Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is Today's State of City Finances Any Surprise? Question the Failings of the City's "Leadership"

Ron Kaye, former editor of the LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS, again is the guy to go-to for some especially painful but pointed enlightenment about the predicament that the City of Los Angeles finds itself in. It is the product of the city "leadership" - meaning the elected officials who were entrusted to run the city.

Here they have done just that: They have run Los Angeles into the ground while warning signs and calls for urgent and swift action continued to be presented for months and years. So the leadership is a word that has to carry quotation marks around it- "Leadership"- as something special since it identifies the only the roles but not the successful accomplishments that the players pretend to produce.

Ron Kaye's blog has two new items today. The first one posted is entitled, "This Is No Way to Run a City." By Ron Kaye on January 21, 2010 6:29 AM.

This is a capsule summary of the conditions and reasons that we have been subjected to as an inept management of the city continues to victimize the businesses and residents. They do it shamelessly and they do it continuously. They lie to the people directly as in the failed Measure B's solar energy ballot item that was produced with a tilted playing field in operation to favor the goals of the DWP's union, the IBEW. The city propositions S and R were about a phone tax of 9% that would have been Zero percent through an ongoing court case if voters were not fooled to institute that tax upon themselves, and the "term limits/ ethics" combo that EXTENDED terms of council members so that we get another four years of the same bad representation by the same connected groups working for special interests (when they aren't working simply for increasing their own power and influence to later use for trading with the special interests). That was supposed to make for more ethical regulations to be giving us better government; that was purely the distractor that was used to slide in that extension of another term.

Please continue and see that column in the Ron Kaye's L.A. blog.

The second posting for today is, "Bankrupting LA -- Who's Fault Is It?" By Ron Kaye on January 21, 2010 10:24 AM. Here is a rundown of the series of revelations, acknowledgments and warnings that should have been heeded earlier. Even earlier than these events, there were warnings of the impending disasters that the city was headed for by the actions of the council and mayor. The activist most loudly chastising Council Members and Mayor Villaraigosa was Zuma Dogg who was both theatrical but usually right with his predictions that were usually met with resentment and, often, ridicule. And that would be funny except that the doom and gloom consequences were the real thing. And I have to say that through all the years of Zuma Dogg's antics and burning of bridges, the words spoken carried the truth more often than not.

Ron Kaye gives some highlights, or lowlights, of the failings over the last year for you to see and to consider yourself. We went from Mayor Hahn who was very unnoticed and was the low profile mayor during his time in office, and then we went to Mayor Villaraigosa who cannot stay away from cameras and who sees no boundaries for his office, going into national and international events that serve himself first and occasionally, the city. His administration was the one that took on L.A. schools when it was outside his jurisdiction. His office had no authority to act since it was under the LAUSD's Board of Education, but still he meddled and diverted his already-sparse time available as the City continued to slide downhill with neglectful or bad management in plentiful supply. The Mayor's absence from the city and lack of attention to local issues over the years has come at price to bring L.A. to the brink of bankruptcy. Even to today when he's given up on seeking higher office (for now), namely the Governor of California, there's lots of distractions that he obviously enjoys over just staying put in City Hall for any extended time.

Recent example: Antonio's appearance on the television soap opera, "All My Children," gets his attention- justified by the production relocating to L.A. from N.Y. Eric Garcetti gets into this, too, as both will play themselves. Eric is a mayoral hopeful and bad news for L.A. He was pushing a lot of the deceptive measures mentioned above- even Solar Measure B was slipped by the other Council members for a while until the whistle was blown by activists that sent CMs to say they approved things based on what was presented (and that was their "out" on responsibility as they quickly back-pedalled out of that jam.)

Enough said for now on this sad state of affairs coming from the highest paid (about $178,000/year; a shade under $15,000/month) council in the United States. Every 2 years the Council comes up for elections of about half of the seats; even-odd numbered districts alternately up for election. We need representation not victimization. The termed-out CMs already have plans for their next office as most are professional politicians, hopping to new offices like a frog hops from lily pad to lily pad, or you can see it a little more clearly as a very taxpayer-expensive form of musical chairs.