Thursday July 24th 2014
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Publisher and Editor - Judith Martin-Straw

The Skinny - Amy Brunell

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Dear Editor – City Hall and Fiscal Sanity

1. Bring back the Citizen-Community based Budget Committee that the Council abolished. Items to discuss for example by the committee: business taxes, do traffic cameras really work as advertised?, alternative funding for services that might be cut, spending priorities, financial goals, optimum number of parking enforcement officers, consolidating accounts receivables, weighing the advantages and disadvantages to grants, fee schedules, when is outsourcing services wise or foolish?, proper levels of preventive maintenance spending, special taxing districts, funding of events, etc.

2. Review and resetting the concept of prudent reserve levels and self-enforcement.

3. Prioritizing spending and future spending cuts.

4. When spending during the year needs to be adjusted, usually upwards, 4/5 vote of the council is needed. Along with this concept, a mandatory means of paying for it, other than dipping into the reserves, should always be instituted.

5. Set financial goals, starting with methods of increasing revenue. For the last 6 years, the budget, in writing or verbally, states that surplus real estate will be sold and parking meters on Sepulveda and Washington will be installed. These never happen.

6. Make a contingency action plan. If revenue falls, the state takes away money, or if voters turn down a tax increases, in-fiscal-year spending cuts are generated.

7. The costs of utilities are far too high. These can be cut immediately.

8. Higher a management auditor (not a fiscal auditor) to determine if money spending and services can be streamlined.

9. Stop the hyperboles that City Hall is “financially responsible.” The City brags that one year it reduced the number employees by 65 when it should have been 100, another year when it cut 2% across the board, when it should have cut 5%. Another time when the funding for the redevelopment agency was cut by $4,500,000 and you reduced the employee-headcount by only a half dozen people net. The numbers do not add up. Revenue cuts should match spending cuts.

10. For a refreshing change, please follow the spirit of the City Charter. Police and fire employee’s base pay are to be the same as nearby governments. Fair enough. However, police in Los Angeles do not get overtime. Culver City does. Some police make more money just in overtime than the average resident total income in Culver City.

11. Stop hiring unneeded people at a time of financial crisis.

Paul Ehrlich

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One Response to “Dear Editor – City Hall and Fiscal Sanity”

  1. Christine Ferreira says:

    Something is happening with parking meters on Washington between where the two Washingtons meet at Outdoor Grill and Sawtelle.

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