Pali Council Weighs In on City Budget

The Pacific Palisades Community Council declares its stance on ideas for dealing with Los Angeles' budget shortfalls.

The Pacific Palisades Community Council on Thursday voted 16-2 with one abstention in favor of a motion stating its position on recommendations to reform the Los Angeles city budget.

Prior to the vote, Jay Handal of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates gave a presentation on his organization's list of 21 budget proposals.

The PPCC supported the following five recommendations:

  • Raise the minimum retirement age for city employees from 55 to 65 or 67.
  • Establish public-private partnerships for the performance of city services.
  • "Promptly review and implement the unfulfilled recommendations in the controller's audits including a central billing/collections program," according to the motion. "Implement a comprehensive and efficient and effective central billing/collection program which serves all city departments."
  • Allow veterinarians from the private sector to issue and collect dog license fees.
  • Reinstate a program for sidewalks and tree trimming in which the city and homeowners each pay half the cost for services.

The community council and its City State Budget Committee opposed the Budget Advocates' proposal to close the police academy for one year in order to provide funding for civilian police employees.

Handal said the Los Angeles Police Department has cut numerous civilian clerical jobs, forcing sworn officers to assume desk jobs.

"We've got cops that went through the academy ... pushing paperwork because we have a hiring freeze on civilians," Handal said, claiming that 650 desk officers would be available for redeployment onto city streets. This would make up for the loss of roughly 600 new officers the academy graduates in a year.

However, community council members were concerned that "the police department, which loses 300 people each year to retirement, will not have enough new recruits to take their place," the motion states.

The PPCC also disagreed with the recommendation to return parking enforcement from the city's Transportation Department back to the LAPD.

"Turning LADOT back to LAPD does not seem cost effective and will likely result in less parking services," according to the motion.

"It's about having more control, more efficiency getting [parking officers] out ... on the street faster if they're dispatched by LAPD," Handal responded.

See the attached .pdf file to read the PPCC's entire motion.

  • For the Budget Advocates' white paper that details their recommendations, click here.


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