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Amid Budget Crisis, Garcetti Wants to Spend $6,700 on Christmas Tree Lights

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Photo by [cipher] via Flickr
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Perhaps you could file this under the list of the many symptoms contributing to Los Angeles' budget crisis, now hovering around $218 million with 1,000 jobs to be eliminated. On Today's City Council agenda, Council President Eric Garcetti has a motion requesting $6,766 for the "Glendale Boulevard and Brunswick Avenue Urban Forestry Christmas Light Installation" in Atwater Village. In the motion, Garcetti writes that there is a "great need for funding to cover the cost" of the event, which took place during the last holiday season. "Our office stepped in to help the Chamber and Neighborhood Council this year when the event was in jeopardy," explained Garcetti Spokesperson Julie Wong, who explained how the night of the lighting spurs economic activity.

"People come out to Glendale Blvd (Atwater Village's main drag) and end up eating in the restaurants and shopping in the stores," she said. "In addition, it draws people to this shopping/dining community throughout the holidays."

The costs include $4,000 for overtime and $2,766 for supplies. Garcetti is using money from the city's Street Furniture Revenue Fund, which is generated from half of all advertising placed on street furniture like bus benches and kiosks. Some people would call this the City Council's slush fund for pet projects and its something Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would like to go towards fixing the budget.