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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Open Thread for Saturday

Rick Orlov:

City Controller Wendy Greuel thinks the city should delay paying its bills and earn more interest on its money.

Blog away dum dums.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yeah, because T Bills, the only true safe investment, now pay 0%. That is nt a typo; they pay NOTHING.

Well, there is still some openings at Madoff's Investment Groups, with a guaranteed 10% or more retuen every year. He PERSONALLY guarantees the return, by the way.

December 12, 2009 11:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

As a business owner I would never respond to an RFP given out by the city.

It is reasons like that we are not able to get responsible and lower cost vendors to compete for city bids.

The real savings will be lost in higher bids.

It was under her irresponsible watch the city bounced checks earlier this year. NO EXCUSES!

Greuel is dumb as a rock!

December 12, 2009 12:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

We've come full circle. Previous controller found that the city took too long to pay its bills and it was costing the city in penalties. The controller regularly audits departments to ensure they pay their bills on time so this shouldn't be a surprise.

December 12, 2009 12:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil finally admitted he hasn't collecting ANY signatures to recall antonio villaraigosa.

This failure may not be heaped upon his other failures as he formulates his plan for Congress:

1. Last place in Mayor's race '09
2. No signatures for Mayor's recall
3. Endorsed Essel in a two horse race
4. Got fired from Mayor Sam

5. No 40 hour a week gainful employment; evasive about employment

6. Doesn't realize that when he says he lived in cd2, he was not on cd 2.

7. Handicaps Mayor's 2013 race, and doesn't even MENTION Bob Hertzberg, but does mention Walter Moore; lies about not knowing Huggy Bear

8. Wearing a cowboy hat in L.A. = KOO-KOO! KOO-KOO!

9. Plans to entertain blogosphere by applying this stellar track record of failure by running for Congress.


10. Considers a victory that he was the last place finisher, far behind a homeless man, and says it made him "semi-known."

December 12, 2009 12:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Tell that to their cash strapped vendors. How is that helping the economy? How does that help L.A.'s credit rating?

December 12, 2009 12:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

From a financial standpoint, that's a good idea. This is not the same thing as paying bills late.

That eventuality may happen as we have our Mayor and selected staff cavorting under the slogan, "We are promoting Los Angeles," while racking up travel expenses and salaries that are NOT CRITICAL. Los Angeles IS ALREADY KNOWN. See how many people make it their destination from all over the world- legally and illegally setting up residence here.

DWP raises are already out of control as backroom "done deals" with the public Council discussions purely a sham.

Rolling brownouts for LAFD and LAPD without raises while DWP's base pay being inflated first of all, and then getting raises for the next 4 or 5 years is crazy. But Tony V. hits the road at the drop of a hat (or other garment, feminine, I'd say).

Guadalajara Book Fair, Copenhagen conference, South Africa- Tony seems to lean to spending tax dollara and special interest dollars outside the U.S. so that's a further demonstration of his ignorance and arrogance.

Wendy should get on Tony's case, but the buddy role would prevent that if jurisdiction would not.

A City Charter Amendment sounds good for a salary cut- forget hooking up to judges' salaries- what a slick move that was, and every CM afterwards thanks his/her lucky stars for that generousity AND "it's not my fault," when questioned every year about the raises.

CM Zine has a motion developing to control what's been, more or less, unlimited travel at city expense whenever it's claimed to be for "city business." The Mayor is a big traveller. Lots of CMs, too.

Huizar went out of the U.S., too. And where did he go? El Salvador earlier this year to monitor elections there? Is his work HERE up to speed? That's one of many CMs who get into too many things that don't get city business COMPLETED, such as an MMD ordinance (how many years pending?). The Dubai trips cost the city quite a bit in a losing effort to shore up CRA's Grand Avenue money-flusher.

Wendy was part of the crew and I'd really like to see her use that experience to cut off more waste.

