LA WATCHDOG - Recently elected Councilman Kevin de Leon announced that he is a candidate to be the next mayor of the City of Los Angeles.
If elected, the City will hold special elections to select his successor to fill the remaining two years on his term.
These two elections will consist of a primary and a runoff election that will cost the City and its taxpayers at least $2 million.
Will Kevin de Leon commit to pay for these special elections that are a result of his political ambition where he used Council District 14 as a steppingstone? Or will he stick us with the bill?
In the meantime, the residents of Council District 14 and their needs will be neglected because KDL will be running around town making unfunded promises about homelessness, affordable housing, rental subsidies, public safety, and the repair of our streets, sidewalks, and parks, and climate change.
For example, KDL has promised 25,000 units by 2025 for the homeless, but has offered no plan on how to fund or manage this $5 to $10 billion program.
KDL’s lack of budget acumen was on full display at the Budget and Finance meetings regarding the City’s budget. He was the least prepared of all the five members (and that is saying something since Curren Price was also a member). But this did not stop him from pontificating about many budgetary issues, reminding his colleagues and the public how fortunate they were to have the benefit of his experience and wisdom gained from his twelve years in Sacramento.
KDL was also very aggressive in proposing new programs that required “emergency” funding in this time of Covid-19. This resulted in reducing the Reserve Fund by $200 million from the amount in Mayor Garcetti’s Proposed Budget. And while the Reserve Fund was left with $500 million (6.8% of General Fund revenues, less than the 10% recommended by the City Administrative Officer), a good portion will be needed to fund next year’s projected budget gap of $261 million.
We will have other questions for KDL and the other mayoral candidates, including, but not limited to, the budget and the Structural Deficit, campaign finance reform, budget busting labor agreements, unfunded pension liabilities, the need to repair our infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, and parks), the recommendations of the LA 2020 Commission, and increased transparency.
But in the meantime, we have a question for KDL: Will you commit to pay for the special elections if you are elected mayor? Yes or No.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].)