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City in Better Shape than Thought

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Mayor Antonia Villaraigosa now seems to think only 750 city employees will need to go in the fiscal year starting in July, rather than the 4,000 that had been threatened.

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The L.A. Times has more on Villaraigosa's new optimism and the reasons for it:

In February, Villaraigosa said as many as 3,000 job cuts could be needed in addition to those allowed under early retirement. Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Szabo said the lower estimate produced Monday was "evidence that our cost-saving measures have worked," and a sign that the city's economic prospects are improving.

"We've always said layoffs are the last resort and we would work as hard as we could to find efficiencies and other savings that did not require layoffs, and that's exactly what we did," Szabo said.

But city workers unions are still tenaciously defending their prerogatives:

Bob Schoonover, president of Service Employees International Union, Local 721, noted that under an agreement with the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, officials will be obligated to pay out $32 million in deferred raises if a single coalition worker is forced out.

The right-wing think tank the Manhattan Institute's magazine on urban policy, City Journal, has a long article blaming unreasonable demands on the part of the SEIU for California's fiscal problems.

In other fiscal crisis analysis, the L.A. Weekly's Jill Stewart last week supplied an interesting and pretty angry narrative of the saga of the here-then-gone DWP rate hike that was supposed to save our city's fiscal bacon.

And local blogger, newsman, and city government gadfly Ron Kaye is so mad at fiscal mismanagement and other local problems that he's stumping to get the entire City Council booted as soon as they are up for re-election.

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was used under user Creative Commons license.

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