Fri, Jul

Budget Washing


ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Remember it is one budget, one item, one opportunity, and one opportunity for the public to call in.   

Memo No. 6 arrived from the CAO via email addressing question No. 302.    

The City is engaged in something like Sportswashing with this ruse. Call it, Budget Washing, 

A measure of gratitude is in order for Council member Bob Blumenfieild of CD3.  A very small measure because he has been repeatedly advised to do the right thing and take public comments at every meeting.    

Memo No. 6 referenced the City Council's directive to the CAO, Matt Szabo, to develop and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking one or more non-profit partners to implement a pilot program for unarmed crisis response (C.F. 20-0769).  

This RFP was released in March 2022, and a recommendation to execute contracts with the selected service providers is pending before the City Council (C.F. 20-0769-S6). 

The plan is to execute and administer service agreements with Alcott Center for Mental Health Services (Alcott), Exodus Recovery, Inc. (Exodus) and Penny Lane Centers (Penny Lane), to provide unarmed crisis response services within designated pilot program geographic areas, for a term of one-year and for an aggregate contract amount of $10,504,461.


Following the effective implementation of a pilot program, the City intends to scale the program to provide unarmed crisis response coverage citywide on a continuous 24-hour, 365 days a-year basis. 

Great!  How much time do I have left?  

Zero.  You are not in this meeting.  

Budget Train Keeps Rolling:

Monica Rodriguez asked about the South LA shelter and getting resources to fix it up to keep things cool with the not-for-profit that has been operating it.  

Everybody remembers the blistering LA Times expose from Dakota Smith, ‘It’s inhumane’: Dogs at L.A. animal shelters go weeks or months without being walked.'  

Katy Yaroslavsky was very focused on how it could possibly cost over $700,000 to install or repair wifi in the animal shelters.  

"Thank you for that question and your leadership." 

The answer will be forthcoming.  

Yarolavsky also mentioned that she was paying $100 for the internet to her large house. 

Spectrum has a deal... but every time I turn the tv on I am ramrodded to the LA Times channel.  

Naturally, animal services is severely resource restrained.  Stand by for a move-around.  


When Holly J. Wolcott, the clerk came out around lunchtime on Monday she had an exciting update regarding access to public meetings. Bob Blumenfiled praised her for being the first department to cost less money, this year.  

Whereas, virtual testimony has been unceremoniously yanked from committee meetings by Paul Krekorian, Spanish translation, she announced, is coming to a committee near you, soon. 

When? By the end of summer recess, according to Lattimore.  "Hello, Lattimore!" "Hello, Preven!" 

ITA is upgrading the audio installation and readying the new committee meeting room, 401. 

Very very exciting. Why was the public not consulted?   

Sentence Enhancement Request: 

When Krekorian goes down in flames for nixing virtual testimony with a flick of his pen and pretending it''s reasonable. 

We should make sure he gets the recognition he deserves as a total POS for quasi-cloaking, wherein an inarguable GOOD (translation services) is perversely used to justify otherwise horrifyingly BAD behavior.  Namely, blocking virtual testimony from committee meetings. 

"We aren't able to do everything we'd like to, Mr. Flexibility, but we added Spanish. Next Speaker.  Actually, no speakers today because Mr. Blumenfield is not in the mood." 

He's busy decarbonizing the Zoo.  

Debasing the Public One Item at a Time:

From time to time, whenever Chairman Blumenfield deems it appropriate member of the public is defenestrated from the hallowed chambers.



The public hearings have been botched badly...

On Mon, May 1, 2023 at 9:31 AM Eric Preven wrote:  

This morning's public hearing is defective.  

1) No public comment 

2) Youtube Channel is down. 

3) Cease and Desist and re-agendize with public comment on agenda each day.    

Very bad.   

Eric Preven


From: Ted Ross <[email protected]>

To: [email protected] <[email protected]>

Cc: Holly Wolcott <[email protected]>; Strefan Fauble <[email protected]>; David Michaelson <[email protected]>; [email protected]<[email protected]>; Scott Marcus <[email protected]>; John Popoch <[email protected]

Dear Mr. Preven, Feel free to watch the hearings via other avenues (e.g. https://lacityview.org/live, https://www.facebook.com/CityofLosAngeles, etc). 


Eliminate graffiti, potholes & more with the MyLA311 app!


Jacqueline Dupont-Walker faces #BlumenfieldsNOSE touting a strong equity lens.  A civil rights leader shrunk down to invisible is ironic, like a Fire in the Firehouse. 



The Fire Department has a new Chief, Crowley and she's an LGBTQ+ woman.  Mazel Tov. 

Katy Yaroslavsky asked her, "What are the diversity numbers?" 

"Still, 3% women." 

Look down, here. (in shame) 

Chief Crowley said one concern was 75 current paramedic vacancies... which will peak later this year at 136 vacancies.  Anything over 100 vacancies become very very challenging, she said.   

Need to address our fleet. Of our 572 total inventory vehicles, 129 or 22% are out of service.  

Everyone agreed on two effective ways to smuggle women into the fire department, the EMT program and also the wildland fuel management units, hand crews that help mitigate risk, but also work as a recruitment tool.    

Someone asked about the therapeutic transport vans that are perennially contingent on what the county wants to do. Curren D. Price said he was interested in the behavioral program - "who rescues the Rescuers?"

PHOTO SHOOT (What an asskisser) 

The chief revealed that there were two fire psychologists for the 3400 firefighters.  

Maybe they could help crack the code to make the fire department more appealing to women and others.  


The Chief spoke for what seemed like several hours weaving a tapestry of confusion and clarity, cheerfully explaining the unexplainable, and mesmerizing the city into... mo po-lice. 



The Chief asked all his new recruits, recently, how long did it take to get squared away since they'd applied.   

