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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Neighborhood councils scramble for real impact on the fiscal crisis

As neighborhood councils scramble to do something significant during the City's fiscal meltdown, they're calling yet another meeting - never enough of those you know - while continuing to line up like lemmings for the Mayor's Budget Survey - whee! 

I guess we've said our piece about the shamelessly biased budget survey. The City's real financial problems are not magically erased by the Budget Survey's General-Funded services hatchet game. The Budget Survey attempts to force you to balance the City's budget by cutting General Fund services only. City parks and recreational services are unfortunately one of these easy targets because the Department of Recreation and Parks is partially funded through the City's General Fund. Lots and lots and lots of other services and programming are not.

Paul Hatfield rightfully pointed out at Village to Village that governance by survey is a terrible method. He is more than right on that account, but a terrible idea has never stopped our City leaders before.

Jack Humphreville actually gets at the real heart of our complaint about the Mayor's joke process in today's CityWatch.  In Los Angeles, there is a  four-year budget deficit of over $3 billion, an unfunded pension liability of $11.5 billion which is not impacted in any way by the proposed pension restructuring, and crumbling City infrastructure that needs an investment of at least $10 billion. Of course, the more Antonio can shuffle, blur, confuse, and obfuscate, the faster he'll be long gone and it'll be someone else's problem. Our problem. Your and my problem. The People of Los Angeles's problem.If we're still trying to live here.

OK, so who knows? Maybe the NC meeting this Sunday might produce some action. Let's see what, if anything, comes out of it. Meanwhile, boycott the Mayor's Budget Survey and think about feeding it to him for lunch - if you can actually find him in town.

Emergency Meeting of Neighborhood Council Representatives and Leaders

Subject: LA’s Financial and Services Crisis and what NCs can do about it

• Sunday, January 10 (1:30 sharp)
   Hollywood Constituent Center
   6501 Fountain Ave (just west of Vine/just south of Sunset)

• ALL LA Neighborhood Council board members/representatives invited
Open to the public