Dear Los Angeles,
On February 16th 2010, close to $30,000,000 was taken out of the fire hydrant and water main replacement fund 336 and dumped into the reserve fund. This money, although "unclaimed" was collected for Los Angeles infrastructure. Instead, it was used as a band-aid on the budget wound that continues to hurt Los Angeles. The city council vote was 13-0 with two abstentions. If one was to watch the council debate that took place on item No. 9, they would be sorely disappointed because there was little to none. Not only was no public hearing held, but it also appears the Budget and Finance Committee waived consideration of the item entirely. This was the most important item on the agenda for the day.
I am not concerned by the transfer of the money to another fund on principal, but rather because that money was meant for Los Angeles infrastructure repair which directly benefits the citizens. Instead it was used for short-term gain and the council avoided making tough decisions. This money was put in the reserve fund to show a healthy balance sheet and to keep a strong bond rating. The problem is... it is smoke and mirrors.
We raided an infrastructure fund and put it in the reserve fund, which gave the illusion of a healthy fiscal house. That money may have been used anywhere, including funding unrealistic promises made to city workers. Are you confused? It is not easy to follow.
This is alarming. Only a few months prior to this vote, a Los Angeles Fire Engine made national headlines when it fell into a sink hole due to a broken water main. Los Angeles infrastructure is in poor shape and funds collected to address these problems should not be raided to address other issues.
Where was the council representative who stood up and said, "Wait a second, we need to find long-term solutions to our problems and not be so quick to transfer these investments from our infrastructure?" Los Angeles needs to enter an era of responsibility. I was taught not to make promises I could not keep and to live within my means. We must have an honest discussion about the state of our city and how we operate.
The direction of our city will be voted on March 5, 2013. We must change the way we approach city issues. We need vigorous debates throughout the city. People must take action and get involved. Angelenos have a unique opportunity to hold city hall accountable and to challenge the status quo.
For more information on my campaign and my issues please visit my website.