Villaraigosa Budget Feedback: City Controller Says it's 'time to be honest' About How Bad L.A.'s Fiscal Crisis Is
Today Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa revealed his budget plan for the City of Los Angeles, and while it did not include layoffs, it did include furloughs. "In an effort to close a $457.5 million deficit, the mayor is calling for 26 furlough days for city workers who will not get cost-of-living raises as part of their contracts, and 36 furloughs days for employees scheduled to get raises," explains the Daily News.City Controller Wendy Greuel released a statement this afternoon in response to Villaraigosa's budget, and notes that the furloughs, and other proposed plans like "special fund swaps" and a $100 million "police reduction target" are short-term, one-time "savings opportunities." She remarks that plans to borrow funds to pay out what is already owed by the City is not a prudent decision, and will wind up being more costly in the long run: "Kicking the can down the road is not a solution when we can anticipate a growing structural deficit in future years."
Greuel also added that L.A. residents and employees need to face some hard facts: "It’s time to be honest with Angelenos about the scope of the fiscal crisis we are facing and the painful, but necessary solutions."
What's missing from the budget also hits Greuel right at her Department's bottom line: Money allotted for conducting audits.
Said the Mayor today at the budget announcement:
"This budget reflects my steadfast commitment to making Los Angeles a city where neighborhoods are safe, parks and libraries are open, streets are paved, and there is a healthy reserve fund that ensures the city is financially stable for generations to come. In order to preserve these services and priorities, this budget makes long-term structural changes to move Los Angeles towards a fiscally sound and sustainable future."