LA WATCHDOG - In a word, NO.
LA WATCHDOG--The City’s Reserve Fund is intended to be used for emergencies and unforeseen expenditures, such as those created by the recent pandemic, an earthquake, or a wildfire.
LA WATCHDOG--The Economic Development and Jobs Committee of the Los Angeles City Council authorized the Chief Legislative Analyst to release a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) seeking consulting services needed to conduct policy, fiscal, and economic analyses related to the formation of a public bank serving the City of Los Angeles.
LA WATCHDOG--The infusion of $1.35 billion from Washington into the City’s coffers has set off a feeding frenzy among the members of the City Council which threatens the long term financial integrity of the City.
LA WATCHDOG--The Mayor’s Proposed Budget calls for an “investment” of $24 million in a Universal Basic Income (“UBI”) pilot program that will provide 2,000 low income Angelenos with $1,000 a month in unrestricted funds for one year, a total of $12,000 for each participant.
LA WATCHDOG-While the City is anticipating the cash infusion of $1.35 billion from the Federal government, the timing is uncertain, creating significant cash flow issues that must be addressed, especially in the upcoming fiscal year.
LA WATCHDOG--Despite the infusion of $1.35 billion from the Federal government, the City of Los Angeles still has a Structural Deficit that it is unwilling to attack.
LA WATCHDOG--The infusion of $1.35 billion of cash to the City’s coffers pursuant to Washington’s American Rescue Plan will allow the City to stabilize its finances, eliminate budget deficits, fund numerous one time projects, and establish a sizeable Reserve Fund.
LA WATCHDOG--The Department of Water and Power is planning a series of outreach meetings with Ratepayers and other interested parties to discuss the Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study (“LA100”) that outlines various plans that will provide City residents and businesses with reliable 100% clean renewable energy by 2045.
LA WATCHDOG--The Legislature is considering the establishment of BankCal that will provide no-fee debit cards to many unbanked and underbanked Californians.
LA WATCHDOG--Charter Amendment B: Shall the City Charter be amended to allow the City to establish a municipal financial institution or bank?
LA WATCHDOG--The Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study indicates that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power can provide the City’s residents and businesses with reliable 100% clean, renewable energy by 2045.
LA WATCHDOG--The City Administrative Officer’s Third Financial Status Report recommendations on how to handle the City’s $1.354 billion windfall from the federal government pursuant to the American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) are spot on.
LA WATCHDOG--It appears that the proponents of recalling Governor Gavin Newsom will have enough signatures to place a measure on the ballot to recall Newsom.
LA WATCHDOG--Mayor Eric Garcetti is “ecstatic” that the City of Los Angeles is expected to receive $1.35 billion from Washington under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
LA WATCHDOG--Homelessness and affordable housing are major issues facing the City of Los Angeles
WHO’S WHATCHING THE WATCHDOG?-A recent LA Times report adds fuel to the suspicions of some City Hall observers that the City Ethics Commission, instead of being a fierce watchdog of the public interest, is too often a myopic, fearful lapdog.
LA WATCHDOG--“This has to be about congestion relief, not revenue.” Mayor Eric Garcetti
LA WATCHDOG--The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by ageless (43) quarterback Tom Brady and a swarming defense, upset the favored Kansas City Chiefs, 31 to 9, in Super Bowl LV (55). This was Brady’s seventh Super Bowl victory and caused LA Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke to claim in his column, No more doubt about it: Tom Brady is the GOAT of GOATs, that Brady “became the greatest football player ever, and arguably the greatest American team sports athlete ever.”
Many of us will agree that Tom Terrific is the greatest football player ever who, over 20 seasons and nine Super Bowl appearances, won seven rings. But no way is Brady the “greatest American team sports athlete ever.” That accolade, the Greatest of All Time (“GOAT”), belongs to Bill Russell, the Boston Celtics center who led the Celtics to 11 NBA championships during his 13 year career (1956-1969).
After winning to two NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956 while playing for the University of San Francisco and captaining the 1956 Gold Medal Olympic team, Russell was expected to be drafted by the St. Louis Hawks. In his greatest trade ever, and maybe the greatest trade of all time, Celtics coach Red Auerbach sent All Stars Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagen to St. Louis for the #2 overall draft choice. This allowed the Celtics to draft Russell, a defensive minded center in an age when centers were offensive machines.
Russell changed the Celtics, a high scoring team with a porous defense, and the game with his emphasis on defense, rebounding, shot blocking, and the fast break. In his first season, the Celtics defeated the Hawks for its first title. And over the next twelve years, the Celtics won an additional ten rings, including eight consecutive titles (1959-1966).
This success is reminiscent of John Wooden, who in his 27 years at UCLA, won ten national championships, all of those over a twelve year period (1964 to 1975), including seven in a row.
Russell’s offensive statistics do not compare to many other great players. He averaged only 15 points a game, had a field goal percentage of 56%, and a free throw percentage of 44%. Offsetting his lack of offense was over 22.5 rebounds a game, numerous blocked shots, numerous fast breaks, and most importantly, a leader who led by example on and off the floor.
While many Angelenos will question Russell as The Goat, possibly claiming that Magic and Kareem may be worthy of the title. But together, they only won five and six titles, respectively, over 33 playing years. Some may claim Michael Jordan, but he won “only” six rings over 15 seasons.
When you ask long-time fans of the Los Angeles Lakers about the Celtics and Bill Russell, do not be surprised at a violent adverse reaction. During Russell’s 13 years with the Celtics and his 11 rings (one for the toe), seven were at the expense of the Lakers (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969). They know that Russell is THE GOAT.
(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].)
LA WATCHDOG--Once again, Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Nury Martinez and the other three Councilmen (Koretz, Krekorian, and Buscaino) on the Executive Employees Relations Committee placed the interests of the City’s public sector unions ahead of the financial integrity of our City and the best interests of all Angelenos.
LA WATCHDOG--On November 7, 2018, the FBI raided the home and offices of then Councilman Jose Huizar.