I don't expect too much, but anything is better than continuing to drive the speeding car towards the edge of the cliff without brakes.

in cd-14

December 12, 2009 12:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1223's points about Phil Jennerdoodle are a riot! OMG did he finally admit that he failed in gathering signatures? It took only six months to admit it, too!

December 12, 2009 1:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

wendy's husband looks like he could be her grandfather! and wendy is no spring chicken either.

December 12, 2009 1:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think Phil doesn't care about Hertzberg because nobody does.

Nobody cares about Hertzberg and his body odor.

Hertzberg is never going to be the mayor no matter who he hugs.

The short-lived days of Hertzberg are over.

December 12, 2009 2:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:13 is right, going one extreme to the other and stiffing small companies who have to wait even longer to get paid. Plus if the city waits TOO long there are penalties that FAR exceed what it could be making. I doubt her figures that the city could earn an extra 10 million/ year by waiting til the end of the due cycle: with T-bills and CD's and everything paying so little especially if they're liquid.

But with her being unable to audit the depts. of any elected officials, because Nuch enjoys keeping her tied up and cut off at the knees to prevent her having any big issues to grandstand on toward her political ambition, that leaves out gang programs and a lot of things that could garner her the hot news. Laura Chick decided to "discover" the LAPD rape kit backlog years AFTER it was being dealt with by Charlie Beck, Smith and Weiss and others but Greuel probably wouldn't look too good starting by slamming the LAPD. So she's looking wherever she can.

We should all genuinely hope that she finds opportunities to discover real waste and abuse and keeps her job separate from her political ambition. Something that will coincide anyway, but can't be the driving motivation.

December 12, 2009 2:21 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OK, who's the woman in red? Antonio's date or some city official or staffer? She looks like the kind of woman he should be dating, but he thinks he's still hot looking himself.

December 12, 2009 2:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why doesn't Wendy ever wear dresses?

December 12, 2009 3:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


It wasn't a comment about Hertzberg; it was a comment about Phil.

He included Walter Moore, and he isn't going to be running for anything either.

And, to counter your point, as soon as Phil was introduced to who Hertzberg is, Phil SUDDENLY made him 6:1 after Googling him and asking Higby.

Finally, Wendy doesn't wear dresses because she is a man.

December 12, 2009 3:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wendy doesn't wear dresses anymore because she gave them all to Higby.

December 12, 2009 3:39 PM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

That will save $8 million---or roughly the same amount we would save in four days if we did away with the CRA.

December 12, 2009 3:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe the Controller should audit how much revenue is not being collected because her pal the Mayor and the City Council she sat on furloughed the City's Tax Auditors and Tax Compliance Officers!!

What about an audit that tracks all of the investment loses in LACERS and Fire and Police Pensions back to companies with ties to Antonio's political appointments to those boards?

Maybe Wendy 'Saving dimes while losing dollars' Gruel has polled well?

December 12, 2009 4:10 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

I like to read Mayor Sam and just let the comments of love wash over me.

p.s....I didn't initially include Hertzberg because I don't think he's running. He didn't win in 2005 and AVOIDED a 2009 race against a weak, failed, and disgraced Mayor.

Something tells me that he's not running for anything anymore.

December 12, 2009 4:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Comment 2 is right. The better priced vendors cannot afford to wait for late payments. The real savings are lost in higher bids since the high priced vendors are usually the only ones that can afford to wait.

December 12, 2009 5:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

How sad is the person, who is so focused on Phil. We know who it is and pray for you. Does this seem like a healthy obsession, to you? Speaking of Koo-koo.

December 12, 2009 6:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I don't know what higby's "battles" are but it sure is a much more intelligent and informative blog to read without the silliness and nasty language.

December 12, 2009 6:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

No Phil, that excuse won't fly.

You KNEW Walter isn't running, but you did put him in there.

Given your history of not being able to admit a mistake, it follows that you didn't know Hertzberg at all.

To wit: You suddenly made him 6:1. On what basis? You said he's not running, so did you just pull that number out of your ass, where you get everything else?

