LA WATCHDOG--We always knew that City Hall was dirty: a rat-infested nest where money trumped our best interests, especially when it involved pay-to-play real estate developers. This fact was hammered home when the FBI raided the home and offices of Councilman Jose Huizar, the chair of the powerful, favor granting Planning and Land Use Management Committee of the City Council.
LA WATCHDOG--QUALITY TEACHER, CLASS SIZE REDUCTION, AND LOCAL SCHOOL SAFETY MEASURE
To retain/attract quality teachers; reduce class sizes; provide counseling/nursing/library services, arts, music, science, math, preschool, vocational/career education, safe/well-maintained schools, adequate instructional materials/supplies; support disadvantaged/homeless students; shall Los Angeles Unified School District levy $0.16 per square foot of building improvements annually, exempting seniors/certain disability recipients, providing approximately $500,000,000 annually for 12 years, requiring annual audits, oversight, and funding local schools?
LA WATCHDOG--On February 21, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the City of Los Angeles, the Department of Water and Power, and the Bureau of Sanitation would embark on an $8 billion plan to recycle 100% of its wastewater by 2035. This ambitious sixteen-year plan will involve recycling over 200 million gallons a day of wastewater into around 195,000 acre feet of potable water a year.
LA WATCHDOG--“The Great Recession is over. We now have a balanced budget and we have eliminated over 85% of our Structural Deficit.” City Councilman Paul Krekorian, Chair of the Los Angeles City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, February 27, 2019
LA SPORTS WATCHDOG--Once again, we are hoping for the Dodgers to end its 30-year World Series drought. And in that quest, many believed that the team should have signed Bryce Harper, a 26-year old wunderkind who was the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and the 2015 NL MVP.
LA WATCHDOG--Ten years ago, on March 3, 2009, just over 50% of the voters of the City of Los Angeles rejected Measure B, Mayor Villaraigosa’s solar initiative to have the Department of Water and Power install 400 megawatts of solar power within the City limits.
LA WATCHDOG--The blue wave has caused politicians throughout the State to believe that money grows on trees in our back yards. Many are planning tax, rate, and fee increases, including LAUSD, DWP, Metro, the City, and the State. But at the same time, all are experiencing record revenues.
LA WATCHDOG--Our trust and confidence in the City’s elected officials and institutions has sunk to new lows as revelations about City Hall’s pay-to-play culture have been front page news ever since Councilman Jose Huizar’s offices and home were raided by the FBI in November.
LA WATCHDOG--Mayor Eric Garcetti’s hastily called press conference (photo above) on Tuesday morning, February 12, was essentially a pep rally for the Los Angeles New Green Deal team where he announced the depowering / phase out of the Department of Water and Power’s three coastal natural gas power plants that are a major source of reliable electricity for the City of Los Angeles.
LA WATCHDOG--The recent reports of rats, fleas, and vermin in City Hall have gone viral, eliciting comments from around the world. This includes an appropriately titled, front page article in The Wall Street Journal, “Politics is a Dirty Business – Starting with the Rats at Los Angeles City Hall.”
LA WATCHDOG--The process for developing and approving the City’s annual budget is not transparent because it does not allow Angelenos to have any meaningful input on how the City will spend our hard-earned money. Nor does it allow us time to review, analyze, and comment on the operational, financial, and policy issues that are contained in over 1,500 pages of mind-numbing figures.
LA WATCHDOG--“This is the eradication of congestion.” Phillip A. Washington, Metro Chief Executive.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering congestion pricing which, if approved by the voters, would charge motorists to drive on our freeways and streets. This new tax is intended ease traffic on our roadways and reduce the County’s carbon foot print by cutting down on the emission of greenhouse gases that fuel climate change.
LA WATCHDOG--The Editorial Board of the Los Angeles Times believes that Mayor Eric Garcetti made the right decision in not running for President of the United States, stating that “Los Angeles is a big, complicated [see below] city with serious challenges and tremendous opportunities. It’s a city that needs a full-time, fully invested mayor.
LA WATCHDOG--More money will not solve the problems of the Los Angeles Unified School District because Angelenos do not trust the system to properly educate their children.
LA WATCHDOG--The management of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the representatives of the striking United Teachers Los Angeles have been meeting behind closed doors for almost a week, trying to come to an agreement over salaries, class size, fully staffed schools (librarians nurses, counselors), the reorganization of the District into 32 districts, and a limit on charter and magnet schools.
LA WATCHDOG--United Teachers Los Angeles and its President, Alex Caputo-Pearl, are asking the Los Angeles Unified School District for salary increases for its members, smaller class sizes, and fully staffed schools.
LA WATCHDOG--The Los Angeles Unified School District is closed for business because United Teachers Los Angeles and its over 30,000 members are striking for higher wages, fully staffed schools, and the curtailment, if not the elimination, of charter and magnet schools.
LA WATCHDOG--One of the consequences of the strike action against the Los Angeles Unified School by United Teachers Los Angeles will be the demand for a tax increase to finance the District’s inefficient operations.
LA WATCHDOG--Despite a booming economy and record revenues, our City’s finances are a mess.