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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Los Angeles Politics Hotsheet for Wednesday

The Daily News is right on in an editorial opining against a proposed property tax levy against homeowners to support city libraries.  While everyone loves libraries it doesn't seem right to ask for even more money from homeowners especially when they have made it clear in the defeat of the LAUSD's effort to place a parcel tax last month.  Libraries need to review where they stand in a technological era and determine if they're truly providing core services and how best to do that with limited funds.

The City of LA may get behind a state plan to consider same day voter registration which allows voters to register on election day.  We want to increase participation (as long as it's informed and not just folks voting for someone who sent them a potholder) but this is a really bad idea. It opens the door to lots of potential nonsense and burdens voting officials to get it all right.  Currently California allows voters the opportunity to register 15 days before the election.  This is sufficient and gives election officials enough time to verify registration and get it right.

The City of LA is considering shifting the responsibility of upkeep of sidewalks to the property owner.  Though many will cackle this makes sense.  Sidewalks are not considered a core city service everywhere else in the US and have only been handled by the City since the 70s.

The City of LA may have missed an opportunity to earn some money to close it's budget shortfall - Long Beach is considering taxing medical marijuana.  The Queen Mary city is facing an $18.5 million deficit and figures since it taxes alcohol and cigarettes, why not pot?

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

property taxes going up, up and upper higher in los angeles county!

July 07, 2010 5:17 AM  

Anonymous trojan2002 said:

Sidewalks... who owns them? The city, the homeowner?
That's an important issue.
Many commercial property owners have been sued for violating Title III of the ADA. Sidewalks are, technically, public space and if totally unusable by those confined to a wheel chair, then a law suit could be brought under the ADA.
If I'm a homeowner with a completely wrecked sidewalk, I'd think about that.
It's probably a contributing factor for why the city has been trying to pass off responsibility for some time now.

And yes, case law has already said sidewalk accessibility is covered by the ADA under Title II.

July 07, 2010 7:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Upkeep of sidewalks to the property owner’s a very creative idea a patch work of brick and pea gravel and dirt and cement with each family members name scribed into the finish would look nice throughout the city perhaps the mother of Jesus or a bull scribed
Into the finish this idea will be the crown on the cake for our already lovely city of Los Angeles.

July 07, 2010 8:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam I have confirmed the identity of the Burbank Blogger. Where can I email this info?

July 07, 2010 8:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is there a burbank blog? I wanna read it!

July 07, 2010 9:27 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

8:51 looks like you already figured out how to email me. Very interesting.

July 07, 2010 9:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"You have reached the office of Councilman Richard Alarcon. We are closed today because the staff is over at the Grand Jury testifying against the Councilman in a felony matter. We will also be closed tomorrow while we all get together and help him move back into his district."

July 07, 2010 11:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who Is City Hall Trying to Fool?

Would two-thirds of the voters approve this parcel tax if they knew that two-thirds of the tax ($20 million) was going out the back door to the City’s General Fund as part of the City’s ”full cost recovery” program?

Would two-thirds of the voters approve this parcel tax if they knew that there was the possibility that City might attempt to recoup another $30 million under its “full cost recovery” program?

Would two-thirds of the voters approve this parcel tax knowing that overhead was almost $50 million, representing 37% of the entire Library budget?

And would two-thirds of the voters approve this parcel tax knowing the Los Angeles Public Library does not have a long term financial and operational plan?

In addition to the issues involving the Library, there are significant policy issues.

Why did the Arts, Parks, Health & Aging Committee (LaBonge, Wesson, and Reyes) delete the proposed “sunset” provision recommended by the Library Commission?

The burden of a parcel tax falls disproportionately on homeowners and condo owners since they pay the same $39 parcel tax as does the owner of an apartment complex or a large downtown office building. This is just another assault on homeowners, just like the Department of Water and Power’s Rate Restructuring Plan and the Shortage Year Water Rates.

The Library Parcel Tax is also just another not very well thought out gimmick to raise money for the City which does not even have the vague outlines of a long term financial plan to balance budget or solve the “structural deficit.” Nor have we even seen any plans that address real pension reform or our deteriorating streets and infrastructure.


July 07, 2010 12:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't play along with their "the sidewalks are your problem" bait-and-switch tactic from the City, which now points to "well, other city's don't fix them."

Many of the City's worst sidewalk problems are the result of really stupid decisions by past elected officials, like planting Fica trees by the thousands in tree wells, not realizing their root systems grow near the surface and break sidewalks. Now this is "our" problem.

The City assessed property taxes and set budgets based on providing these services, and now wants to start cutting back on the more visible, concrete (pun intended) services that we CAN actually see and benefit from daily. It's like Kellogg's selling you the same large-size box of corn flakes for the same price -- but just putting 3-4 ounces less of product in it every new year.

And what about all this clap-trap of making L.A. less dependent on cars -- encouraging people to walk and ride bikes. Walk on what? Crumbled asphalt piles that add to the risk of personal injury, and the lawsuits related to them? This will be a FIELD day for the "Lary H. Parker" ambulance-chaser crews. Every dime NOT added to your property taxes now will have to go into your homeowner's liability insurance payments, as more and more frauds sue homeowners because they fell on sidewalks at the far edge of their homes.

If my Councilmember can afford to entertain people with fireworks all over the district every 4th (to very limited audiences), waive street closure fees for poorly attended self-promotion festivals, and the like -- then he can fix my sidewalks.

(OR, give me the option to cover them with grass or ground-cover all the way to the curb, so that pedestrians can walk in HIS street and risk injury there).

July 08, 2010 12:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Shifting the burden of sidewalk maintenance to property owners might make sense if they were all in good shape. Then the city could certify that going forward it is the property owners responsibility. However when a city planted tree is the culprit for breaking them up the city is liable for fixing them. Just more BS from stupid hall. Perhaps if the city were better able to collect on parking fines, wayward city tax owed by parking lots they would not be in this mess.

July 12, 2010 6:43 AM  

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