Sat, May

Galperin Will Leave a Legacy of Responsibility and Transparency


COMMENTARY - The recently released preliminary financial report for the City of Los Angeles by Ron Galperin is a refreshing breeze in an atmosphere defined by corruption.

It’s not that the report necessarily represents good news (it is a mixed bag), but it is honest.  More importantly, the summary covers the critical points time-starved residents can absorb without taking a deep dive into the details.

Perhaps the most important point is the significance of one-time funding from the federal government. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) included direct funding to the City of almost $1.3 billion, much of which was directed at the homelessness crisis. There is little or no abatement on the horizon despite this infusion and measures such as tiny homes.  Units costing over $500,000 do not constitute a solution either. An earlier report he issued on the use of HHH bond revenue was accurate and served as a warning to residents about the underlying poor oversight by the city.

Galperin also pointed out that general revenues declined by .1% - bad news for us since the general fund is what pays for our basic services.

Retirement costs comprised 15.3% of general fund spending. It was 13% in FY 2019 and only 9% in FY 1998.  The growth of these costs is like a slow growing cancer.  They will likely absorb more of the budget in the coming years.

Galperin is not one to sugar coat the financial condition of the city even when there is no immediate danger. In addition, his dashboard has made the city’s checkbook visible to all. Too bad he does not have the authority to use a line-item veto or demand a do-over of the budget process.

He will be missed after he terms out next year.  Pray that Paul Koretz does not succeed him.  The only good candidate now is David “Ty” Vahedi.  He came within a hair of defeating Koretz when they faced off for an open seat on the City Council in 2009.

The good news is Galperin is running for County Supervisor.  In that position, he can make a difference in the budget as well as keep an eye out for the kind of contract shenanigans the present board missed.

(Paul Hatfield is a CPA and a board member of the Valley Village Residents Association and former member of Neighborhood Council Valley Village.  The views presented are those of Mr. Hatfield and his alone and do not represent the opinions of Valley Village Residents Association or CityWatch. He can be reached at: [email protected].)