The best news about the city of Los Angeles' $6.9 billion budget is that it avoids additional layoffs. Libraries will be reopened on Mondays due to the passage of Measure L, and graffiti removal has been trimmed by only 6 percent. Also, unlike Mayor Villaraigosa’s proposed budget, borrowing was rejected to pay for shortfalls.
But first responders are taking a hit. Police will no longer get overtime, instead getting paid time off. They’ll face $21 million in trims from cuts in salaries and pension contributions. Firefighters will be stretched more thinly with the elimination of 18 fire companies. The LAFD budget will be cut by $54 million, increasing response time for paramedics.
The pain seems to be shared across the board. The City Council and the Venice Neighborhood Council are taking 10 percent budget cuts.
In wading through the more than 400-page budget, looking at the city’s information technology agency allocation, I see no sign that one of my favorite city services, LA CityView 35, will have its pre-recession funding restored.
I hate to see any worthy city department take a cut, but in these tough economic times, it looks as though the L.A. City Council has acted responsibly in unanimously passing this budget.