LA WATCHDOG - Ron Galperin has earned our vote for State Controller because he has done an excellent job as the Controller for the City of Los Angeles.
Since he was elected as City Controller in 2013, he has revolutionized the office, increasing the transparency by creating his open data portal where Angelenos have the ability to see where every dollar is going.
He has also been a fiscal watchdog. In a unilateral action that was not well received by some, he halted the flow of funds to and from the Joint Training and Safety Institutes, two slush funds funded by the Department of Water and Power and controlled by IBEW Union Bo$$ Brian d’Arcy, the business manager of the DWP’s domineering and politically powerful union.
Ron also took the initiative to stop salary payments to then Councilman Jose Huizar when he was indicted for corruption by the United States Attorney’s Office. (Huizar’s trial is now scheduled for February 21, 2023, over four years after his office and home were raided by the FBI and IRS in November of 2018.)
He has also conducted numerous hard hitting audits involving our streets and sidewalks, our parks and their filthy bathrooms, illegal dumping on our streets and alleys, and incentives (giveaways) to developers of hotels near the Convention Center. They have all resulted in remediative action.
Some are concerned about Galperin’s independence in this one party state. That is not an issue because Galperin is a straight shooter who will not be intimidated.
In Los Angeles, Galperin’s audit that revealed the excessive cost of the City’s permanent supportive housing for the homeless was not well received by the Mayor and the City Council. On the other hand, Angelenos welcomed the report even though they were shocked to learn that the average unit cost was $530,000. A subsequent audit revealed that the average cost was almost $600,000 and that one unit in the development stage was projected to cost over $835,000.
A major problem for the State and the Controller is the cost overruns and delays associated with the Financial Information System (“Fi$Cal”). This is the “statewide financial system to enable California to perform budgeting, procurement, cash management, and accounting functions transparently and efficiently.” While Galperin is not a computer programmer, he is familiar with complicated systems because of his work as City Controller and the development of the City’s payroll and human resources system. He will no doubt make the timely completion of Fi$Cal a priority.
Galperin has also had experience in managing a department. This is important since the Controller has a budget of more than $200 million and over 1,000 positions.
Finally, Galperin would be the only statewide officer from Los Angeles County, home to 25% of all Californians.
Galperin has earned and deserves our vote in his quest to be the next Controller for the State of California.
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. He can be reached at: [email protected].)