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Eric Garcetti’s One and Only Chance — His Moment of Truth

Back when it could have mattered, when a single decision that put the future of the city at risk was being made, Antonio Villaraigosa showed he lacked the courage to lead, his predecessor James Hahn already had shows he was incapable leadership and Councilman Eric Garcetti showed he was lost in a mind fog that haunts him today and threatens his ability to lead the city now that he is mayor.

It was August 2005 and on the table was a contract for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, who under boss Brian D’Arcy held the power of political life and death for every politician at City Hall thanks to the generous payroll deductions of the city’s highest paid workers that he used to make and break politicians.

It was a unique contract even by city annals, granting utility workers a guaranteed 3.25 percent raise every year for five years with an inflation escalator that could raise it to 6 percent — a guarantee of 16.8 percent with a lot more possible depending on inflation, as Beth Barrett reported in the Daily News:

“Faced with more than 200 DWP workers wearing T-shirts threatening a strike, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a controversial five-year contract that gives some of the city’s already highest-paid workers raises of up to 28 percent.

“The contract – approved 10-3 by the council – had been hotly debated for nearly two months, coming amid water-rate hikes, questions about union-wage parity, concerns about the city’s labor negotiating process and threats of a strike by Department of Water and Power workers. ”

The contract was negotiated under Jimmy Hahn’s aegis but he insisted to the compliant  LA Times that they correct any reference to it being his responsibility, claiming he voted against it as chair of the negotiating panel although he never used his bully pulpit to stop it.

And so it was left to Villaraigosa to decide what to do.

He knew it was a terrible deal for ratepayers, the DWP and the city and told me so at the time.

But what’s a boy who was once so poor to do when his dreams have come true and he’s just become the mayor of America’s second largest city, will soon be living in a mansion with drivers, bodyguards, cooks, cleaners, servants, hundreds of staffers at his beck and call and have the opportunity to drink $1,000 bottles of wine, sit in the best seats at exciting sports and entertainment events for free, hobnob with the rich and famous and make whoopee with so many beautiful woman.

He signed off on the deal — and why not?

D’Arcy and the IBEW had funded his tough campaign to oust Hahn after one term? Who could take seriously the warnings of all the other city unions about the DWP wage premium or worry that the next recession might be the worst in 75 years?

Tony Cardenas, now a Member of Congress, called the deal “viable and fair” and guided it through the Council with the support of Alex Padilla, now a state senator and wannabe Secretary of State of California, and Wendy Greuel, who went to on to become City Controller and candidate for mayor, only to be defeated in no small part by the lavish spending of D’Arcy and the IBEW on her behalf.

Only one of the three Council voters against the contract is still around, Bernard Parks, and only two of those who voted for it, the irrelevant Tom LaBonge who has lived off the DWP his whole career, and Eric Garcetti, who has danced around the power of the IBEW for years only to find D’Arcy preferred the candidate who was “easiest to manipulate” over himself, the candidate who was “easiest to intimidate,” in this year’s mayoral election.

That is what sets the stage for the showdown over the current proposal for a new four-year contract with the IBEW that the City Council took public Friday.

Council President Herb Wesson paraded out six Council members who represent the Valley as if they give a damn about their community to sanctify the deal and conceal everything wrong with it.

No one is foolish enough to say it’s a bad deal, though only fools or people promised favors would call it “great,” people like VICA, the Valley business group.

In proof of its weakened position, the IBEW was offering to defer the 2 percent raise due in October for four years and to take no raises in the intervening years.  The union agreed to screw future employees with a retirement and pension package and wage structures that are more in line with what other city workers get — a deal that leaves literally hundreds of other issues unresolved.

It’s a “start,” everyone who lives off the system agreed, but it’s too late to start all over again.

It has taken decades to create these problems and the clock is ticking. We fix it now or at the least come a lot closer to what is desperately needs or the city where everyone lives on the edge is hanging over the precipice.

Eric Garcetti knows that. He has shaken up the lapdog DWP Commission by replacing four members who represented such special interests such as USC and the environmental green-washers with people who hopefully have a broader sense of public service than serving than people who sign their handsome paychecks.

He knows this is far from the deal the city needs just as Villaraigosa did back in 2005 when SEIU leader Julie Butcher publicly declared:

“During 2004 contract negotiations, city management told [us] there was no money in the budget for raises, and [we] took them at their word . . .

