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Fierce Spray Over Los Angeles Graffiti Removal Budget

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In a move that seemingly goes against the belief that "safe and prosperous communities start with clean streets," a top financial advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recommended this week that Los Angeles diminish by half its graffiti-removal budget "as part of a round of short-term cuts," reports the LA Times.

The proposed cut would last through the remainder of the fiscal year, saving the city $1.5 million towards balancing the city budget, however some City Council members "have reacted with alarm, saying eradicating graffiti is both an economic and a safety imperative," notes the Times.

Councilman Ed Reyes worries such a cut would hinder the city's ability to create revenue with spray paint scaring off potential investors, and that neighborhoods with a history of gang violence could suffer as a result a shriveled budget since gangs use graffiti to communicate. According to the LA Times, "Villaraigosa called the proposed belt-tightening 'way too much.'"