December 12, 2009 6:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil, Hertzberg didn't run because he started a solar company less than a year earlier. I know YOU know nothing about integrity, but he owed it to the investors.

Why do you open your mouth when you know for certain that you don't know shit about shineola?

December 12, 2009 6:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Woman in red is Claire Bartels. Long-time bureaucrat who became Wendy's City Council Chief of Staff and holds the same position in the Controller's office. Married to Jon Mukri, GM of Rec. and Parks.

December 12, 2009 7:06 PM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

Laura Chick also raked the city over the coals for the way they paid bills.

Wendy's audit is essentially a follow up on Laura's work.

Cash management is not rocket science, unless the city is involved.

The underlying problem is rotton management, poor training and unmotivated union employees. The City Controller can write audit reports until the cows come home or the Mayor embraces ethics. Until then, all of this is as useful as duct tape on the Titanic.

I hope to meet with Greuel within a month to chat about city financial issues.

December 12, 2009 7:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jennerdoodle, you have to admit that the list of ten things you've been wrong or fail to win at is a remarkable collection.

The only thing you claim to have "accomplished" is that you are "semi known." HUH? Of 1000 people in this city, do you think, on average, 1 in 1000 people know you?

If you were at Dodger Stadium for a sellout, do you really think 50 people know you?

C'mon, man, you're too old to be kidding yourself. It goes with the cowboy hat too, jack. You're not a cowboy, you're not known, and you're not even going to SNIFF Congress.

How about just getting a job and being content being a regular schnook like Higby? At least HE is semi-known, and that's barely!

December 12, 2009 7:53 PM  

Anonymous Tiger Woods said:

Where all the white women at?

December 12, 2009 8:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Does Paul Hatfield really think that Wendy needs to sit down to have you chat about the budget? I think she has access to those in the know with the real answers. It's not knowing what to do, it's not doing what you know. Maybe you meant you hope to sit down with Wendy to listen to what she has to say about the budget.

December 12, 2009 8:55 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Picture was taken prior to
December 8th.

Pixie is not smiling now.

December 12, 2009 9:44 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Wendy would be wise to listen to Paul. He has fara more financial education and background than she does.

December 12, 2009 11:01 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Wendy would be wise to listen to Paul. He has fara more financial education and background than she does.

December 12, 2009 11:02 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Wendy Greuel
-Worked sweeping floors at her dad's lumber yard
-bachelor degree from UCLA
-various government jobs
-Chris Essel lobbyist like job at Dreamworks
-A few months as controller

Paul Hatfield
-MBA from Pepperdine University
-undergraduate degrees in economics and accounting from the University of Richmond and the George Washington University

December 12, 2009 11:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Looks like Michael @ 11:07 didn't read the initial comment that said she "has access to those in the know with the real answers."

Didn't say she was a better accountant that that guy. It said she has access to the top people in the know and it isn't an issue of not knowing the answers. It's a matter of ignoring them.

So maybe Paul can sit with Wendy and convince her to act on what she already knows. Not because she figured it out, but because the CAO did. It's not like all the information hasn't been presented.

Re-read the initial comment. But it was a nice tangent you went off on. Maybe Hatfield should run for controller, next time.

Until then, we'll all read his wishy-washy reflections that merely call attention to the problems that everyone already knows.

Maybe some actual solutions and analysis?

December 13, 2009 4:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam,

I have an MBA from USC, and the degree itself means z-e-r-o until and unless it's applied. That's a common misconception about ANY degree by people who don't have that particular degree.

Ask a lawyer; all it tends to be is a recalibration on how to view a whole story, as well as the ability to research. I should know; I have a JD, too.

Your demeaning Wendy Greuel's labor at her father's place of business is demeaning and evident that you don't recognize the value in doing hard work of ANY sort.

I'm surprised and disappointed in you. (Now is the time that you usually go in and comment that you're being taken out of context).

