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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Proposition S Shady Update for Tuesday

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports an asteroid between 500 to 2000 feet wide will pass within 334, 0000 miles of Earth Tuesday morning. Expect shortly thereafter that the Mayor will declare without the passage of Proposition S, the big rock will turn around and slam into our planet.

In the meantime, a cash strapped city has plans for a $36 million city funded gentrification of Broadway even though the Latino business owners, workers and shoppers who've kept the famous district afloat for years aren't taking to the idea of their tax dollars being spent to bring in yuppies to put them out of business. Broadway has potential, but its pretty vibrant at present. Anyone who wants to develop it should put their own money into it. In the meantime, Walter Moore points out the disconnect between bureaucrats crying city poverty on one hand and others passing out the tax money on the other.

The next part is almost too good to be true. Yet again the Mayor has provided us with our daily laugh. In an effort to do his part about the City's sagging finances, the Mayor is "asking employees to take unpaid vacation days, return city cars and issuing fewer cellphones and Blackberries." It is however not clear whether this directive applies to the Mayor and his staff.

If you didn't catch Joe Mailander's excellent op-ed piece in the Fishwrap of Record, be sure to check it out.

When you tell your friends about Proposition S and the increase in taxes on their cell phone, text messages and internet service make sure they know all about the 27% employee salary increases, the tax breaks given to the owners of the Staples Center that matches dollar for dollar the estimated tax revenues from Proposition S and all the shady ways the Mayor has bamboozled you. But its okay - he's cutting back on BlackBerrys. Of course he is - he doesn't want the City to have to pay the extra tax!

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Giuliani salami you fat pastrami, your otta here.

January 29, 2008 6:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can you imagine how much money the city will save if one lazy ass LA reporter will print the cost of the 26 city cars Antonio's staff uses alone, plus all his staff and now he has more deputy staff members then any previous mayor. Then have all the city council member's staffers use their own damn cars and cell phones, take away their blackberries etc. and I bet millions can be saved.

January 29, 2008 6:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


People who work for the government make less money than their counterparts in the private sector...so there have to be perks to keep qualified people in those jobs. Benefits and the use of a city car (though most agencies/CMs have 1-2 pool cars for their offices)

January 29, 2008 6:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Now I know why you guys make fun of Greig Smith. Is he as dumb as he looks? His quote today in the Daily News is outrageous. He thinks paving streets is as important as cops. Not one word about cutting special event waivers that cost the city about $15 million a year. The waivers are nothing more then political paybacks and favors for huge corporations.

"Hiring police officers now is an issue that has to be discussed," said Smith, one of the council's most fiscally conservative members and a reserve LAPD officer. "If you are saying don't touch police, don't touch fire, that means you're going to . . . close libraries, stop paving streets."

"In her report, Sisson said the city could save $6.2 million in the next four months by not fully staffing all fire stations at all times. And she estimated a $1.4 million savings by reducing the size of police academy classes, which would slow the hiring of new officers.

"""The last time city leaders warned of possible layoffs and furloughs was in late 2003, when former Mayor James Hahn said the city was short $300 million because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger repealed a tripling of the vehicle license fee. But Hahn ended up balancing the 2004-05 budget by transferring an extra $69 million from the Department of Water and Power, freezing new hires, and eliminating 300 jobs from the payroll.


January 29, 2008 6:47 AM  






January 29, 2008 6:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

People who work for the government make less money than their counterparts in the private sector...because they don't produce!

January 29, 2008 6:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ah that there was poignant 6:55 am.

January 29, 2008 7:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

6:47 Who do you think paid the $67 million transferred from DWP? You notice every year your rates are going up? And DWP is already back at the trough, just waiting until Prop S is out of the way.

January 29, 2008 9:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

'People who work for the government make less money than their counterparts in the private sector...so there have to be perks to keep qualified people in those jobs. Benefits and the use of a city car (though most agencies/CMs have 1-2 pool cars for their offices)'

BULL! Almost everyone makes 50K. Everyone "appointed" makes $75K to $100K. If you are a Project Manager, a member of the Building Department and Planning Departments you make $100, to $110K. Who are they trying to kid? How much do the people of CRA make.. not $8.50 an hour...

Give me a break...if we froze some of the salaries and reduced the taxes and fees, people might be able to afford living here.

Take ther 40 million for "Broadway" and Huizar's way to pay back the Miami Mafia, and give it to the truly poor in heat and water and telephone and trash fees.

January 29, 2008 9:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Increased "fees" (TAXES) on trash in L.A. was to go to increase the size of the LAPD. That promise expired about a week after it was passed.

$240 million wasted for anti-gang efforts. (The city hires a preacher, and doles out the money- which too often funds further criminal organizations) If criminals aren't deterred by prisons, 30,000 aren't going to be deterred by a preacher.

