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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wednesday Hotsheet for Hot Streets

“You’ve been getting a deal for 50 years from this city”

How’s that for representation? The words of Councilmember Greig Smith as City Council voted 11–1 yesterday to increase the tax you pay for garbage collection to 140% of the current rate. Councilmember Dennis Zine was the sole dissenter. Incredibly, Smith nuked his own argument prior to the vote:

The council and mayor led people to believe that [the trash tax] was only to pay for police. That was never the case.

Exactly! The trash tax money has no particular budget allocation. Therefore, garbage collection has never been subsidized any more than tree trimming, street sweeping, and graffiti removal ever have been. Trust that we’ll replay Smith’s words the next time he’s counting on—oh, I don’t know—your vote.

Most of us felt the magnitude-5.4 quake that struck near Chino Hills yesterday, but did you hear that loud sucking sound an hour later? That was wind leaving Mayor Villaraigosa's sails as Wolf Blitzer asked, “where were you when this earthquake struck?” “Well,” the mayor replied, “w-where I am right now … is in London.”

Memo to Mayor V: the next time you need a vacation, consider Los Angeles as your destination. No, really—it's a great place! You really ought to visit sometime; we have beautiful beaches, not to mention world class cultural institutions, dining, and shopping. As an added bonus, you'll be right here for the next seismic event, be it another temblor or MacArthur Park Melee.

Back downtown, City Council voted 12–0 yesterday to prevent new stand-alone “fast food” establishments from opening in a 32-square-mile area of South Los Angeles. Councilmember Jan Perry’s proposal has been criticized and mocked from coast to coast. Jan Perry claims she’s been called a Nazi, a fascist, a Stalinist, and fat, but the only comment that hurt “was the fat one.” Jan Perry is clearly not listening.

In other news, the city streets continue to heat this week. A murder mystery in Century City, some crazy dude driving 110 miles per hour the wrong way at the 5–405 interchange, and former Los Angeles city commissioner Leland Wong is in big trouble. Today will be 70s at the beaches, 80s inland, and 90s in the Valley. Stay cool, stay safe, and blog away dum-dums!

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, ease up on Mr. Smith. I am convinced that we suffer with his narcolepsy. By the way, I have seen him sleeping on metrolink!!!!

July 30, 2008 7:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

PUH-leez, AW don't urge Antonio to vacation here in L.A. Give us a break, will you.

It's the only time WE get a "vacation" from the non-stop photo-ops for our "celebrity" playboy mayor, when he is in town - which is only about half the time he "working".

And, just maybe, if he's out of town even more, his staff will have time to do something other than kiss his low center-of-gravity ass all the time. Things actually run better in L.A. when he's away, because they don't all have to revolve around him and his ego.

Besides, London is home base for incompetent commie pinko big city mayors, verdad?

July 30, 2008 9:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I heard an interview with Antonio where he said he was going fishing with his son. Who the hell goes to London to go fishing?

July 30, 2008 10:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:44, I believe they both went fishing for some British females.

Michael Finnegan

July 30, 2008 12:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen (removes hat and bows low with flourish):

His Nibbs went to London to hobnob not with nabobs but gentry. Rumour has it that he was invited to fish up country along the Dee with that other large-eared dandy and his Mrs. (Whispers) Perhaps the Mrs. can give him tips and pointers on how to make a mistress a missus, savvy? But let's not talk about that. Let's talk about something else, shall we? Yes, lets.

Last evening my Mum was out to supper in Eagle Rock when she overheard someone speak of Zuma Dogg at the Clowncil meeting that morning. Mum had a chance to eyeball the sots, and she reports that it was an older, stout looking woman with short, frizzy brown hair...dining with two younger men who were in Mum's opinion, if you will, fine young lads, savvy? Now why would someone from Eagle Rock discuss the likes of the Canine Crusader? (Whispers) Ask Don Jose for those sots were from his camp, savvy?

July 30, 2008 1:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So Greig Smith and other CM staffers come back from a month-long jaunt to many countries in Europe and Japan to study garbage, on our dime (actually many dimes) and his conclusion is that we haven't been paying enough. Some Republican. Pretty soon, he may go the way of Zine, trying to throw a bone to middle-class homeowners now and then, but sucking up to the pro- illegal lobby like he did today and on numerous recent occasions. Someone said he's planning to run for another city-wide office, and believes he needs the Mexicans' support more than just his West Valley conservatives. A tricky balancing act that makes him look just plain confused and stupid, and it isn't fooling the RonKaye bluehairs any.

July 30, 2008 7:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Greig Smith was right on both counts. We are the only city that picks up the fees for trash removal and this city had to get the fees instituted for full cost recovery.

Once it's in the general fund, who cares where it goes. (besides us who post here) Then the money for cops comes from the general fund.

Was it really a "lie"? Or just a political "maneuver"?

