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City Property: Who Owns It?

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City Controller Wendy Greuel wants the city's general fund to control money flowing in from sale of city property, but some City Council members still think it makes sense for portions of it to remain under their direct control for their districts.

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Details from the L.A. Times:

Greuel found that over the last 12 years, property sales and franchise fees from the miles of pipelines under city streets have generated almost $25 million that has been diverted into real property accounts controlled by council offices.....

In past years when a city property was sold, half of the proceeds went into the account controlled by the council member who governed that area. The other half went into the general fund, which pays for basic services such as police, libraries and parks....As a council member, Greuel sponsored legislation to divert all the money from property sales to the general fund for two years, a change that expires in June.

She said Wednesday that the change should be permanent....

While Council members Dennis Zine and Jose Huizar agreed, Bernard Parks thinks there are good reasons to let specific Council members control some of those funds, "for repairing streets, building parks and putting in safety features that might take years to get through the city's regular budget process." According to the Times story, near-term possible property sales by the city, planned or yet to be planned, could bring in $22 million to city coffers.

In the Daily News' reporting on Greuel and the fund, she is also asking members to not only give up prospective future funds, but the funds they are already sitting on:

Greuel called on City Council members Wednesday to give up $25 million in special funds used for pet projects in their districts.

The money has accumulated over the past 12 years...."I am the eternal optimist," Greuel said. "I hope the council will recognize how serious the city's situation is and give the money to the general fund."

Past City of Angles blogging on L.A.'s ever-burgeoning budget crisis.

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user David Markland. It was used under user Creative Commons license.

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