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’s Pension Contributions are Ballooning: The Public Has a Right to Know
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.
Shame on LA! Creating City Budget Behind Closed Doors
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.
Garcetti: What He Says v. What He Budgets
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 Controller, LA Mayor Disagree on Proposed City Budget
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.
Labor Agreements and the Virus Playing Havoc with LA’s 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
Garcetti’s Legacy … The Good and the Not So Good
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.
Will We Allow City Hall to Increase Our Taxes?
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.
The LA Corruption-Buck Stops with Garcetti, Wesson, and Martinez
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
Will Mitch Englander Sing?
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 Must Take Drastic Action Now to Solve Its Impending Budget Busting Mistakes
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’s Budget Virus
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.
Much More Than Mitch Englander
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
Musical Chairs at LA City Hall
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.
The Truth About LACERS
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.
Bank of Los Angeles: A Pet Project That Won’t Die
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.
The Coronavirus, the City’s Precarious Budget, and Radical Transparency
LA WATCHDOG--“Any unanticipated economic stress in the future would put L.A. in a far more precarious financial situation.” Ron Galperin, March 2, 2020, Revenue Finance Report.
LA Budget Fiasco Demands Radical Transparency
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
Even More Reasons for Angelenos to Reject Super Tuesday’s Prop 13, the $15 Billion School Bond
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.
Is Homelessness Really an LA Priority?
LA WATCHDOG--There are rumors emanating from the Mayor’s office and the Los Angeles City Council that they are considering placing on the ballot a new tax or bond measure to finance the City’s homeless initiatives, now that the $1.2 billion in Measure HHH funds has been fully allocated.