Facing a room full of people demanding that the City Council not enact layoffs or other tough steps to solve its growing deficit, that's just what the council did. Council president Eric Garcetti got the votes to wait 30 days on a plan to lay off at least 1,000 city workers and to re-restudy other options. "This does not stop the wheels from turning on layoffs should all other options fall short," he said. Chief Administrative Officer Miguel Santana called the delay a mistake, saying the city's bond rating is in jeopardy — and he said the council's other actions during the day added $4 million in net expenses rather than moving to close a $212 million budget gap. The gap more than doubles to at least $484 million on July 1, he says. Councilmembers Janice Hahn and Bill Rosendahl suggested submitting tax increases to the voters.
Some quotes from the day:
- "We're becoming Sacramento south." - Councilman Greig Smith
- "We should have been working on this for years." - Councilman Tony Cardenas
- "This is what needed to happen." - Victor Gordo, attorney for the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, endorsing the delay in considering layoffs
- "We need to ask ourselves what are we about as a city." - CAO Miguel Santana
- "We have a $15-million plan to address a $200-million gap." - Councilman Jose Huizar
- "I just have this weird feeling that we are going in the wrong direction." - Counncilman Herb Wesson
- "We need to let the people weigh in and see if they want us to continue bailing out the pension system at the expense of services." - Councilman Bill Rosendahl
- "The city has an abject lack of discipline when it comes to spending." - Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
LAT, Daily News, NBC 4, Mark Lacter
Plus: Are the Council's own $26.6 million in "discretionary" funds off-limits?