July 30, 2008 7:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:52/ Smith staffer says, "Once it's in the general fund, who cares where it goes?"

ALL the people active in homeowner groups care, that's who, including the nitpicky ones on the westside and a bunch in the valleys and elsewhere.

They ALL protest not having enough cops for their areas because they're deployed in the gang-infested inner cities -- where the people are renters and don't even pay this tax.

That's who cares, and is mad as hell that the trash fees haven't all gone to cops as promised. Why do you think the Daily News and Times and everyone is playing that up as a failure, and Laura Chick has to finesse her analysis, that it's "not technically fraud" because of what you and Smith claim: sure, the Mayor and Council made very specific promises to the homeowner taxpayer saps that the trash fee increase would go toward cops, including for them -- but, since it's technically going first into the General Fund (not having been passed by a 2/3 ballot vote as a speicif tax) it can be swiped into any fund the city wants.

(Just like the State is planning to do with our "surplus gas tax" which WAS passed by 2/3 vote as a specific bond but hey, politicians are nothing if not unreliable so they can LIE, right? Promise one thing, then bait-and-switch on a technicality?) With his Boy Scout "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" attitude, we expected more honesty from Smith. Especially after we blew a big wad on his junket.

And don't get started with comps to Europe -- they don't grant illegals' babies citizenship rights and their cradle-to-grave taxes provide free, GOOD healthcare to their LEGAL RESIDENTS, free preschool, long paid holidays, safe streets (except where immigrants overrun them, like parts of London, Paris and Hamburg) and senior care.

We tax for nothing but fewer services, and this trash tax and others only hit property owners -- something you DON'T find in Europe, where taxes are just income-based. -- Of course, with 1/3 the local economy "under the table," that would exempt illegals, too. Here, people are feeling the opposite is happening: illegals are coddled and their angry demands heeded, while the law-abiding citizenry, the middle-class homeowner whose prop values are WAY down in Calif. and every other price is UP, are being hit again and again. Zine is right on that count, and by writing them off with by openly saying the city CAN bait and switch, Smith lost his credibility today.

July 30, 2008 10:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"month-long jaunt to many countries in Europe and Japan to study garbage, on our dime (actually many dimes)"

Actually, you ignoramus, the entire trip was paid for by tipping fees that trash haulers pay to dump their trash at Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Granada Hills.

That would be the landfill that Smith has fought and tried to get closed down for about 25 years, sticking his neck out regularly to do it. Some thanks!

The funds that paid for that trip were specifically set aside for alternative technologies to landfills, so they couldn't be used for anything else.

Get your facts straight. Smith is the most honest, responsible, least political one on the council.

July 31, 2008 2:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

2:15/ Mitch Englander says: "Smith is the most honest, ethical, least political one on the Council."

Well, he's proving himself to be among the stupidest ones, so maybe he should keep his mouth shut more often. Good thing he doesn't talk too much.

Only a dummy can claim that "no one cares" where the trash tax hike that people are being hit with goes -- if you people in Smith's office believe that, you're assuming the homeowning taxpaying public is as stupid as Smith apparently is.

Damn right we all remember the Mayor and Council promising the fee hikes would go towards cops, with the explanation that although the bill can't be written that way since it's not a ballot measure and hence isn't being passed with a 2/3 majority, the PROMISE FROM THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL'S MOUTHS that it's going only for cops, was how they managed to avoid a huge outcry from all the HOA's and NC's then.

Do you forget, you idiot, the subsequent battle in Council, when Bernie Parks/ Cardenas and some others on Budget Comm. tried to swipe the fee into the General Fund and NOT pay for cops, but were opposed by the Mayor himself, his allies, and the media -- so that Parks and the Council gave in, at least gave their word.

NOW the Daily News and Times report that the public was, in fact lied to, at least about half the revenue which went elsewhere. NO ONE CARES WHERE THE MONEY GOES, STUPID?

Now with another bit hit on homeowners only, who demand the fees to go for cops as originally promised, Stupid Smith comes out and admits what the Mayor and his allies have been trying to deny: that the public has been lied to, and the money will after all, just go into the General Fund, NOT to where it was PROMISED to. For cops.

Lying like this, gives the public reason to believe that the OTHER tax raised "for public safety" the same way, Prop S, will also be used just to try to balance the badly mismanaged general budget, NOT where promised.

In other words, I state again you dummy, that Smith is admitting that politicians in L A are liars.

Being stupid and simple-minded is FAR worse than being corrupt even: at least the corrupt can be controlled by exposure and public opinion, while the Stupid defraud the public out of sheer stupidity. That's your guy, Smith, we now see.

If this fraud is what he's come back from his junket with, he could have stayed home and tinkered with his own solar panels instead -- more where he belongs.

July 31, 2008 6:39 PM  

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