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LOS ANGELES Wednesday, November 25th 2015 7:15


In Search of the Next Austin Beutner

INSIDE CITY HALL - While the Los Angeles City Council last week was deliberating on the budget - a one-day affair due as much to the lack of money to spread around as anything else - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was meeting privately with business leaders.
Those discussions centered on job creation and what the city can do to become more business-friendly.

Villaraigosa also is considering who to appoint to replace Austin Beutner, who stepped down as deputy mayor of business development to explore a run for mayor in 2013.

Villaraigosa has been interviewing candidates, including outsiders and members of the city's Economic Development team.

What is also being decided is whether Beutner's successor will have the same broad authority to oversee all agencies involved with economic issues.

And speaking of the budget: The $6.9billion plan is balanced tenuously on the hope that LAPD officers will agree to contribute more to their pension and health care costs. The budget presumes the officers will make the equivalent of a $21 million contribution to avoid having to take six unpaid furlough days in 2012.

However, the Los Angeles Police Protective League might be pushed to fight any further givebacks.

"There is no sense that officers are in a deal-cutting mood," said one official. "They feel they have given over $100 million from the last contract and they supported pension reform. Their view is that they have given all they are going to give."

The officers are particularly upset at cuts to overtime payments.

It is the threat of furloughs that has driven bargaining units for clerical workers and heavy-equipment operators to call for a new vote on the city's contract offer. If they fail to approve it, they could face furloughs of up to 42 days.

The union representing deputy city attorneys has remained steadfast in its refusal to reconsider the city's contract offer. (The rest of Rick Orlov here)

(Rick Orlov is a Daily News staff writer. His column, Tipoff, appears on Mondays. For a daily fix on politics, visit the Sausage Factory at  To contact him write to: ) –cw

Vol 9 Issue 41
Pub: May 24, 2011