“What should I say to a mechanic who fixes police cars for a living when he makes 20 percent less than a mechanic who works across the street?” I don’t see how I can ever take the city at its word again.”

She didn’t, and is now managing SEIU affairs in Riverside County where a union official who understands our futures are all bound together cannot interfere with the feeding frenzy going on in LA.

Understand her union like others representing civilian workers had given up raises in the because of the continuing fiscal crisis while DWP workers got a 5 percent increase.

“They make choices,,” the bully D’Arcy declared in response back then. “If I brought my members zero, I would be hanging from that rafter over there.”

One can only hope there are rafters high enough and a rope short enough.

Then-Controller Laura Chick captured the popular sentiment at the time, saying: “Too often, the city of Los Angeles has been stuck in a time warp, making decisions in the same way over and over again, without stepping back and asking is this the best way to do this.”

Clearly, the outrageous DWP wage premium went back a long way.

Just since fiscal 1999, DWP workers had gotten 30 percent in salary hikes and civilian workers 25 percent – while the regional consumer price index had risen about 19 percent. It is now documented that the DWP wage premium is 30 and 40 percent higher than workers doing the same job for the city in other departments and close to that for many categories of workers doing the same jobs for other utilities in the region

On Monday night, three days after Wesson’s propaganda event in support of this puny deal, just 75 or so Neighborhood Council activists bothered to show up at City Hall to meet with the bureaucratic architects of the deal at City Hall, Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller and DWP CEO Ron Nichols.

The activists were not in a fighting mood, just asking questions and grumbling.

Despite being on duty as a Naval intelligence officer, Garcetti showed up for a cameo appearance, offered mild words of encouragement and unveiled a petition drive he started called Fix DWP.

“I don’t want to say, two years from now, that we rushed through this,” Garcetti said, suggesting Miller’s analysis that totally obscured key issues was “incomplete.”

“It did not include the importance of the issues that I laid out on work rules, it didn’t do the nuances on the fourth-year raise.”

Dakota Smith at the Daily News talked to Jeff Bruce of the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council who likened the event to showing off an “open sewer.”

“The problem is that it is still an open sewer,” Bruce said.

Exactly. The stench fills the nostrils of every sentient person in the city.

Garcetti for all his ambition to attain higher officer should understand that, should understand that this is his make or break crisis: Four years from now he will be judged on whether he did the right thing now or his political ambitions will be crushed as certainly as Villaraigosa’s were when he could barely avoid a runoff in 2009 against Walter Moore and Zuma Dogg.

D’Arcy is probably correct that LA has neither the stomach nor the attention span to see this through.

There is a golden moment here for Garcetti.  Will he will catch it?

It would be tragic for the future of the city if he stops short of getting real change and then faces an alienated and empowered IBEW and its supporters.

He really has one shot, one chance to get it right. He needs to find the guts and to understand that real reform requires confronting the real problem headon and exciting the public to back him.

Dick Riordan failed because he loved the people but didn’t respect them; Hahn failed because it took too much work and imagination to transcend the shadow of his father Kenny Hahn’s outdated “pothole politics,” and Villaraigosa failed because fine wine and fine women meant more to him than fulfilling the hopes and dreams of those who believed and trusted him.

Who Eric Garcetti is will soon be clear.

But he needs to know that if he gives in here, nothing he does for the next four or eight years or for the rest of his life will be anything but ego-satisfying without consequence to the values he says he holds sacred.

But he if finds the strength and courage to win this fight, he gets to tackle the next big issue and the one after that and to build momentum with a growing army of ordinary people from all walks of life and backgrounds who only want a better life for the themselves and their families and neighbors and the city as a whole.

With a chance of greatness, with the opportunity to help LA finally find its soul that brings everyone together, it is unthinkable that Eric Garcetti would make the wrong choice — unthinkable but not impossible.

This entry was posted in 2013 LA Elections, City Hall, Community Activists, DWP, Hot Topics, Los Angeles, The Valley and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Eric Garcetti’s One and Only Chance — His Moment of Truth

  1. Rafael says:

    Ron-
    I can only hope that Eric reads your blog.
    This posting puts together the history of Mayoral incompetence, especially that of the turd of human existence – Tony Villar. The hole we are in was dug by that asshole.

