EDITORIAL PUTTING OUT FIRES AND OTHER CITY SERVICES IN BUDGETARY CRISIS.
But where's the money going to come from?
Paramedics are among several critical needs the city has: City Hall needs to hire more police officers, more firefighters, more animal-control officers, more people who provide services to the public.
And the public still hasn't heard how the city's going to pay for the Rampart police scandal and for up to $50 million a year in extra costs because of the rush to let the U.S. Justice Department seize oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Add onto that all the promises made by all six candidates running for mayor who can't help themselves when they visit a new neighborhood. Sure, you can have anything you want whenever you want it, they all chirp in unison.
For a city that has neglected its streets and sidewalks for a generation, allowed its neighborhoods to deteriorate and abandoned its children, promising people everything is sure to get very expensive.
In fact, the bills - compounded with lucrative pay raises to be doled out to city employees next year - would put Los Angeles into bankruptcy.
Of course, promises can be broken and needs left unmet, just as they have been for the past 30 years.
What can't be so easily ignored is the city's mounting debt. The public was snookered last week into approving Measure F, the $532.6 million bond issue that will increase property taxes on the average home by $33.60 a year for 30 years to upgrade, build and improve fire stations and animal shelters.
Of course, there are a lot of questions concerning how these facilities will be staffed. There's a lot of skepticism that the city will get them built as promised since city officials have betrayed just about every bond-issue commitment ever made.
It would be nice to see the leadership down at City Hall start leveling with the people about where the money is going to come from. It would be even better to see the future leaders of this city start talking honestly about the problems and the solutions they propose.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Nov 15, 2000|
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