Go ahead, we're waiting. I'm no fan of Wendy's, but I'm a bigger no fan of disregard for a person's hard work, no matter what that work is. Suffice it to say that she has a husband and a child, and you don't appear to have a family of your own.

Do you see how wrong it is to criticize without understanding?

December 13, 2009 7:53 AM  

Anonymous matt dowd said:


all these people grappling with each other over who's more qualified.

if you think you can do better than Wendy, why didn't you run against her?

such BS. and I can't stand her.

I'm just waiting for the next logical progression on this blog, banning Jennerjahn's name.

au revoir [and I thought we already said that to Walter]

December 13, 2009 8:13 AM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

855 said-

"Does Paul Hatfield really think that Wendy needs to sit down to have you chat about the budget?"

No, she does not have to chat or listen to me or anyone, but it is painfully apparent that no one in the city has a clue when it comes to preparing a sustainable budget based on realistic assumptions.

She has nothing to lose by chatting with me. I would simply provide some advice and listen and comment on what she has in mind.

Although the budget is not her responsibility to prepare, she needs to use her position to slam the City Council for its inability to deal with financial realities.

I have not seen her do that.

December 13, 2009 9:42 AM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

I think 12:23 is in love with me.

Crazy redhead Mary.

December 13, 2009 9:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What this blog has is consistancy; it is constantly jealous of any and all elected officials.

What the bloggers forget is that they elected these folks.

Wendy is an experienced elected offical. She was in the the Tom Bradley Administration, she was at HUD during the Clinton Administration, she was at Dreamworks at the outset, and she served several terms as a member of the LA City Council, including being elected by her peers to be President Pro-Tem.

Then, she was elected Controller in a landslide.

All of a sudden she is a bimbo who can't figure out a problem?

Well, let me tell you, I think she is the favorite to be Mayor if Zev doesn't run. She may not be as smart as Garcetti, but she can get more votes, and the last time I looked, smart didn't necessarily win elections, but votes did.

Pixie hairdo or not, Wendy's got my vote. She knows how to govern.

December 13, 2009 10:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Unemployed Dale Thrush in the house.

December 13, 2009 11:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:16, "she was elected controller in a landslide."

Against a guy who can't speak English and raised only $30,000 to her $600,000, at least half that from IBEW/ D'Arcy, and $250,000 of that at the last minute when she panicked that she might lose anyway.

Plus she had on her payroll the Kinf of Slime and Dirty Ops John Shallman who concocted some alleged "Corruption! Corruption!" charge against Nick and had the Slimes run it as virtual fact, in a repeat of his other campaigns.
(But Nick came in second to a woman no one heard of, featured on lots of Republican mailers! Maybe he un-knowingly was also working against the anti-foreigner vote, the ones who think Nahai and Krekorian and the rest along with the Messicans should "go home.")

AND she had Doug McIntyre using KABC's otherwise very expensive-to-buy airwaves to campaign for her 24/7 like he did for Nooch. That, in turn, gave her a pass from most of the usual rightwing ranters who oppose "City Hall" and Antonio.

She has NO, ZERO, NO idea or experience in being in a REAL campaign, her job fell into her lap, so get off your high horse and realize that she has to prove herself, her mettle and ability to tackle issues without self-serving grandstanding toward her ambition.

Meanwhile, she has to hang tough against Nuch and fight for her right to audit elected officials and the BIG programs like gangs, Parks & Recs and the Children's Museum and developer projects etc., the City Attorney's office where he's intent on HIRING 200 "private cops with cars and everything" to ramp up his political spying, and intent on rehiring 60 laid-off lawyers "to save money" - she needs to make him prove it. Meanwhile let's see the Worker's Comp audit Rocky tried to stop, to find out why.
It stinks that even though he has all our city lawyers and has forced the Clowncil to fire her one lawyer that he LUVED while running for office to get Laura's support. Mooney told them to reinstate her lawyer since the real criminal act is to force her to fight 600 lawyers without even one.