    Eric needs to grow a backbone, grow some balls, grow a vocabulary for dealing with Boss Tweed over at the DWP. Our City has fallen into terrible corruption. We now have elected officials who openly and knowingly violate the laws because no one will prosecute them. Giving in to the intimidation of DWP thugs would crush the people of Los Angeles with horrible rates and unjustified costs.

    It is time for a revolution at City Hall. Either Eric uses his bully pulpit to get the Neighborhood Council and other community organizations behind him, or he bungles it. It is time for Eric to show us that he is made of something other than manby-panby double-talk that everyone sees through when Eric tries to use that instead of action to demonstrate real leadership.

    Darcy is a bully and bullies self-destruct if you push the right buttons and hold them accountable.

  2. ex valley says:

    Ron, just a few points.
    Riordan may loved *some* special people but when he was vacationing on the south of France biking there while LA manufacturing base was disappearing and thousands of people were losing good paying jobs in aerospace consolidation, it’d be hard to see that love. About Villar – sorry but he is not going away. You are probably embarrassed and would want him to go away but as his latest appointment as a Harvard visiting fellow shows the ruling party thinks he is a viable candidate to replace Feinstein or boxer.
    You all had an excellent chance in 2009 to send this turd packing but you were too uppity to unite behind one candidate.
    So you will need to live with senator Villar.

  3. teddy says:

    Ron, you have summarized what has happened to L.A. . We are no longer a viable city and we have joined the likes of Chicago when the Kellys and Kenelleys took change, no longer essential .

  4. david r2b says:

    In August 2005, the Thursday before the Tuesday that the Council approved the DWP contract a strange event occurred: “the Westside Power Outage”. That was just such a coincidence. Can you imagine? As I remember the Council had been discussing the fact that “maybe” we’re being too generous to the DWP, and WHAM!!! Power Outage on the Westside. Contract Approved!

    As far as a strike is concerned: maybe we should let one occur. DWP management is given the authority to work around a strike by hiring third party sources in order to continue services, etc. If the Los Angeles Public were to become really vigilant, patient, practical, caring and with a little luck from Nature, we (Los Angeles) might find we’re getting better, less-expensive Water & Power services.

    Sorry Wesson oil, Kirkorian, Cedillio and Koretz, you might be afraid of your political careers, but I’m not.

    Go ahead Mr. Mayor, don’t hesitate. First, please publish those 616 DWP procedures for overtime that the new Controller found and mentioned. You know the ones the Wendy never found.

  5. Ron, you have stated things perfectly, and David r2b, your observations are spot on. The current state of affairs with DWP didn’t occur in one or two years, but rather, took a couple of decades. We should absolutely not be afraid of going to impasse, even more than once, or taking a strike, preparing to counter with alternate sources for service and/or a substitute workforce. The valley councilmembers at Friday’s dog and pony show made completely shameful spectacles of themselves.

  6. Wayne from Encino says Tim Conway Jr.'s DWP quote a classic says:

    “With the DWP contract set to SAVE ratepayers several million dollars over 5 years, with 5 million ratepayers—it works out to just short of ONE DOLLAR SAVINGS PER RATE PAYER!!!! See—Even the guys who play fools on the radio are SHOWING THEY’RE READING THIS BLOG—ALONG WITH GARCETTI AND THE TURNCOAT GENERAL BENEDICT “Kevin James” ARNOLD! The Clowns now want to STEAL 5 BILLION BUCKS FROM US to pave the cracked and destroyed roads—notice the word ROADS vs. SIDWALKS. This will COME UP ON THE NOV 2014 BALLOT—YOU KNOW HOW TO VOTE NO? Of couse so!
    Nancy Reagan got it right—JUST SAY NO!
    MONEY is the Clowncil’s DRUG—GET RID OF THE DRUG and END THE ADDICTION TO OUR $$$!!!!! These Evil and Rotten Payed-Off DIRTBAGS are going to have to own the sidewalks, streets, and the trees that need trimming—otherwise they’ll just have to GIVE THEM FREE AND CLEAR TO THE HOMEOWNERS so THEY CAN CLOSE OFF ALL SIDEWALKS AND MAKE THEM PRIVATE GARDENING SPACES!!! Like Encino—they’ll just be a tiny white stripe in the road—that’s the sidewalk, BABY!!! We’ll all trim the damn trees and TEAR OUT THE CRACKED SIDEWALKS and replace them with new and beautiful FENCED-OFF Sod! The day of Liberty, Justice, and the American Way.

