No on Proposition ‘A’ … And a Timely but “Greuel-ing” Reminder

BUDGET POLITICS - There are so many things that the “A” in Proposition ‘A’ could or should stand for—such as Avoiding Bankruptcy

—but to stop feeding the fire that is burning through taxpayers’ savings while enriching privileged and sheltered City unions and lobbied specialists, clearly there is an overwhelming message that Angelenos should conclude:  the WORST candidate for the mayoral job is Wendy Greuel. 

Only a fool would presume Greuel opposes Proposition ‘A’ in her heart, and only a fool would presume that she wouldn’t say or do anything to become mayor.  And Angelenos must not let themselves be fooled again. 

It’s easy to critique the entire slate of candidates for failing to promote a coherent and detailed plan for LA to avoid Bankruptcy, as did Steve Lopez of the Times after listening to the platitudes given by the candidates, but his greatest critique was for Wendy Greuel. 

This is especially true in light of the preposterous and intelligence-insulting proposal of Controller Greuel to increase the police force to 12,000 and to expand the fire department—which no political or economic analyst to date has supported as feasible. 

There is only one way to even remotely create such a scenario, which is to pass the extremely ill-advised and poorly-timed Proposition A—a proposition that Greuel has officially opposed. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought to myself, “So how are we supposed to hire all these police officers and firefighters, Wendy?  Clearly the only way we could do that is to raise taxes—and even more than what Proposition A would raise. 


At least outsiders like Kevin James, a former prosecutor, conservative talk show host and pro-law enforcement mayoral candidate, are even raising the issue of keeping an open mind on police levels while figuring out ways to attract business and jobs BEFORE we start going on a hiring binge…which might be a large reason why his poll numbers continue to climb. 

But for Ms. Greuel, a former Councilwoman and our current City Controller, to spew such nonsense while talking up all sorts of social issues (she’s a woman, she backs the President on various national issues, etc.) clearly shows she’s convinced Angelenos will only vote on what they want to hear and not vote on the reason-based issues confronting L.A.:  a loss of City services and impending Bankruptcy. 

Last I checked, Jan Perry was all woman—but she’s not kowtowing to City unions and tossing platitudes like stink bombs all over the place.  I wish Eric Garcetti would have the guts to have specific plans, but at least he’s not letting beleaguered taxpayers wonder how City Hall is going to hire a few thousand employees at a time when Bankruptcy and/or pay cuts and/or layoffs appear to be horribly unavoidable. 

And at a time when even Mayor Villaraigosa’s former deputy Matt Szabo is suggesting the deficit is being overstated and is “fuzzy math”, and is a likely ploy to pressure and frighten voters into passing this unnecessary sales tax  the need to wonder who’s telling the truth must clearly be on the minds of confused voters. 

Voters, I might add, who are probably getting pretty upset as it appears that the “A” in Proposition A might NOT be for the benefit of Avoiding Bankruptcy but Awarding Raises to City employees at a time when most Angelenos are still hurting and/or are exhausted just trying to keep their current income stable. 

And at a time when the L.A. Times, as with yours truly, supported the countywide sales tax hikes of Measure R and J for transportation, is now opposing Proposition ‘A’  the need for true fiscal discipline and open transparency with the voters and fact checkers is more important than ever. 

Furthermore, the Times endorsement of Ron Galperin for City Controller seemed to be as dismissive of candidate and City Councilman Dennis Zine as it was supportive of Cary Brazeman’s more ambitious and aggressive approach of how Brazeman would be running the office of Controller were Brazeman elected. 

I admit to being once very supportive of Ms. Greuel, a professor and experienced politician who should know better than to toss out ridiculous statements that insult the intelligence of all Angelenos, but I doubt I’m not the only one now insulted by her pandering and convinced that she’s just quietly praying for Proposition A to pass while verbalizing her opposition to it. 

So it’s becoming clear that the “A” in Proposition A does NOT stand for Avoiding Bankruptcy but for Awarding Raises…and it’s also becoming clear that anyone and everyone who concludes that Proposition A is the wrong solution at the wrong time must also conclude that the “A” in Proposition A stands for: 



(Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Boardmember of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at   The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.) 



Tags: Ken Alpern, Proposition A, Wendy Greuel, Villaraigosa, Szabo








Vol 11 Issue 14

Pub: Feb 15, 2013