If L.A. can't proceed with a plan to lease city-owned parking garages, it means scrounging around for an extra $53.2 million in a budget that's already tight as a drum. Pat McOsker, president of the firefighters union, told the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee, said it shouldn't come out of the LAFD. From his remarks (via City Maven):
"I don't know whether you should sell the parking garages or not, but I know what you shouldn't do and that's further decimate your fire and paramedic services in this city. I started my morning this morning by going to the hospital to visit one of the three injured members we had yesterday. Individual at a fire who had his skull fractured and internal injuries and he was just coming out of it, just opening his eyes when I got there. That was at the smaller fire closer to downtown. A the the fire out at Baldwin Hills we had two individuals injured. I spoke to both of them this morning. They were injured by a collapsing ceiling. One of them knocked out there as well, so similar injuries there. I tell you this to say how dangerous our job is. Our job is dangerous every day, but it is much more dangerous when we're closing 22 fire companies, nine ambulances, two-thirds of our Hazmat units, two-thirds now of our paramedic supervisors. That's what's going on right now. We need that restored, not more closures on top of that.
This, of course, is only the beginning. The city's budget chief, Miguel Santana, has warned that the revenue loss from not leasing out the garages would be disastrous ("The magnitude of this loss cannot be understated," is how he puts it in a memo). Meanwhile, City Controller Wendy Greuel says that cash flow is falling $28 million under estimates. From the Daily News:
The city was hit with some unexpected expenses recently, such as $9.5 million to be paid for a uniform allowance for police officers. Also, she said, the city needs to get an update on the number of workers who have retired to make sure it is on track to get the expected salary savings. And, she said the city needs to prepare for a loss of state revenue because of the problems in the state budget and proposals being made by Gov. Jerry Brown.