  7. Ricardo says:

    How disappointing that out of 95 Neighborhood Councils only 75 showed up. They represent 4 million people. They have become a bunch of lazy, incompetent wannabe people. The gangster squad of the Valley Alex Padilla, Fuentes, Cardenas etc. showed their true side of corrupt, deceitful politics. Wesson needs to come out of the closet and has Napoleon Syndrome.

  8. Scott Zwartz says:

    Ron,

    You wrote: “Who Eric Garcetti is will soon be clear.”

    If you do not know who Garcetti is by now, you’re never going to know. Garcetti was councilman for CD 13 for 12 years and he so devastated his part of Hollywood, that CD 13 ceased to be a legal council district. Due to a 1925 law which requires the City to have 15 council districts, CD #13 was not dissolved into the surrounding districts, but in stead CD 13 got to steal portions of CD 4 etc. And, now Garcetti’s mindless puppet runs CD 13.

    Garcetti was council president from Jan 1, 2006 through Jan 12, 2012 and during that time, Garcetti had the power to make certain that all the pensions were being properly funded so that the taxpayers would not face a huge liability in the future. Instead, Garcetti underfunded the pensions and gave the money to his corrupt developer cronies.

    Garcetti also knew he would run for mayor and as council president he knew the issues which would arise, e.g. street repairs, unfunded pension liability, the new DWP contracts. Garcetti lay no ground work; he did absolutely nothing to prepare for the issues which everyone knew would face the new mayor. Instead, Garcetti continued to give away tax dollars to be cronies. Garcetti was so corrupt, that when Sacramento abolished the CRA’s, they pointed to Gracetti’s CRA project 1601 N. Vine to explain that the CRA’s were too corrupt to live.

    In 2001, when he was running out of money to lavish on his friends, Garcetti used falsified data to take $200 Million from the paramedics and firefighters and left LA with the most antiquated LAFD 911 system in the nation. The June 2013 Grand Jury told Garetti to restore the budget cut and update the 911 system. He refuses.

    Look at how many millions Garcetti has hidden in cash and assets in the Economic Development Department. You don;’t know because he won’t tell you and you can be certain the Controller, if he knows what’s good for him, will never do an audit.

    So let’s all jump on the Union bashing bandwagon and pretend the DWP is the problem and Garcetti is our Savior.

    • The Q says:

      Scott, I appreciate your many comments here, at the LA Weekly etc, but your constant harping about Garcetti gets tiresome.

      Its like WW2, the DWP is the enemy and Garcetti is Russia. Yes, he carries a lot of baggage, but lets focus on one enemy at a time and the DWP is it as the IBEW has done much more damage to the Whole of the city than Garcetti has done to your one neighborhood.

      Garcetti might be Stalin, but D’Arcy and Co. are the Nazis. Lets beat them first, then start the Cold War, ok?

  9. Anonymous says:

    “So let’s all jump on the Union bashing bandwagon and pretend the DWP is the problem and Garcetti is our Savior”.

    Both the unions and Garcetti need to go. One worse than the other and the ruin of the city.

    • Scott Zwartz says:

      We can live much better without Garcetti, but we cannot live better without Unions.

      When you have crooks in City Hall, they make crooked deals. Without crooks in City Hall, then the union members will be far more likely to realize that they too have a greater stake in the City. Union bashing only turns the citizens and the unions into hostile camps.

      This newest phase city hall corruption began with Riordan in 1993. Thus, we have 20 years of corruption to dig us into this deep hole. Scapegoating Unions will not help us, nor will giving them everything they want. But wait, they are not demanding everything.

      Is their a honest majority in the council? Martinez and then there’s hmmmm there’s ummm, let’s see. Well, Martinez has not proved herself yet so we’ll have to rely on???? hmmmm You’d think that out of 15 councilmembers, there would one who is not a crook.

      The closest is LaBonge who sometimes does listen to constituents so there you have it. Our best bet in Football Tommy.

      • The Q says:

        Scott, I doubt very much that you would have supported Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters UNION right?

        They are a union, but not all unions are the same.

        We need strong private sector unions, not public employee unions which have corrupted LOCAL politics for far too long.

