LA WATCHDOG--Governor Newsom’s advisors announced that the State faces a $54.3 billion deficit through June 30, 2021, of which $13.4 billion occurs in this fiscal year ending on June 30 and $40.9 billion is in the upcoming year beginning on July 1.
LA WATCHDOG--“I always say that budgets are a statement of our values. But this year, it is also a document of our pain.” Mayor Eric Garcetti, April 19, 2020
LA WATCHDOG--The City’s Annual Required Contributions to its two pension funds have increased 56% ($475 million) since Eric Garcetti was elected mayor, from $848 million to $1.32 billion for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020.
LA WATCHDOG--In a memo to All General Managers, Councilman Paul Krekorian, the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, indicated there will not be 40 hours of budget hearings as there have been in the past.
LA WATCHDOG--Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti have prioritized the lives of Californians and Angelenos over the premature opening of our economy unless there is adequate testing, tracking, and monitoring; proper social distancing; the protection of vulnerable communities; surge capacity at hospitals; continued research and development; and the development of adequate guidelines in the case there is a resurgence of the virus.
LA WATCHDOG--The Mayor’s Proposed Budget anticipates General Fund revenues of almost $6.7 billion, an increase of $118 million (1.8%) from this year’s Adopted Budget, and a balanced budget.
LA WATCHDOG--“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked.” Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
LA WATCHDOG--Over the last month, Mayor Eric Garcetti has done an excellent job of communicating with Angelenos about the Virus and what we need to do to stay safe and healthy.
LA WATCHDOG--Rumors emanating from City Hall suggest that Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council are considering a tax increase to finance the projected deficit for the upcoming fiscal year beginning on July 1.
LA WATCHDOG--One day, hopefully, sooner or later, we’ll knock down the new coronavirus that’s got people rattled. But there is no vaccine for the virus that infects City Hall.” Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2020
LA WATCHDOG-On Friday, former LA City Councilman Mitchell Englander “agreed to plead guilty to a federal criminal charge stemming from his obstruction of a public corruption investigation related to his acceptance of gifts - including cash, hotel rooms and expensive meals - from a businessman during trips to Las Vegas and palm Springs in 2017.”
LA WATCHDOG--Mayor Eric Garcetti will submit his Proposed Budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2020 to the City Council on or before April 20 as required by the City Charter.
LA WATCHDOG--In November of 2018, the FBI and IRS raided the offices and house of Jose Huizar in connection with its investigation of pay-to-play corruption at City Hall.
LA WATCHDOG--The impact of the coronavirus on the City’s already precarious finances has yet to be determined, but there is little doubt that it will cause a materially change in the City’s budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2020.
LA WATCHDOG--“One day, hopefully, sooner or later, we’ll knock down the new coronavirus that’s got people rattled. But there is no vaccine for the virus that infects City Hall.” Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2020
LA WATCHDOG--On Monday, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that he is running for Mayor and creating a fund-raising committee even though the March 2022 primary is two years away.
REVIEW--Over the next month, CityWatch will run a series of articles on the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (“LACERS”), a $17.7 billion fund created in 1937 to prefund pension and post-retirement medical benefits for the City’s current and retired civilian employees.
LA WATCHDOG--In November of 2018, 56% of the City’s voters rejected Charter Amendment B that would have allowed the City to establish a municipal bank despite the measure being endorsed by 170 organizations and members of the political establishment, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and 12 members of the City Council, including then City Council President Herb Wesson, the prime mover of this ballot measure.
LA WATCHDOG--“When Garcetti became mayor in 2013, he pledged to get “back to basics.” There should be nothing more basic than balancing the budget.” Los Angeles Times, November 10, 2019
LA WATCHDOG--We are being “bloomberged” by the educational-industrial complex that is spending an estimated $10 million (if not more) to convince us to vote for Super Tuesday’s Proposition 13, the $15 billion bond measure to fund the repair, modernization, and construction of facilities for K-12 schools, preschools, community colleges, and universities. But Super Tuesday’s Proposition 13 is not in our best interests.