June 15, 2009

How Los Angeles City Hall Spends Your Money

Local street, photo by Rosemary West © 2009While thousands of potholes remain unfilled and many streets are so cracked and buckled as to be undrivable, city officials have decided it's a good idea to contribute a million dollars of public money to a parade honoring a for-profit company that can afford to pay up to $21 million a year to its top employees. The parade, scheduled for Wednesday, is intended to celebrate the Lakers' recent NBA championship. The million in question is about half the estimated cost of the event. The other half is to be paid for by the Lakers.

A million may not seem like much in light of the city's near-billion dollar deficit. But the city needs to follow the same advice that is handed out to individuals who find themselves deep in debt and unable to pay their bills. Stop spending money on things you don't need.

Of course, many residents are basketball fans and were pleased by the team's success. But few want to pay for a party they can't attend just to showcase millionaire athletes whose organization could -- and should -- pick up the entire check.

The nasty riot that followed Sunday's game resulted in injuries, vandalism, and looting. No matter who funds this event, is it really wise to invite yet more unruly crowds to another performance? The only positive element for Valley residents is that it will take place downtown instead of here.

1 comment :

  1. This afternoon, mayor Villaraigosa announced that, prodded by criticism about the misuse of city funds, officials had found private donors willing to pledge $850,000 to help cover the city's share of the expenses. In the meantime, police chief Bratton and others have issued pleas for responsible behavior on the part of those attending. Police are still reviewing security tapes of Sunday night's riot.


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