        The problem is that these corrupt public unions are a PR nightmare for private unions who have been getting slammed for decades now.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Most union members/city workers don’t live in the city. LA is a cash cow for them. The city will do just fine without them. Unions have outlived their utility and are no better than thugs out to fleece the residents.

  11. Rick Abrams says:

    The DWP would do better to hire a Billing Psychologist because the prime source of people’s anger at the DWP is their outrageously high bills.

    The billing format is something that a computer would love if programmed to send out bills with least cost but with zero programming about human psychology.

    (1) Although the bills come only once every two months, we are accustomed to monthly billing so our brains see the DWP bills as monthly. Our brains cannot over come the shock of seeing $1,200 to $1,500. If the bills came monthly, we would see numbers more like $600 to $750.

    (2) They bill for water and power together, but water is not power and electricity is not water. Split the power from water and bill monthly. They you’d see something more like $300 and $325.

    (3) Then bill separately for the 10% City Utility tax ($75) with the Sewer Service ($100) and the trash fee ($75) for another bill from THE CITY and not from DWP. So that $250.00, if billed monthly with be about $65.00.

    While the total would be the same, few would complain as the charges would come into our houses in bite size nibbles rather than with a horrendous crash rivaling the size of some mortgages.

    The DWP should have been smarter and changed its billing as far back as 2000, when it was clear that Climate Change and cyber terrorism would increase energy costs. But the same dunderheads who elected Garcetti by squandering millions on Greuel don’t have a clue.

    The morale I draw from the above is that the people at the DWP are not foresighted which makes me worry about how badly they’ve screwed up other stuff. For example, R-1 homes can manufacture enough energy for their own use, while mixed-use projects can never manufacture enough on-site renewable energy. Where has the DWP been encouraging a corrupt city hall to promote R-1 use of solar and discourage the indiscriminate construction of mixed- use projects. Instead, these projects get a rate break to excessively consume water and power, while residents incur a penalty by being shoved into higher Tiers. The purpose of the tiers is to pay for the breaks that the city council insists that the DWP gives to their developer buddies.

    • The Q says:

      Rick, shhhhhh, don’ t give those meatheads at DWP any ideas. The public equating huge non DWP related fee increases with DWP labor contracts has restricted D’Arcy’s greed – finally.

  12. LA Moderator says:

    Ricardo,

    First, keep in mind, that if it weren’t for DONE’s eBlast notifying NC’s about the short notice, not many of us would have known about the hearing. Last week, some of emails going around between LANCC’s Executives, Steering Committee, and certain insiders were proposing many different times, before the NC Budget Advocates’ offered to broaden their timeslot.

    Even if we didn’t have hundreds of NC villagers with pitchforks repeating the same murmurs that were assuredly voiced Friday, the points were made. Even after Garcetti left with his saccharin smile, we had plenty of plaints made face to face with Nichols, Miller, and Santana.

    But to some, that was enough. Pragmatically, the points made about how the swearing off COLA for a few years will postpone Pension dyspepsia. While the NCBA’s and LANCC mini-steerers didn’t quite guzzle the kool-aid, they decided that weak tea was all that we ALL should dare to ask.

    Let me be clear, for those confused by the LANCC eBlast yesterday, stating the night’s Motion. The BUDGET ADVOCATES voted to recommend (I heard it was aimed at ‘The Board’, believing it to only advise full LANCCC) acceptance of the basics from Friday; on the condition that things like Work Rules, imbalances between DWP and other LA City workers, and Romero vs. City of LA be resolved before they slurp down the “Freeze of the COLAs”…

    Suddenly, some of the hard-hitting activists started saying that just saying no was too contrarian, that we had to provide constructive feedback if we were to be taken seriously. Imperfect though it was, Monday’s meeting and Friday’s session were proof that we’ve already been getting more than lip service. Garcetti had even glommed onto to the campaign…as if he has heard us and now is our champion, but @TheCityMaven told me that nothing was changed…at least from what the Council had in front of them Tuesday. Heck, the Key MOU Components allege even lower ‘savings’ than what I saw reported last week!

    http://cao.lacity.org/Reports/Final%20IBEW%20LOA%208-22-13.pdf

    It’s not hard to imagine this being set up months ago…even if it were a Plan B for D’Arcy if the Wendy didn’t win. I’ll bet lamayor.org has had this “Fix DWP!” page in beta with NationBuilder before “We”* elected him to reform the DWP… (*54% of 20% who both voted, AND held their nose for mayor).

