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A Top 10 List on Saving Your Tax Dollars

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More advertising on street furniture can help raise revenue for the city | Photo by el monstrito via flickr

Today, Wendy Greuel announced a top ten list of sorts on new measures to save the city millions of dollars. It's good timing. On February 5th, we go to the polls and vote on Measure S, which will determine if $270 million will be taxed on our phone bills or not. If no is the answer we give, you can probably kiss goodbye more parks and other quality of life aspects like the Governor has proposed in his budget cuts. Additionally, we're already a city that cries poor every hour, currently lachrymose with $75 million in the red ($345 if Measure S doesn't pass). And even if we were not a city with financial problems, getting fiscally lean is always responsible government.

"We are facing a budget crisis," said Councilwoman Greuel. "These common-sense proposals are an important first step in trying to balance the City's books. We need to be more disciplined in how we spend taxpayer's money. The City must explore new efficiencies and revisit past proposals to continue providing the essential services to every Angeleno."

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Greuel has asked the City's Administrative Officer and the Chief Legislative Analyst to report back in 30 days with how these proposals can be implemented and exactly how much they will save the City. The list is after the jump.

Wendy's 10 Proposals (Editorial comments in italics)

1. Streamline the City's building and permit process (automation through online technology is so important to government streamlining these days)

2. Review past proposals to eliminate or consolidate City Departments (as controversial as it is, combine the important, yet viewed as "feel-good" departments like the Commission on the Status of Women and Human Relations Forum together, but still let those function have autonomy).

3. Change the City's surplus property ordinance so that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of surplus property will be deposited in the City's General Fund instead of being split with the council district where the property is located (right on, enough with the fiefdoms)

4. Require departments to provide bi-annual updates on fee reviews to the Mayor and Council in the Mid-Year and Year-End Financial Status Reports (get ready for a fight)

5. Create incentives for council districts to participate in the Street Furniture Advertising program by only allowing participating council districts to receive revenue from the program (sounds good, just don't trash our neighborhoods with too much advertising)

6. Request City departments to report back on potential opportunities to generate additional revenue through advertisements or sponsorships (more public toilets!)

7. Review all City services that may be accessed by other jurisdictions and determine whether the City can recover the costs associated with providing that service (we already take care of Santa Monica's fire dispatch)

8. Investigate the value of the City selling its services to other jurisdictions (please, let the LAPD take over the Metro contract.)

9. Determine whether a fee differential can be charged for residents from neighboring cities accessing City services (e.g. using the City's golf courses). (It's done in Chicago with no problem. Why are people in SoCal so uptight about this?)

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10. Seek to reopen City contracts based on current economic conditions to reduce cost. (Agreed, as long as it's not a company that makes weapons for wars depleting our federal funding like the one that has the contract for parking tickets)