News Column

Mayor Villaraigosa Calls for Major Cuts in Spending

Oct. 23, 2012

Rick Orlov

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

With a new report expected to show that city spending continues to outpace revenue, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a far-reaching list of proposals to cut costs through consolidation of departments, cuts in programs and the elimination of more city jobs.

"It remains critical that the city streamline the way we do business," Villaraigosa said in a letter to the council released late on Monday.

Among his recommendations was calling on the council to cut the 209 positions he had first called to eliminate in this year's budget and on which the council delayed action.

He also called for reducing starting pay for new civilian workers, increasing the amount contributed to health care and reducing the annual cost of living adjustment paid workers.

While the mayor did not provide any figures for expected savings from these actions, he also suggested some more far-reaching proposals.

Among them is separating the civil and criminal divisions of the city attorney's office, to allow the city to hire outside attorneys as needed to advise them on cases. Such a proposals has been considered in the past, with an elected city attorney handling only the criminal division.

The mayor also suggested the city look at further consolidation of city agencies, such as the Bureau of Street Services with the Department of Transportation and Street Lighting, and Planning with Building and Safety.

The mayor also said he wanted to

speed up the review of Fire Department deployment, look at increased outsourcing for services such as ambulances and to increase the use of part-time workers.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana is expected, possibly by today, to release the quarterly financial status report assessing the city's financial health.

Source: (c)2012 the Daily News (Los Angeles) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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