    For all the hype about his further efforts, he’s taking credit of what amounts to nothing new. His confab with D’Arcy last night at Edendale Grill (before being broken up by a Times reporter…Zahniser?) was undoubtedly just a toast to us about to be burnt.

    What should have happened was what I told Jeff Bruce Monday night after gabbing with him post meeting at Tommy’s (no wood-paneled station wagons in sight). Whether we think the deal was good enough…or whether NCBA’s and LANCC were asking for too much or too little, our job was to take the back to our stakeholders to get their opinion. Council File: 13-1004 isn’t posting a Council vote yet, but if this hits tomorrow as reported, they’ll be Up7 days from the artificial deadline…instead of the 90 days we insisted we should have.

  13. Wayne from Encino says Garcetti=Garbage says:

    Garcetti in Italian means “Garbage!” Here the FINK goes out to dinner with the principals in the Contract while he moans about “no more BACK ROOM DEALS.” Then the FINK says that the increases will go down about 2%? If you take 2% of a 7% increase, how much is it? HA HA HA—.0014%!!!!!!!!!!! What a DISGRACE, What a bankrupt bunch of FOOLS. Another neighbor (SFV resident 15 years) asked me a favor—IF ANYONE IS LOOKING TO BUY A HOUSE, MINE IS FOR SALE!! Screw this City—SELL SELL SELL!!!

  14. teddy says:

    Thank you and Mayor Eric Garcetti for bringing the DWP and
    D’Arcy under control. Your contribution? Hours and hours
    of your life dedicated to helping L.A. and its citizens.

  15. LA Moderator says:

    Crickets…

    Other than a little CityWatch article by Joseph Mailander and a missive by Paul Hatfield, all I’ve seen is homage to the Mayor.

    All he did is take a bucket of effluent, and wave his wand over it, and said presto!

    But nothing changed, except his mailing list…it still smells the same.

    • LA Moderator says:

      Just saw a commercial for the new One Direction movie…they’re “HELP!”

      This gets people screaming in glee….

      The bizarro world as we know it…

  16. mujhadin says:

    Speaking of Villaraigosa . . . just another jab

  17. mujhadin says:

    This is what I meant to post . . . it shows your favorite mayor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8eFl3eyF-Q

    BTW, Garcetti contributed almost nothing to the new labor contract that was signed, but he beat his chest & waived his sword & thanked the people of LA . . . over 90% of the labor contract was presented by the IBEW.

    Let’s see if Garcetti has the balls to go for the Police & Fire Pensions . . . cops can retire putting in 20 years & get 100% salary… I’m not saying he SHOULD go after them, but wouldn’t that be a consistent move?

    He beat his chest saying active DWP employees should take a pay cut? Right, how about you cut your pay & cut your staff Valley Boy.

    • Rick Abrams says:

      BTW, according to CityWatchLA,m the “Garcetti contract” raises the salaries slightly more than the one it replaces. However, not is not the issue.

      The issue is that Los Angeles has been increasingly mired in vast corruption since Riordan became major in 1993. You cannot have 20 years of looting the city treasury without ending up with a financial shortfall, but this something the Union Bashers didn’t learn. So they promoted Garcetti for mayor. He increases the wages and declares, “I was tough.”

      In Garcetti speak, “I was tough” means “You all are morons.”

      • anonymous says:

        Sweetie-pie,
        LA has been “mired in vast corruption”
        for decades even before Riordan was mayor…
        and will be for decades to come…wise up…
        politicians, unions and organized crime are partners…

  18. teddy says:

    I find the reactions to my thank you note a reminder that there are many who profited from the previous Mayor (Vilar) and therefore are unhappy about the wage cuts. Ask
    my family. They work hard and pay taxes so you all can get rich. Oh well.