January 29, 2008 10:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

L.A. Times endorses Prop S but forgets to mention it is exempt from the tax. Where's Walter Moore when you need him?

January 29, 2008 10:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Each Council office has about 5 city cars available for assignment to staff. The truth is in the numbers. Those assigned cars don't add up to meaningful cost savings, especially if those who would use their cars for city business were reimbursed for mileage. It's fun to yap about, and sounds good as a one-liner, but it doesn't amount to much.

I believe that at least one City Councilmember uses his own car, but what doesn't get reported is that he also gets a monthly stipend from the taxpayers for doing so.

Cell phones, if they aren't abused, can be valuable in increasing the productivity of city workers. Calls can be made while driving or while in the field. Problems can be reported immediately to City Hall instead of having to wait until the worker gets back to the office. Flat fee plans and pool accounts can save money and eliminate the worry about taxpayers paying for personal calls.

One fraction of one percent in the salary packages to city workers is much more money than all of this silly stuff.

City unions ensure that the employees are paid a prevailing wage. However, the City's benefit package always exceeds the private sector, and most importantly, the workers can be overworked with overtime being paid, and city employees have jobs for life. No one in City Hall can remember the last time any employee was laid off. Jobs are lost through attrition, but nobody ever get laid off. The bumping process, through which the seniormost employees get to keep their jobs by going down a notch and booting out the newer and sometimes more productive employees, is a very complicated process, and hasn't been used during most people's lifetimes.

January 29, 2008 11:21 AM  

Anonymous manhattan beach mongrel said:

It is with great sadness I report that Margaret Truman Daniel, daughter of our late U.S. President Harry S Truman-D, passed away this morning at 83 years of age after a brief illness.

This is one Republican who takes off his hat with respect for the daughter of a Democratic President.

January 29, 2008 12:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam the No on Measure Shady Pasadena Version is advertising on your blog! Where is some LA anti-shady love?

January 29, 2008 3:54 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ga. -- Former President Jimmy Carter lavished praise on Illinois Sen. Barack Obama during an interview at his home Monday, though he won't formally endorse any candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination.
"Obama's campaign has been extraordinary and titillating for me and my family," Mr. Carter said. The 83-year-old former president, who left the White House in 1981, compared Mr. Obama's speeches to those of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and said he believed the candidate could carry some southern states if he becomes the Democratic nominee.
Mr. Carter said that his three other children and his 11 grandchildren support Mr. Obama. Mr. Carter's oldest son, Jack Carter, 60, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in Nevada two years ago, recently endorsed Mr. Obama. He originally backed Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden, who has since dropped out of the presidential race.

January 29, 2008 5:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can you imagine how much money the city will save if one lazy ass LA reporter will print the cost of the 26 city cars Antonio's staff uses alone, plus all his staff and now he has more deputy staff members then any previous mayor. Then have all the city council member's staffers use their own damn cars and cell phones, take away their blackberries etc. and I bet millions can be saved.

January 29, 2008 6:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

LA should curb shit house emmissions or park it at the curb.
Stationary horses in form of life size pictures would help pull the economy out of a recess. Can you imagine how much money the city will save. Hiring police officers now is an issue that has to be discussed.

January 29, 2008 6:35 PM  

Anonymous matt dowd's press office said:

the City needs money to operate. the budget is deficient. its all well and good to say spend it more wisely, so make em go do that. but for now, the damage is done, they need the money.
nobody can get a cop calling 911.

Yes on S fixes that, and some other things.

January 29, 2008 8:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

One person hit it on the nail. In one speach the Mayor is talking about the city's deficit and in the next he's talking about the 37 Million dedicated to bringing back Broadway. Give me a break!

January 29, 2008 8:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Mayor is on the right track in asking that the city not supply so many cars, cell phones and other items. The personnel could pay for their own items and be reimbursed for city business use.

There is no accountability whatsoever for these items. It can save the city money if payment is made only for actual business usage instead of giving out the phones. This goes for the cars, too.

Submitting expense reports as in the private sector WOULD make accountability a specific matter, not simply an "expectation" as it is now.

I would be interested to see numbers as to who does NOT have a cell phone among city workers. The ones with City paid-for phones could substitute their own personal cell phones and be reimbursed for actual cost. The idea that immediate communication will suffer is not realistic.

Cell phone usage while driving reduces attention to the driving, a side issue.

The idea that everyone in government should be as piggish as the next one in getting fat at the company trough needs to end.

Again, a lot of money should be able to be saved by reimbursement only for usage for city business, instead of having a whole car signed off to an employee, used for personal and city business. Who really is watching things under this system?

The splurging in vehicle acquistions by new council members as each official arrives on-board is a simple example. The choices tend to approach the max available for the vehicle expense category. Why? Because they CAN.

