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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Morning Mimosa

Our expectation as citizens is that the City operate better on less money. But do the math and the City has been trending in the opposite direction, the Daily News says this morning.

Since 2000, Los Angeles workers' costs have surged 53 percent - to $4 billion a year - rising an average 7.5 percent every year.

General fund revenues also grew strongly but only at an average 5.7 percent a year.

The result is a swing of almost $1 billion, pushing the city from a surplus to an anticipated shortfall of $300 million next year.

The article blames the influence on unions. But don't you get the feeling that unions are digging in deeper because of the missing rungs in LA's housing ladder---something every City Council member and especially the Mayor's office and Planning Department shares blame for? If we were incentivizing the construction of more workforce housing for cops rather than million dollar condos for out-of-towners, the unions might be able to loosen their death-grip on the City a little.

Don't give the City an affordable housing bond. You already give it enough money. Give it better leadership.

° ° ° ° °

Uniquely tone-deaf to such matters, the former fishwrap of record brings you an unsigned left rail ed this morning stating that the City's pay-raise system works.

For real. Almost wickedly insane, here's part of the ed's lamentable laughingstock of a conclusion:

Every penny of these new pay raises, whether they are accepted or not, must buy a recommitment by City Hall watchdogs and L.A. residents to break the system that too often keeps elected officials focused on fundraising and political advancement rather than the best interests of the city.

Oh, sure. The seven percent of City voters who voted in the last school board election aren't just committed, they're anxious to recommit.

° ° ° ° °

Zuma last night took on Jan Perry's fast food restaruant moratorium proposal for South LA. So did Tony Pierce at LAist. But fast food zoning has already hit tonier parts of the country (York County, Maine, and Calistoga, for a couple) and a more Republican incarnation of the debate (liability) hit the House of Representatives in 2004.

As fast and fatty food has been abundantly available South LA for more than two generations, it seems more logical to blame sedentary lifestyles (Internet, dvd, etc.) and an ironic health trend---far less smoking---than diet for spiking obesity trends. If something must be blamed---other than human frailty---at all.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Of course the LA Slimes would be on the side of the idiot council members. It shouldn't surprise anyone why they are losing thousands of readers. People are have had it with their spins and Jim Newton is another idiot who panders to LA politicans. Jim hosted a meeting with Antonio on Zocalo and asked for his two years of accomplishments. Dumb ass Antonio kept saying that traffic is bad because people don't want to get out of their cars and use public transportation. Newton then asked do you use it and Antonio replied he use to. Why didn't at that point if he was a good reporter nail Antonio on it? Cause he weak ass like most LA reporters afraid to get to the heart of issues and the truth.

November 18, 2007 7:42 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

Accomplishments? That's easy.

He stacked the school board.

He had an affair.

He put CD 14 safely in the hands of Jose Huizar.

He planted a million trees...well, maybe he's about 883,000 short, if you will.

He hired a transportation chief he was obliged to fire.

He hired a planning chief who never saw a forty-unit condo complex she didn't like, so long as there was an underutilized bus stop within half a mile of it.

November 18, 2007 8:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The pay raise to public officials may turn out to be a much bigger issue than the folks at the L.A. Times grasp. No matter how the raise(s) came to be calculated or implemented, the editorial does not seem to grasp how offensive it is to simply tell the public that they should simply accept having council salaries increase from $60,000 to $180,000 because of an obscure law that was passed with the intent of maintaining higher ethical standards. Standards which are not necessarily in evidence these days, although the pay raise law continues notwithstanding questionable ethical behavior....

November 18, 2007 11:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The LAT editorial was discussed an nauseum by readers yesterday already, it's old news. And they'e right, it's really off the point to carry on about some total $200,ooo as a way to balance the budget.

The Times calls it a fee for taking shit and 'mockery" from morons like you among others, and no amount of money could get me to sit through all the crap, let alone sit through those meetings with regular commenters like matt, hunt, zuma and the Jabba the Hut fat lady and her fruitcake sidekick in Van Nuys. Lord knows who else they have to listen to.

