Politics

State of the city + budget: media and reax

Mayor Villaraigosa said on Tuesday that "I think everybody realizes the urgency of our present financial condition. This is a tough time for everyone right now in Los Angeles. We are experiencing an historic economic collapse....This is our new economic reality - a recession that is tearing at the fabric of our communities. A recession that is tearing a gaping hole in our budget and forcing us to take measures unimaginable a few short years ago....This is not a budget that reflects why I ran for office." Here's some of the coverage and reaction.

"[In] the most solemn State of the City speech in his five years in office, Villaraigosa acknowledged that he had 'stepped on a few rakes in his public fracas with the City Council over increasing utility rates, saying the fight diminished the public's confidence in their ability to address the city's financial troubles. He vowed to win back that trust with swift action and a break from the city's decadelong addiction to overspending." Willon+Reston/LAT

"Acknowledging his own mistakes and painting a grim picture of the city's finances, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday outlined a series of deep cuts in city services and renewed calls for shared sacrifice among all city workers." Orlov/Daily News

"Some questioned the credibility of the city's leadership, citing the gap between the current forecast and the dire recent predictions that Los Angeles was within a few weeks of running out of cash." Zahniser/LAT

"While he took some responsibility for the city's deficit...Villaraigosa also painted City Hall's fiscal mismanagement as an issue that has been largely outside of the control of the mayor and the council." Romero/LA Weekly

"Villaraigosa once promised to remake Los Angeles for the 21st century, but the second-term mayor now talks of limited resources and cuts that will be "severe ... painful." Blood/AP

"Instead of the traditional here's what we've done and here's my vision for the future spiel, Villaraigosa basically focused on fixing the budget." Behrens/LAist

"All lot of this frankly is smoke and mirrors again and not hard numbers." Councilman Greig Smith

"There will be a service impact, there simply will, in the near term." Matt Szabo, deputy chief of staff to Villaraigosa. KPCC

"This is absolutely the wrong time to cut my office. We are cutting every other department in the city, which means we will have more liability to deal with. It will end up costing the city more if we lose attorneys to defend it." City Attorney Carmen Trutanich

"We have sacrificed already. We had an agreement to forgo our raises and not face a furlough. The city is going back on its word." Cheryl Parisi, chair of the Coalition of City Unions

"His immediate legacy is at stake here. It's hard to gain the confidence of Angelenos when you see a circus on parade with what's been going on with the DWP and layoffs. It doesn't look like anyone is in charge." Jaime A. Regalado, executive director of the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs

"Everyone has had to cut their operations, and the city is no different." Gary Toebben, head of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

"As political theater the speech was pretty good, as a serious statement of policy... Never mind!" Doug McIntyre/Daily News

"Solutions to growing pension costs were not addressed, even though the mayor acknowledged the increased burden they place on the budget." Paul Hatfield/Village to Village

"As a somber Mayor of Los Angeles delivered his State of the City address this afternoon, the set dressing said as much as the speech....Fluffing out the rim of the podium were a mix of Boston ferns and birds of paradise....This is not the stage set worthy of our Mayor, our city or our region. There is no reason for gratuitous greenery when announcing painful budget cuts, or any other occasion. Better no plants than the wrong ones." Emily Green/Chance of Rain


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