They all have their reasons, of course, that "justify" this over more modest choices, but that's expected.

Not the only example but it is one in a whole sea of controllable expenses that mount up. The council, the staff, everyone can use some dose of accountability.

It would at least show the SPIRIT of the economic condition they are complaining of. They should not be immune from the belt-tightening processes and the accountability in their jobs.

If you lose a person because of eliminating the city's cell phones, etc., then let them be on their way. Is anyone really irreplaceable? Working in Public Service is a no-frills affair.Or it was supposed to be the idea, wasn't it? Fair but not lavish.

And.... How did it get the way is is now? Overly comfortable?

The Mayor, as weasley as he is, is right on this one. He's always been a glass-house dweller who throws stones, but changes are needed all around, and he knows it.

Displeased In weaslemanic district-14

January 29, 2008 8:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How much do you wanna bet that if Prop S passes you still won't be able to get a cop when you dial 911? I think they are busy responding to cars that go 5 miles over the speed limit.

January 29, 2008 8:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How do you know how many cars they have 6:30 PM? You stalkin' them, too?

January 29, 2008 9:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

There's one person on this blog who's been obsessed with the Mayor's 52 cars for well over a year, or is that for the whole council too and city attorney and his wife == what about the supervisors, who also have drivers? Gee, taking away the Mayor's and councilmembers' cellphones will be a great savings in efficiency, so no one can get hold of them most of the day. Penny wise, pound foolish like all these ideas.

Cut waste in each city dept., and you can cut millions right away. It's the middle bureaucrats and their staffs who can waste most time, get the least scrutiny. And there are too many darned depts., too -- consolidate the depts.

January 29, 2008 10:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Pay to Play!

No on Proposition 93.

Contributions made between April 5 and July 3, 2007

Total: $2, 647,500.00

Union of Amer. Physicians & Dentists MDF Issues
Oakland $5,000.00
Verizon Corp. Services
Washington DC $25,000.00
Medpac of the Calif. Assoc. of Physician Groups
Los Angeles $25,000.00
CA Motor Car Dealers Assoc.
Issues PAC
Sacramento $10,000.00
Hollywood Park Land Co., LLC
San Francisco $37,500.00
Bay Meadows Land Co., LLC
San Francisco $37,500.00
CA United Homecare Workers PAC
San Bernardino $10,000.00
Law Offices Cotchett, Pitre
& McCarthy
Burlingame $62,500.00
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufactures of Amer.
Independent Expenditure Committee
Sacramento $35,000.00
AT & T CA Employee PAC
San Francisco $50,000.00
SEIU United Long Term Care
Workers West Political
Issues Committee
Oakland $100,000.00
CSLEA 1M Governors Fund
Sacramento $50,000.00
SEIU United Long Care Workers Local 6434 State PAC
Los Angeles $50,000.00
PALA Band of Mission Indians
PALA $100,000.00
United Auburn Indian Community of Auburn Rancheria
Sacramento $100,000.00
Blue Cross of California
Cincinnati OH $50,000.00
Girardi and Keese
Los Angeles $125,000.00
Mercury General Corporation
Los Angeles $100,000.00
Washington DC $100,000.00
Southern CA Edison
Rosemead $75,000.00
CA Building Industry Association
Sacramento $25,000.00
The Zenith
Woodland Hills $50,000.00
PG & E Corporation
San Francisco $50,000.00
CA Hosp. Committee on Issues Sponsored by CAHHS
Sacramento $100,000.00
LA Arena Company, LLC
Los Angeles $25,000.00
PACE of CA School Emp.
Assoc. – Issues
Sacramento $50,000.00
CCPOA Ind. Expenditures Committee
Sacramento $100,000.00
CA State Council of Service Emp. Assoc. – Issues
Sacramento $200,000.00
CA Attorneys, Admin. Law Judges and Hearing Officers
in State Employees Case PAC
Sacramento $100,000.00
California Teachers Association Issues PAC
Burlingame $250,000.00
Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc.
Los Angeles $25,000.00
SEIU Local 1000 (UCSW)
Sacramento $150,000.00
Los Angeles Casinos PAC
Bell Gardens $250,000.00
California Optometric PAC
Sacramento $25,000.00
California Dental Association
Sacramento $100,000.00

Similar situation:

No on Proposition S.

January 29, 2008 10:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What happened to the money from the increased trash fees that were for public safety?

January 29, 2008 10:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Did you guys know that telemarketers only have to pay 5% phone tax under Proposition S but you have to pay 9%?

January 29, 2008 11:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where is the Mayor's ex-wife and kids living? Are they still living in a City owned house? How much does that cost the taxpayers?

January 29, 2008 11:26 PM  

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