The budget crisis is real and valid and necessary to discuss and badget them about -- starting with why that fool Bitter Bernie wasn't looking after the budget all year long, why he was silent during all the labor union pay raises just last month, then tried to steal the trash fee-for cops to "balance" his own incompetence with the budget?

The hundreds of thousands of dollars in fee waived parades and festivals for the festivals, mostly for Huizar's Boyle Heights area, and Janice Hahn in South L.A. Bernie gets his share too, and so do the ones who are most liberal and full of socialist schemes to get the remaining whites and upper and middle class to fund their socialist programs for their hoods.

Even Bratton is fed up with having to assign his cops to all those marches and parades which lose the city huge amounts of money, then result in lawsuits if anything goes wrong. Make the organizers pay for the cops, street closures expenses and cleanup.

Let Chick do her audit on how the almost hundred million in gang related expenses are being spent. A recent LAT article noted that the prelim review said, only about 3% of that was actually going towards gang prevention, the rest to misc. "soft" programs all over the place.

Spend this money wisely, get Hahn's paws off our houses for assessments for her idiotic gang tax, for which she doesn't even have a plan. She and her brainless spending from the 70s era are as passe as her ugly suits.

You are right about Perry's fast food banning: teach those people to cook and choose fresh food, get more markets down there. Why not a farmer's market -- if that's too scary for the vendors, let her get another store, even Costco and Smart n Final have fresh fruits and vegetables plus a variety of other stuff for one-stop shopping. Why didn't she get a Tesco Fresh & EAsy store? They've gone into slums all over Britian and Europe and taught the people how to shop and eat, let the Brits teach Jan Perry.

Yes, she, Molina and Monica are all examples of the obese Hispanic and black women who have the most visible government jobs in this town, a bad example to the girls.

November 18, 2007 12:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

“He planted a million trees...well, maybe he's about 883,000 short, if you will.”

Angelinos will never know how many trees where actually planted because there is no mechanism in place to measure its success.

He has more non profit organizations under his leadership.

November 18, 2007 1:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:25 More Non-profits under his control yes.

Leadership and MAV, a leader he is definately not.

If we were to throw all the bums out in the election(s), who would we want to replace them?

November 18, 2007 2:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Front page of LAT Sunday Opinion reminds how the city couldn't clean up skid row in last 25 years -- every time it tried, the cops were accused of haarassing the homeless. Even well-run and well-intentioned shelters were attacked for looking like "concentration camps," vs. 4-star hotels, I guess. Ramona Ripston and her ACLU and other leftie orgs chief among the critics.

Finally Bratton, with Villar's help and backing, is doing this. One thing to remember: a leftie Latino (as long as he's not a pandering way leftie like Alarcon) can, if he has the will and common sense, to do things that the P C anti-change crowd wouldn't stomach from a white guy. Not that Hahn tried to do anything -- he and his sister Janice are more leftie than the black leaderhship of S LA, and huge spendthrifts without getting anything done. (Ditto on a state level with Gray Davis.)

Goal is, try to keep Villar heading toward the middle, give him some incentives for doing so, whereas if you all just trash him all the time he'll say screw it, why bother. His focus on the homeless and cops is good, as for how many trees, who gives a damn, the point is to work towards a number of greening issues. And he's doing that with Arnold, a moderate Republican. If they're smart, they'll stay towards the middle and not cave in to either the right or the extreme, race-card playing lefties.

November 18, 2007 3:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Funny how the affordable housing issues ignores the regional aspect, that is, that affordable housing does exist east of L.A., all the way to San Bernadino. Its really a transit issue.eucdlc

November 18, 2007 5:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

5:32: You're absolutely right, there is no god given right to live in Hollywood, the new downtown lofts or the westside and coastal communities.

It's hard enough for professionals to buy there these days, if they're from another, cheaper part of the country or aren't "trading up."

Affordable housing should be built where land is cheap, since that's the major cost, not building per se. Then they should go to school in their own neighborhoods, stop taking up all the space on the westside and in some other areas.

Jan Perry insisting the poor and modest income people must be included in the fancy new buildings downtown, even if they live in a studio the size of a closet, is absurd. If developers currently must include affordable housing in their pricy buildings, where a car parking spot costs 25 thousand, of course they can't make a dent == but give breaks and incentives to build in outlying areas. Then add a rapid bus line to downtown/ connecting to across town.