  19. Bill Miller says:

    WHO is Eric Garcetti? Whoever he needs to be to get enough votes to get elected. Oh if only everyone was onto him before they voted! People just were not paying attention to all that he has been up to for years. Many of us knew WHO he was for a very long time. And knew he was NO leader. Just a Panderer..Transparent? No. Slippery and elusive? Yes. Forthright? No. Manipulative? Yes. Liar? Yes..A right to your face without flinching kind of liar? Yes.. Accessible? NO..Coward? Yes. If he doesn’t want to DEAL with something he goes into hiding…just try to find him. Answers to you, me, or anyone? No. No Substance ALL SHOW? YES! Good luck.. We’re stuck with this fraud, but I guarantee Villar will look good when this guy is finished. He IS dangerous. His enablers and accomplices have covered for him for years, including the media..he has gotten a free pass. As mayor, he can only hide out for so long. Will he make honorable, noble decisions, and become everyone’s hero? From past experiences with him, he is incapable of making any decisions, unless he is running for election and pandering for votes. Shall we say he is in over his head? Oh boy yeah…And if LA does not get this, finally WHO Eric Garcetti is..then LA is stupid and gets what it deserves.

    • ex valley says:

      But your other choice was gruel.
      See the problem here — you have no choices.
      This is what you get from one party rule.

      • Rick Abrams says:

        It has nothing to do with one party rule. It has to do with dumb voters who loved to be deceived.

        It was simple — dictators, tyrants, and other types of corrupt politicos have been doing it for centuries. Divert the public’s attention on to someone to hate. If you cannot make them hate the Jews and the Mexicans now vote and the Blacks are too powerful and the major candidate is a closet case, whom do you scape goat? The city workers! Yes, let’s all mindless rally around Union bashing. Then, everything will be perfect.

        It’s kind of like Salem, Mass where we still need witches to burn — and then we wonder why it didn’t work.

        • ex valley says:

          Your post makes no sense. You offered no facts to dispute my claim that one party rule offers no checks and balances.

        • The Q says:

          Sorry, Gruel would have given DWP the house.
          Garcetti gave away the garage. Both bad choices, but rationally most would rather save the house and lose the garage. Just sayin’.

      • LA Moderator says:

        Only one party in the cities and Sacramento where all the population and money is concentrated…dense indeed, but while the Republicans don’t get traction in some areas, and independents/Decline to Staters don’t get money, the Democrat politicians themselves splinter.

        Kind of Janus…except more than two faces…and each sect wants to look ‘Forward’…none back to see/admit where the body politic fell to rot, and when they swooped on it to scavange whatever they can.

        With the free-marketers started to flee, Economic Developers like Garcetti looked to those few (CRA cronies, like CIM), who were willing to wean from the typical life blood…good old union contributions. He’s free of D’Arcy’s claws now, and so the IBEW allowed him to flap his wings for the same deal that was being rushed through before the new CD’s could learn how fed up the ratepayers are.

        It’s not really about the rank and file…zealous when having to bear the brunt of more insidious parasites who have sapped the budget, sometimes find themselves on the defensive, but by many accounts, we’ve heard how DWP has been quite content during their years of being immune to the hits the rest of has have born.

        The problem is that their leadership’s monopoly of $advocy has instead been used to get a seat in the smoke-filled-room. Then you have people thinking that’s a good idea to level the playing field by signing on to the preposterous notion of a Constitutional Amendment to make sure Corporations and SuperPacs aren’t considered people…but fail to recognize that the playing field was on the bias in the first place.

        That’s why many folks resent these cases where they see the disparity of those underemployed and Members who are set for life…not just mere jealousy, but particularly when it is their dwindling resources are sucked in to the money-pit that is Los Angeles, State of California, and other alphabet special districts, we would hope that the Members would see the wisdom of pressing for a reduction of dues for their de facto raises, so that the rest of us can afford to smile and thank them, when we finally find a way to restore pride and excellence in our communities.

