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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Is this reality or fantasy?




Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth
Sat Aug 01, 2015 @12:00AM
Fifth Annual Veterans Summer Celebration & Picnic
Sat Aug 08, 2015 @12:00PM - 04:00PM
9TH ANNUAL VENICE COMMUNITY BBQ & POTLUCK PICNIC


You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

Do You Trust the Gang at Metro to Manage Another 90 Billion of Your Dollars? Say No to the Measure J Slush Fund

LA WATCHDOG - “Would it be a good idea to see how Metro handles the first $40 billion of sales tax revenue before we give them an additional $90 billion?”

You bet it is.

This is reason enough to vote NO on Measure J, the November ballot measure that proposes to extend the life of the “one-half cent traffic relief sales tax” for an additional thirty years to 2069.

If passed by two-thirds of the voters, this extension would provide the politically controlled Metropolitan Transit Authority (“Metro”) with an additional $90 billion, resulting in a 60 year total of $130 billion.  

While we have questioned Metro’s management capability and organizational resources to control so many complex, capital intensive highway and mass transit construction projects that will burden our grandchildren with tens and tens of billions in debt and interest payments, we have not focused on the allocation of 40% of these sales tax revenues dedicated to finance the massive operating losses of the Metro’s bus and train operations and to fund the “Local Return Improvement” program.

25% of the Measure R and Measure J money is mandated to help cover the annual billion dollar plus operating losses of Metro’s inefficient and highly subsidized transit operations.

And while we may not all agree on the politics surrounding the huge subsidies for Metro’s labor intensive bus and rail operations, at least we know where the money is being spent.

That is not so true for the 15% for the sales tax revenue that will be diverted to the County’s 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of the County under the “Local Return Improvement” program.

Local Return projects would include pothole repair, safety improvements for both roads and bridges, the establishment of bikeways, operating subsidies for politically popular transit programs, and various other programs that would normally be funded through the General Fund.

The City of Los Angeles would be entitled to about 40% of the Local Return funds based on its share of the County’s population.  

But as with most items that involve the flow of money in the City, the ultimate use of these funds will be hard to trace.

Last year, for example, Mayor Villaraigosa proposed LA Road Works, a hare-brained scheme where the City would fund the repair of 25% of our lunar cratered streets through an $800 million bond offering secured by over $1.4 billion in future Local Return Measure R revenues.  

But this deal was DOA (dead on arrival) when the City Council and Public Works realized that the City did not even have an operational plan for the Ten Year Maintenance and Repair Program recommended by the Bureau of Street Services in its November 2011 State of the Streets Report.

With this all this new found money sloshing around City Hall, the Mayor and the City Council would love to stuff this dough in their own slush funds that would be used to finance their pet projects and those of their cronies.  

However, in light of the next year’s projected budget deficit of $216 million (a function of the $300 million increase in salaries, benefits, and pension contributions), our “kick the can down the street” Elected Elite may have to devote a portion of this money to filling potholes and repaving and resurfacing our streets.

Of course, this will allow the City to slash the budget of Street Services and use these “savings” to “balance” the budget.

Whether it is a slush fund for pet projects or a “rob Peter to pay Paul” scheme, it is obvious that we cannot trust the Mayor and the City Council to use these Local Return monies in a prudent manner.

No wonder we need a charter amendment that requires the City to “Live Within its Means.”

And before we drown our grandchildren in a sea of debt, it would be an excellent idea to see if Metro and the City utilize the $40 billion already allocated under Measure R in an efficient manner before we vote to give them an additional $90 billion.

Vote NO on Measure J.  

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at: lajack@gmail.com) –cw




CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 82
Pub: Oct 12, 2012


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