Under the charter of the City of Los Angeles, the mayor has to address the City Council about the state of our city prior to submitting his proposed annual budget.
In his State of the City Address last week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa focused most of his speech on education, certainly a worthy endeavor.
Unfortunately, he dealt little with the biggest issue now confronting L.A.: the $350 million budget deficit. His address was exactly the opposite of last year, when the economy and budget were the sole focus of his remarks.
Villaraigosa has taken some steps to wrestle with the budget, such as coaxing the city to pass Measure G in March for police and fire department pension reform, but much more needs to be done.
The bottom line is that our city is hurting. I’ve spent years producing television for the city of Los Angeles, only to watch the LA CityView 35 budget gutted and my hours there drop to zero. When Dept. of Transportation recently, he told me that his office staff had been cut from six people to one.
With the mayor termed out and potential candidates already announcing their candidacies to replace him in two years, one has to wonder whether or not the mayor has any impetus to confront the city's budget woes.
Still, it has to be done. The task will require all of the creativity the city hall pencil-pushers can muster to ensure that Mar Vista and the rest of the city don’t face even further cuts in vital services.