  20. Wayne from Encino says we have a NEW MAYOR---ERIC GARBAGE!!! says:

    I signed the escrow instructions this morning! L.A. IS the 2nd BANKRUPT DETROIT! Just wait for the next wave of fraud, lies, and deceit—the BOND FOR STREET AND SIDEWALK REPAIR!!!! The L.A. CRIMES and the DAILY NO-NEWS are the two most criminal of all organizations in L.A.—they don’t report news, they sell ad space and write nothing to show what the People must know. A 1% cut in DWP rates this year WOULD OF GENERATED $100,000,000 OF NEW INVESTMENT IN THE CITY!!! Businesses make loans, hire, and build BASED ON NEWS AND FACTS—IF THE NEW MAYOR WOULD HAVE STOPPED THE BLEEDING AND TURNED THE TITANIC AROUND—Businesses would get that. Fortunately for the Businesses OUTSIDE OF L.A. (and the ones INSIDE L.A. THAT CAN MOVE) We now know nothing will EVER change—just get WORSE, WORSE, WORSE, AND MORE WORSE.
    The Crimes I thought was being purchased by a group of CONSERVATIVE investors and was going to turn it into a real paper—but again we’ve been written off by the world as just lost, like an uncollectable debt. I will flee the City as an ECONOMIC REFUGEE and hopefully perhaps one of these “Civil Rights Groups” or what the hell ever they call themselves will find a way to gain class action status and some damn money for all of us who have to move out of the 411 square miles of Mayor Garbage’s and King Herb I.’s Gulag-City. But, it’s come to this, after 33 years, it has finally reached the end of the road! The only thing the City’s residents had to do was THINK and VOTE CORRECTLY. They can’t THINK (too much pot clinics perhaps?) and they can’t vote (too much LAUSD brainwashing, perhaps?) The hollowed-out City has Doug McInterd from 5 to 9 yelling and screaming into a vacuum—no one is listening or cares. Then the next hour, 9-10, KABC lets John Phillips have about 20 seconds to talk to listeners (55 minutes for traffic and news breaks.) Then at 10-12 comes on the Communist from New York, then the rabble follows on. We have KFI 3-7 pm with the other 2 who yell and scream about this stuff—but they know it doesn’t matter (they get paid very well, at least.) KRLA threw in the towel, KNX and KFWB is busy running sports shows and infomercials. This is how a great civilization of 8 million people FALLS. I wondered way back in school when I read about the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Brittish Empire: “How could these mighty nations have fallen?” The answer—they were all SOLD OUT by the fools within the land.

    • anonymous says:

      Wayne from Encino is LA’s Cicero.
      “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious.
      But it cannot survive treason from within…
      For the traitor appears not at traitor…
      He appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men…
      He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the
      night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic
      so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.
      The traitor is the plague.” Cicero, 106 BC-43 BC

  21. The savings the city is claiming from the proposed IBEW contract are the most contrived ever developed in my memory.
    http://phinvv.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/the-really-raw-numbers-of-the-ibew-contract/

    • ex valley says:

      Of course it’s all smoke and mirrors. Just to make garcetti and the clowncil look good. So in 4 years garcetti can put in his re-election flyer that he saved the city big bucks. Billions and billions. And all the idiot voters will eat it up and re-elect him.

    • Anonymous says:

      And, this was sanctified by our dishonest CAO, Santana & CLA, Gerry Miller. They do the Mayor’s and City Council’s bidding. Most city bureaucrats are not worth the money they extract from taxpayers. Next will be the street Bond measure with voodoo numbers concocted by these two that Garcetti and Council will run with and which the dumb voters will approve.

      • Scott Zwartz says:

        You’re so right. Then, they’ll steal the money and give it to Philip Aarons so he won’t loose too much on The Millenium Earthquake Towers.

        BTW, did you see that The W Hotel sued the City over approval of The Millennium. I guess The W Hotel didn’t do their due diligence and believed all Garcetti’s lies about what a great idea it was to build their white elephant at Hollywood and Vine.

        I do not feel so bad about the millions Boulevard6200 will lose since they were expressly told that Garetti was lying to them, but they arrogantly threw their lot with the crook. Too bad Garcetti cannot changes the laws of economics!

  22. Wayne from Encino on Mayor Garbage's 1601 N. Vine St project... says:

    The 1 BILLION DOLLAR ELEPHANT IN THE CITY HALL!!!!!! Currently used as a parking lot, with a shuttered hamburger stand and a shuttered locksmith’s business. How much did L.A.’s taxpayers pay for it? 2 million to settle the Molly’s Hamburger Stand litigation, another 2 million to buy the property, and millions more in development fees, legal costs, etc. Those same parties were tied somehow to this Millenium Tower piece of crap somehow. The W tower had to build it’s towers right over the subway entrance (home to many derilects, beggars, and street criminals.) Now we learn they may have built on that active fault. Good for the W Towers—get the City into court and WRING THE $$$$ OUT OF THE CLOWN’S HANDS!!!
    As for the DWP contract, Paul Cat-In-The-Hatfield has the correct numbers—PURE B.S. BY OUR CITY FOOLS!

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