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Friday, July 21, 2006

Gone In 60 Seconds: $75 Million

As a result of channel surfing, I somehow wound up spending half an hour on Friday night watching the L.A. City Council in action. I had just finished watching an old "Twilight Zone" -- the one with the three-eyed Venutian and the three-armed Martian -- and the Council Meeting seemed like a natural sequel.

Now, bear in mind that the City is taking in over $700 MILLION more this year than last. Under those circumstances, you might think the last thing the City needs to do is incur further debt. But no, there was some bureaucrat whose name I didn't catch, speaking on behalf of the City issuing $75 million of "G.O. bonds" -- general obligation bonds -- which, according to her, is paid by an assessment on property owners.

Zine asked her how much it would cost per house. She started to give figures for a $350,000 house. Zine interrupted her, "Where in L.A. can you get a house for $350,000?" So they agreed to double her numbers, to provide figures for a $700,000 house. The cost? Two hundred eight dollars per year for . . . how many years? She didn't know.

Nor did she know the total amount per year of all the other the various bonds homeowners are already carrying.

Oh, and how much will the total be, when you include the interest? She didn't know.

No matter. It's only homeowners and other property owners being taxed after all. The Council voted 10-0 (or maybe 11-0) to take out the credit card and leave homeowners with the tab for the $75 million bond. The whole thing took 60 seconds, maybe 120.

Are these City Council Members the same people who say they're going to provide "affordable housing" --politicians who heap one debt after another onto homeowners as a tax that only they pay?

The City Council Members deserve every agonizing second of Zuma Dogg they get.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Leslie Dutton said:

I hear the City is going to set up a "public benefit" financing corporation like the LAUSD has, so they can issue COP Bonds, that is Certificates of Participation, non-voter approved bonds that are supposed to be paid off out of the General Fund. Except, at LAUSD they issue the COPs, spend the money then issue GO (General Obligations bonds) to pay them off, after they spend the money, with no oversight. The GO's are paid for with property taxes.

Tony Patchett, Head of the Belmont Learning Center investigation called that a pyramid scheme.

Oh, by they way, they use schools as collateral for issuing the COP bonds, so what will the City use for collateral? Anybody want to guess?

July 21, 2006 11:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OK, I'll guess.

How about their own personal homes?

No?

Well, how about "The Farm"?

No?

How about Bratton's home?

No?

Well, how about the airport, the harbor and all of DWP's assets?

Am I getting close yet?

July 22, 2006 2:09 AM  

Blogger Peter McFerrin said:

I would imagine that LAWA and PLA are pretty good at keeping themselves from being used in such a fashion, given their history. Read Steven Erie's Globalizing L.A. sometime for a nice treatment of how the seaport and airport have maintained a remarkable degree of fiscal independence over the years.

July 22, 2006 2:18 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Then these idot council members why cops don't live in LA. Watching council meetings is like a really screwed up reality tv series.

Never before has council meetings attracted such losers like Zuma Dog, Matt Dowd, that Michael idiot and Sadie. They speak at every item they can. Council finally changed public comment to 1 minute and they got mad.

July 22, 2006 8:53 AM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Leslie --

It's funny you mention that. During the exchange I saw on TV, the bureaucrat distinguished the G.O. bonds which, she said, needed voter approval, from some other kind of bond, which she said did not. She didn't use a name for it, but instead referred to the name of a private firm that she said the city makes "lease payments" to; of course, one doesn't "lease" a bond.

Anyway, it made me suspicious, because it sure sounded like City Hall was incurring debt, to be repaid with general funds, without first getting voters' approval.

July 22, 2006 8:53 AM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

anon on july 22nd at 8:53 a.m.,

It is ironic that you mention that cops don't live in L.A. because starting July 1, 2006, the Los Angeles Housing Department started advertising a special homebuyer program for members of the LAPD and LAFD. The new program essentially gives cops $50,000 to $90,000 in "loans" (w VERY friendly terms) when they buy a new house in the City.

Here is a link to an LAHD document that describes the homebuyer program . The program just got $5 million from the general fund. I guess that some of Walter Moore's $700 million in extra cash is going to address something you are concerned about. Yay!

July 22, 2006 10:36 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

2:18 AM Consider this

Were these departments run by lunatic mayor?

July 22, 2006 1:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"Anyway, it made me suspicious, because it sure sounded like City Hall was incurring debt, to be repaid with general funds, without first getting voters' approval."

WHERE CAN I GO TO GET INFO ON THIS?

July 22, 2006 1:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm going to BE Sadie when I grow up. Right Greg?

July 22, 2006 1:42 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Here's the agenda that had the General Obligation bonds on it: http://lacity.org/clk/councilagendas/clkcouncilagendas339110_07142006.pdf

It's a PDF file; search for "bond" and you'll find it.

If you figure out what's going on, please let the rest of us know.

July 22, 2006 7:50 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

In this story you say:

"The City Council members deserve every agonizing second of Zuma Dogg they get."

CONGRATULATIONS! You figured it out for everyone else. Please don't blow my cover.

The whole thing is merely an attempt to make it easier for them to overturn their unconstitutional ordinance (42.15) banning sale of handmade items like my own shirts (plus jewelery and incense) --- than it is to continue to endure the media campaign of Big ZD. (All the video of City Hall footage is at www.ZumaDogg.com.)

And please, it's Z-U-M-A D-O-Double G. (If you only spell it with one G, it doesn't show up on google searches, so why even say it, then?)

Zuma Dogg
Public Advocate
Gangsta Rapper
Candidate: L.A. City Council

July 26, 2006 6:31 PM  

Blogger Zuma Dogg said:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 26, 2006 6:36 PM  

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