They will also be happier in their own communities and neighborhoods, without all the commuting and where they can get home quickly in an emergency.

There is simply no room for major new affordable housing on the westside, and no land to build new schools even if the lefties who control the council and LAUSD/UTLA stopped invoking racist socialism.

Even in Granada Hills, LAUSD seized a perfectly good hospital for a school, and Greig Smith is still mad about it. Who is going to attend that school, is it even for the local kids?

November 18, 2007 5:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How much has the city paid out on Bitter Bernie's Rampart scandal to date? MILLIONS. Antonio appointed a gang czar who didnt' know where the gangs in LA are and needed someone to give him a Thomas guide to go find them.

Speaking of Skid Row good op-ed on Safer City Initiative in LA Slimes. Of course Antonio's buddy Ramona Ripston always slams the great job cops are doing in that area. But Antonio's buddies on ACLU and other activists who haven't done shit to help the homeless or any city council member always criticize as if they have done a damn thing to help.

...Skid row in rehab...After decades of squalor, the area is finally changing thanks to the LAPD's new tactics. By Heather Mac Donald...
Until this year, skid row presented a scene of squalor and depravity that had no equal across the country. Sidewalks were impassable, covered with bodies, human waste and infectious bacteria. Makeshift tents and cardboard-box encampments lined the streets. Prostitution and drug use and trafficking were open and shameless.

Even addicts were amazed at the scene. Fifty-year-old Vicki Williams arrived from Las Vegas in December 2005 with a heavy habit. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing," she said. "People getting high on the streets like it was legal. Anything you can imagine, I've observed: Women walking down the street buck naked; people stabbed in front of me."

November 18, 2007 6:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If you or I weren't doing our job we would not get a raise. Yet, city council members without any job performance evaluation get another raise and are highest paid in US. Bitter Bernie is not the only one responsible for budget fiacso. What about the other morons on Budget Finance Committee with him. I agree Bernie does give tons of money away to his friends at USC for all their basketball, football games plus the rich moms and dad's parties etc.

November 18, 2007 6:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"...and an ironic health trend---far less smoking---than diet for spiking obesity trends."

Mr. M., does this theory of yours apply to our LAUSD elementary school kids too?

November 18, 2007 7:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:46... Highest-paid, yes; best and brightest, not exactly. And with "public service" in a secondary role to "self-service"....

November 18, 2007 7:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Antonio is funneling money through non-profits. When big business has something it needs done, he asks for a contribution to one of the municipal or non-municipal non-profits he controls. His minions then launder the money and some winds up in key pockets. Any enterprising reporters out there?

November 18, 2007 10:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What the heck is a "municipal nonprofit"? If anyone can explain that, then maybe we can move on to determining whether 10:33 merely appears to be full of crap or is actually full of crap.

November 18, 2007 11:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

completely full of crap. as usual

November 19, 2007 12:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It must be "front end loaded" crap. Just ask zuma dogg to explain it all.

November 19, 2007 12:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How does the mayor get to name something a non profit and make money off of it?

November 19, 2007 6:51 AM  

Anonymous insider said:

J.M.: our mayor has had two affairs, not one.

November 19, 2007 8:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where's Mirthala?

November 19, 2007 8:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:34, this past weekend, our mayor was "insider."

November 19, 2007 8:53 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

FAME Renaissance
Los Angeles

FAME Renaissance is committed to improving the economic livelihood of communities. This mission is accomplished through community, PUBLIC, and private sector collaborations, and through the enabling power of the One who calls all things into being.

The funding vehicle is FAME Assistance Corporation (FAC), a California nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, an affiliate of First AME Church of Los Angeles.

November 20, 2007 12:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You are completely wrong about the old hospital in Granada Hills that had been sitting vacant there since the former board of directors somehow lost it.

There was no hospital who had the money to buy it and we desperately need a school to relieve the overcrowded Monroe, Kennedy and Granada Hills High. That is who will be attending the school. The neighbors.

November 20, 2007 1:04 AM  

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