Countdown to Midnight June 30, 2013

  1. Anonymous says:

    One thing we can do is nevere,never, never vote for an encumbent or reassignment to another
    to another seat in our city’s government. A GANG
    has taken over our lives and we don’t have to put up with it anymore. This means Greuel, Beutner, any council member includiing Zine.
    They have consistently proven they do not care
    about us, or our city. If any of them owe you money, collect it before they leave town. Integrity is an unknown to ALL of them. BTW,I
    really believe they really believe that they are clever.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is how riducolus and out of control City Hall has gotten. Do they really need to invent another position to collect money owed? What is Wendy’s job as Controller and what is the Office of Finance for? These looney council members are the Dumbest in the Nation.
    The Los Angeles City Council is scheduled today to consider creating an inspector general’s position in an attempt to help fix the city’s poorly performing billing and collections processes

  3. Anonymous says:

    I bet it will get worse. Im not the only one getting out of Dodge.
    Bye-bye suckers. Enjoy two more years of Villar. See Walter Moore was not good enough for you. You got what you richly deserve. And I’m sure you will elect somebody as good as Villar or a crook developer like Caruso.

  4. John Porter says:

    I can’t beleive the Daily News let go a genius like Ron Kaye, and yet they keep a hack like Rick Orlov.
    You can’t trust anything you read in the Daily News anymore. They continuously report stories that turn out to be false.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Amazing that this man, “we clean your toilets” kind of guy just never got that he works for us. They all have forgotten. They all sleep with one another and all the union hacks that have gotten deals of a lifetime. Yes, Ron or Walter would have been good for us but the gang and or their members continue to get elected and shuffled around. I don’t believe the people can do anything about if they care to watch American Idol more. I want out but have a job and mortgage that I can’t throw the towel in and loose good benefits and anything off my house right now. I’m stuck and sick.

  6. Anonymous says:

    While North American culture professes to value honesty and integrity, we too often accept, condone and even reward those who are adept at putting the blame on others, side stepping accountability and rationalizing excuses that tell us what we want to hear.
    How many politicians and public figures have wormed their way out of sticky situations by insisting they knew nothing about the incident in question, that the public or media has misinterpreted their now broken promises, or that someone else (e.g., an underling) was actually responsible. How many TV shows and movies glamorize those who get away with immoral or questionable deeds, especially if it serves a “worthy” cause? How often do those in authority flout the policies or mandate of their office, while those they serve look the other way because they might benefit, or don’t want to get involved, or just lack the spirit to pursue the issue?
    In truth, western culture seems to believe that a noble end justifies an otherwise crooked means, and that those who are clever enough to get away with misdeeds have earned their freedom — particularly if the person is attractive, charming, witty and/or has the support of powerful people. As long as we are not adversely affected, then transgressions become acceptable or non existent. When we exist within a system that devalues honesty, integrity and responsibility, its constituents can wind up adopting that same disregard, be it passively or actively.

  7. Anonymous says:

    King Arthur: A knight is sworn to valor.
    Bowen: A knight is sworn to valor.
    King Arthur: His heart knows only virtue.
    Bowen: His heart knows only virtue.
    King Arthur: His blade defends the helpless.
    Bowen: His blade defends the helpless.
    King Arthur: His might upholds the weak.
    Bowen: His might upholds the weak.
    King Arthur: His word speaks only truth.
    Bowen: His word speaks only truth.
    King Arthur: His wrath undoes the wicked.
    Bowen: His wrath undoes the wicked!
    —Dragonheart 1996

  8. The City is broke, but much more so that people realize. While The Mayor Who Broke LA claims to have a balanced budget, that is hardly the case. No money has been set aside to fix our infrastructure: our lunar cratered streets, sidewalks, street lights, parks, buildings, sewers, storm water system, computer systems, etc. It’s real ugly.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If this doesn’t show the entire City why we have the biggest LOSERS as Council members and why they have RUINED Los Angeles as a once great city then you’re out of touch. Zine had the audacity to say this yesterday “Councilman Dennis Zine, who chairs the committee, said he was not convinced the Gold Card program should be abandoned.” These council morons are incompetent to an extreme. They passed a motion to hire ANOTHER person to do their damn job and collect money. Can they really really be this STUPID and inept??? YES!!!!! THey are nothing more then idiots in suits and that includes the women. We have NO leaders in our City. WE have no one with GUTS to LEAD this City. And these clowns think they should be voted to higher office. That’s the biggest laugh of all.

  10. J. B. Mayer says:

    I too am fed up with the lies, deceit and B.S. from the mayor and all of the other lifers at city hall. No one, yes no one ever tells the truth about why we are where we are…except for Ron Kaye.
    Thank You Ron for being our conscience and only true reporter of the FACTS. The rest is like I said before lies (with a smile) and B.S.
    The mayor tells the same lies with a smile and no one calls him on it and he dances away and around every issue that requires substance. Villaraigosa and the narcissists like him (are you listening El Presidente?) are killing us with smiles…and taxes, fees and assessments. Call them what you will, but they are a general degradation of the quality of life in Los Angeles into what has become a third-world culture and lifestyle.
    Shame on us all.
    Here this Los Angeles…If we don’t do something proactively now and continuing on to 2013, we are doomed to more of the same from the Wendy (I need to be auditor to step up to run for mayor in 2013) Gruels.
    Ms. Gruel and her ilk are the inmates running the asylum…Let’s wake up before it’s too late.

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