They routinely told him it took over 90 days to complete just one of seven steps,.. the 'field investigation' component.  Apparently, there is quite a backlog. 

The Chief touted Brian Williams, a move-around who came from being the Executive Director of the  Sheriff's Civilian Oversight Commission that went to war against Alex Villanueva for the Supervisors. 

The Chief defended his so-called, "bounce" plan to bring back up to 200 former officers who already went out on DROP and or retired. Sigh.  

"The system is bigger than everybody is here..."    

Rodriguez asked for "$5M for businesses to reduce smash and grabs, foot patrols."  Isnt' that what  Bids are for? 

The Chief said he was looking to identify the holes and the opportunities.  

Blumenfield wondered what if any incentives or annyyything, might be needed to attract people to law enforcement in this day and age. 

More lateral transfers.   

Monica Rodriguez stepped up for Kevin De Leon and requested $2M for the Hollenbeck division that covers El Sereno who came out in force the other day. 

This led to a discussion about OT.   

Katy Yaroslavsky who reps the fancy hills of Koretz, wanted to address party houses in her fancy district.  Summary:  Chief agreed, but needs to have maximum OT flexibility about how and where to smear it around to get the biggest bang for the buck. 

Price asked about the Olympics and was told the Mayor had carved out six positions to be ready... for 2028. 

Rodriguez, pushed back slightly, saying we already had the Super Bowl here, and it's five years away. 

Chief Moore thanked the mayor on that one.  It was her idea and the chief of staff is that  Olympics guy Chris Thompson.  Sigh.  

Of course, it's not an LAPD budget hearing if the cost of spewing helicopter fuel all over children and the efficacy of chasing perps with helicopters doesn't come up.  

The Chief said they have a policy but would re-examine it.   

Apple Air Tags are being handed out in New York by Mayor Eric Adams to stymie a rise in grand theft auto, there. 

The chief, said, "Unaddressed disturbances that don’t get our presence… can turn into shootings." 

Odd Balls Only:

Bernyce Hollins was given, um, unlimited time to manage the feisty committee comprised of, Bob, um, Blumenfield (CD3) Curren D. Price (CD9), Monica Rodriguez (CD7), Katy Yaroslsavsky (CD5) and Tim Mcosker (CD15)...all ODD numbered Council Districts, so that's weird and impactful come election time.


Transportation can be infuriating. 
Mcosker wanted to know ...what's it going to take to get a full complement of crossing guards? 
 Connie Llanos, formerly of Airbnb etc. and Garcetti's office is the new DOT gm.

She said she'd get back to Mcosker on the price for crossing guards.
Rodriguez joked but was not kidding that "getting a speed hump is like getting a Taylor Swift ticket." 
Seleta Reynolds is gone. 
Everybody seemed pleased to be glancing at the high-injury network, and doing very little as the number of pedestrian deaths have soared. 
Blumenfield read and answered a question. Why are LADOT and the Bureau of Street Services, not the same department?   One to pave and one to stripe, and maintain.
"The breadth and scope of what we manage," Llanos said, "signage, signals, parking key planners...it's far beyond street design.' 
Price...thanked her for looking at other alternative efforts and went far out of his way to thank "your department...you are responsive and receptive. 
Thank you. We need an "every tool in the toolbox approach."
Yes, 'all hands on deck.' 
One quick question about the uptick in litigation and the need for 4 positions to ensure that we are not spending too much senior time on litigation.  
We spent 1400 hours on litigation time. 
Yaroslavsky had the martini shot.  She asked why to get a blue painted curb "it takes 7 years on average, to get it done."
What would it take resource-wise to cut that in half, she asked.   So the results could be enjoyed... "while people are still alive." 
We'd be happy to bring that information back. Happy to work with the Department of Disability...on that, they do the pre-qualification.  
Yaroslavsky, pressed, that part is done quickly. 
Blumenfield had to intervene,  "Seven years. That sounds crazy... verify or let us know."    
Mcosker, had the tag:   Or just give us a can of blue paint.
County Claims:
Decades of failures leave L.A. County facing up to $3 billion from more than 3000 childhood sexual assault claims at various County and non-County facilities. 🔦 Many claims arise from MacLaren Children’s Center, a since-closed shelter where former foster children say physical and sexual abuse ran rampant. 
Disgusting beyond belief but the county’s liability is being dramatically overstated.
Q: What is the basis for believing liability is dramatically overstated?
A: First of all the horrific acts are abhorrent. 😭But the absence of records and a coherent explanation about how that sum 💰makes any sense, tells you all you need to know.  For plaintiff attorneys, no good tragedy goes to waste. How will we ever reform if we actually payout $3B?🚨
Q: It’s the County CEO that’s proposing this amount. What’s their goal in doing so from your perspective? So that whatever the actual amount seems like a deal?   The ways in which LAC officials are abhorrent and we all suffer simply boggles the mind.
A: Right, $1B seems palatable next to $3B. And describing such a massive historic payout also serves as an ice bucket to chill any other constructive requests from departments with serious unmet needs. Shameful is an understatement.
Early information estimates: 
Because of the gravity of these claims and the staggering potential liability, we are assessing the impact this will have on the County’s finances and future programmatic funding needs. 
Any outcome from these claims will put further pressure on the County’s budget, which is already strained by increased costs and slowing revenue growth. 
Also, the State legislature recently introduced two bills, AB 452 and AB 1547. AB 452 would remove all time limitations for childhood sexual assault survivors to file lawsuits, while AB 1547 would allow claims arising out of assaults by an employee of either a juvenile probation camp or detention facility owned and operated by a county or a youth facility owned and operated by the Division of Juvenile Justice to file their lawsuits in 2024. If enacted, these bills would further increase the County’s potential liability. 


(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch)