A former and current mayor eyeing different financial remedies to Los Angeles Budgetary Crisis."
If Mayor Antonio Parkervillar can rant that bankruptcy is coming if he dosen't get his tax hikes, errr, DWP rate increases. Then former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan can make an rational argument that municipal bankruptcy is the best option to repair the City of Los Angeles financial affairs.
Riordan in the recent days has taken his "bankruptcy crusade" to the audio and print media.
In a recent interview with KNX 1070 AM
, Riordan espouses that Chapter Nine Bankruptcy is the key to restructuring the pension plans and stream line the number of employees on the cities payroll.
This is sure to engender a strong response from the likes of SEIU 721, who represent thousands of city employees. It should be noted that in the days of SEIU 347, there was a certain facilities room known as the "Richard Riordan Reading Room". With these recent comments, one can envision that likes of SEIU 721 and IBEW, espousing the creation of the "Richard Riordan Toxic Dump", but I digress.
For one thing, it could lead to speedier reform of the pension system, which many economists and politicians say is necessary if the city is to prosper long term.
"I've suggested it since 2005," former Mayor Richard Riordan said. "The city, the way it is going, is unsustainable. If they don't do it this year, they are going to have to do it in the next four or five years."
Of primary concern is the city's spiraling pension obligations, which are growing astronomically at a time when city coffers are running out of cash.
"Those will be over $1 billion a year," Riordan said. "The city will not be able to afford it."
But Riordan calls for bankruptcy are counter by the likes of City Councilman Eric Garcetti, Bernard Parks, Suedo Economist Jack Kyser and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Yaroslavsky, for his part counters that bankruptcy "sends sends a wrong message to the local business community and firms looking to move to Los Angeles". It is discipline that is needed at 200 Spring Street.
If discipline alone is the answer to the budgetary crisis, then let me be the first to call for some form of "political corporal punishment" for those who sway off the fiscal path.
But in hindsight, the future numbers, especially in the area of pension obligations, would cause most with a rational grasps of accounting, to not completely discount bankruptcy, as a option to right the cities dire financial affairs.
And it is fiscal times like these, that open the door for an person with a business orientated background, to ponder a run for mayor in 2013.
Scott Johnson in CD 14.
Labels: 2010/2011 city budget crisis, richard riordan