Let's solve it and get her to do jer job. Hopefully withOUT having to wait to put it on as a Charter Amendment, a stalling tactic Nooch is going for now - something Laura and the Council in 08 tried to avoid because of a min. cost of $1.5 million and all the delay, just to pass the buck to voters.

If she listens to Hatfield or ANYONE ELSE, so much the better -- she needs to know what's bugging people, and to learn from those who have had success in the financial arena in the private AND public sectors. If Essel really had what it takes, let her advise Wendy and prove herself.

The Controller should be saving us money and figuring out how and where to consolidate depts. - the Budget Comm. headed by Parks proved useless and now they're trying to excuse stealing the tripled trash fee hikes for cops for the general fund, even while they cut out the new class of recruits and froze pay and benefits, furloughing support staff that may mean having to put more cops BACK on desk duty.

December 13, 2009 12:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The departments don't pay the bills. The Controller does. The depts request that the bills be paid, but it's up to the Controller to cut the checks. So the solution lies with the Controller's office.

December 13, 2009 3:17 PM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

The main problem with Wendy is that she is not independent. The city needs an auditor without ties to unions and elected officials. We were very lucky to have Laura in that office as long as we did, but it was luck.
Wendy did not demonstrate an ounce of common senseas a member of the City Council's budget and finance committee. She is beholden to the IBEW and is more interested in maintaining alliances with others on the council for when she runs for Mayor.
She is not the bulldog Laura was either. She can authorize audits all she wants, but unless she shows the cojones to wave the results in the faces of her pals on the Council and shame them into taking action by exposing their lack of care in the public forum, it is all for naught.
She won't do it; she lacks the knowledge and the guts.
If she takes her job seriously, she will use it as a bully pulpit. It would also help if she had the financial background to go with the politics.

December 13, 2009 7:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So how do make the Controller independent? If the Controller is appointed, she is beholding to who appointed her. If she is elected, she has to raise money to run. Any elected official could ignore who gave them contributions and do the best job they can, but I can't think of situation in which that has happened.

December 13, 2009 9:09 PM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

Only a charter amendment can help achieve what I would like to see:

The Controller could not have served in an elected or appointed capacity for a periofd of say five years prior to running.

The Controller must have an active CPA license in the state of California (as the City Attorney must be a member of the BAR).

The campaign would require public funding.

A tough sell, indeed. However, without these stipulations, we have zero chance of having an independent auditor. The City Controller may as well be just a check signer without independence.

The other option is to find another Laura Chick. Good luck on that.

Wendy is no Laura Chick.

December 13, 2009 9:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's the raising money for public office that blows everything out of the water. From what I've read on this blog, the concern about Wendy is not that she isn't a CPA (she has a whole office of CPA's), but rather that she is beholding to her campaign contributors.

The answer, therefore, does seem to lie with the desire of the public to find, groom, and financially support a good candidate. But I fear that the desire isn't there. It's difficult to convince people that the Controller affects their lives as much as a Councilmember or Mayor.

December 14, 2009 9:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Drug test the her. She's on something

December 14, 2009 12:15 PM  

Anonymous Paul Hatfield said:

958- she may have a whole office of CPAs but how in touch are they with technical issues and practices.
I would like Wendy to disclose how many of then have active licenses.
Starting next year, unless a CPA maintains the continuing professional education requirements, he/she will have to disclose the inactive status on any correspondence, marketing material, etc.
Certainly, anyone on her staff that supervises an audit must have an active license by law. However, I fear even those people may be so insulated from the real world of accounting and auditing so as to affect their ability to draw reasonable conclusions in some areas.

December 14, 2009 2:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Please list how much money Laura Chick saved taxpayers as Controller. Now list how much taxpayers paid for so-called "audits" prepared by the no-bid outside contractor who kept getting contracts as long as they gave headlines to Laura. Lucky to have her? Glad to be rid of the showboat.

December 15, 2009 1:36 PM  

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