CITYWATCH - LA’s Mayor played to a full house at City Hall on Saturday. He was hosting his annual Community Budget Day and some 120 or so Neighborhood Council activists shoehorned their way into the Public Works Chamber to jump start their advisory work on Mr. Villaraigosa’s budget for the next fiscal year.
The Mayor needed no teleprompter to deliver his remarks. It was roughly the same speech he offered last year … and the year before that: The City is in the midst of “the most serious economic downturn since World War II … (however) we’ve made significant progress.” Gang and crime reductions, his 30/10 transpo plan, six-day service at libraries, filled pot holes, synchronized traffic lights, etc. A now familiar list.
Also familiar is the reminder that the City faces a $200 million-plus deficit for next year’s budget meaning the prospects of more cuts and ‘efficiencies’ ahead. And continued efforts to consolidate departments, city work and services.
Unmentioned, but looming … considering this was a gathering of mostly Neighborhood Council representatives … was the question of NC funding cuts again this fiscal year.
Controller Wendy Greuel, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, Council President Eric Garcetti and City Financial Chief Miguel Santana were also featured. City Council Budget Chair Bernard Parks passed on his invitation to participate.
The size of the turnout was impressive. At least two thirds of the City’s NCs were represented. Also refreshing: the fact that 60-70 percent of them were there for the first time. Fresh faces. New energy. New ideas. Let’s hope.
Councils have nudged their way closer to the budget table. Two years ago Budget LA representatives sat with Deputy Mayor Larry Frank during the final hours of budget planning. Last year the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates made a formal budget presentation to City Council.
NCs voted in a new group of NC Budget Advocates. Check the list to see who reps your area. Names in ( ) are alternates:
● South Valley - Joanne Yvanek-Garb, Glenn Bailey, (Derek Waleko, Claudette McGhee)
● North Valley- Lisa Cahan Davis, Edmund Novy, (Belen Rojas, Krisna Crawford-Velasco)
● West - Jay Handal, Terrence Gomes, (David Crew, Priscilla Resendiz)
● South - Allan DiCastro, Arnetta Mack, (Janine Watkins, Shawn Simons)
● Central- Jack Humphreville, Marcello Robinson, (Scott Bytof, Claudia Bayard)
● East- Vera del Pozo, Heinrich Keifer, (Jose Sigala, Charles Herman-Wurmfeld)
● Harbor- Nelson Williams, Craig Goldfarb, ( Joan Jacobs)
(Ken Draper is the editor of CityWatch. He can be reached at [email protected]) -cw
Tags: Mayor’s Budget Day, Mayor Villaraigosa, Neighborhood Councils
Vol 9 Issue 87
Pub: Nov 1, 2011