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Fix Your Own Damn Sidewalk & 6 Other Ways to Fix the City Budget

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Photo by via Flickr

Photo by via Flickr
Rick Orlov at the Daily News did a nice job rounding up the Thursday L.A. City Council meeting where, as usual, the budget crisis was worked on. The city faces a combined $684 million deficit between this year's and next year's anticipated shortfall. Here's some of what was discussed, in short form:

1. The Private Sector: City employees and departments have taken cuts, but not contractors. If contractors all took a 10% cut, that could save $15 million.

2. Where the Sidewalk Ends: Millions are spent on sidewalk repairs, something over the past century the city has jumped back and forth on by giving the responsibility to property owners and then putting the responsibility back with the city. Now it may go back to the people. Another idea is to require sidewalk repair when a property is sold.

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3. Your Health: $105 million is owned in outstanding ambulance fees, but only $20 million will likely be collected.

4. More Health: Ambulance fees could increase along with new fees, including on-scene paramedic treatment and an annual fee for emergency medical service.

5. Parking Citations: Become even more aggressive with overdue parking tickets.

6. Various Increases: Increase fees for brush clearance, burglar alarms, parking meters, parking citations and the trash collection. The latter three all have seen increases in the last couple of years.

7. Power: And this one is already a done deal: $147 million transfer from LADWP, which is 8% of revenue generated by power. Transferring money from water revenue is verboten.