Join us tonight (May 11) for our monthly Board Meeting at 6:30 PM.

One important item on the agenda tonight is a presentation on the new park coming to Mission Hills on Fox and Laurel Canyon Blvd. by Alina Bokde, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust!

Mission Community Police Station
Falco Room
11121 Sepulveda Blvd
Mission Hills, CA 91345

Click here for the meeting agenda.

Mayor asks the City Administrative Officer to develop a plan to shut down all General-funded city services except for public safety and revenue-generating positions for two days per week beginning the week of April 12

With the looming possibility of the City of Los Angeles running out of money in less than a month, Mayor Villaraigosa called upon the City Administrative Officer to develop a plan to save money by shutting down all General-funded city services, except for public safety and revenue-generating positons – for two days per week beginning the week of April 12.

“There are no easy decisions or simple ways to solve this budget crisis,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “But as the CEO of this great city, it is my responsibility to make these difficult but necessary decisions to steer the city out of this crisis and onto solid financial ground.”

The Mayor said he would immediately ask the CAO to develop the plan to shut down the City for two days per week and calculate the savings the city would earn from this. He also called an emergency meeting of the Executive Employee Relations Committee to discuss the next steps to replenish the General Fund.

Last night, Mayor Villaraigosa also sent a memo to all General Managers asking them to adhere to the spending controls initiated in the joint Mayor-Controller memorandum issued last month, expedite repayment of Reserve Fund loans to ensure that the Reserve Fund is fiscally sound by the start of the next fiscal year, and to submit the requested repayment information from each department with an outstanding loan to the City Administrative Officer immediately.

Yesterday, in reaction to Fitch Ratings, a major credit rating agency, withdrawing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s AA- bond rating, the LADWP informed the City Controller that they could not transfer $73.5 million to the City’s General Fund.  Controller Greuel immediately issued a memo saying the Los Angeles was in danger of running out of money by May 5, 2010 and recommended draining money from the City’s limited reserve fund.

A complete copy of the Mayor’s remarks as written for delivery follow:

My fellow Angelenos,

Good morning.

For the past year, I have been trying to work with the City Council to put the Department of Water and Power on a more sustainable path: a path towards transparency and accountability, a path towards clean renewable energy and a path towards fiscal health.

It has been clear to me and it has been clear to the City Council that the DWP needs to change.

So in March 2009, I began to speak about the Department’s fiscal health and the need to increase the Energy Cost Adjustment Factor to account for the rising cost of energy and fossil fuels.

In August 2009, the DWP Board recognized this need and proposed a two-cent rate adjustment. The Council rejected it and instead, asked for an independent fiscal review. I supported the Council in this decision, and I welcomed the outside opinion.

In February, the independent consultant finished their exhaustive review and recommended an even larger rate adjustment of 2.7-cents. The DWP Board correctly used this outside, independent review and approved a 2.7-cent rate hike spread over four quarters in a manner that not only secured the Department’s fiscal health but put us on a path to a greener, cleaner future.

The Council rejected it.

I listened to the Council’s concerns.  And I agreed to a compromise for a one-time 0.8 cent adjustment with added protections for residents and employers.

The Council rejected it.

The DWP Board listened to the Council and did its best to address the concerns and, over my objections, tried to meet the Council halfway with an even more modest adjustment than what I authorized.

And again, the Council rejected it.

The politics of no is no more sustainable than the DWP’s over-reliance on coal. Instead of acting in the tradition of past city councils, where progressives put partisanship aside and positioned Los Angeles as a national leader,  this Council leadership has demonstrated what we’ve already seen at the national level: they have shown the results of the politics of no.

With the Council leadership saying no to my every attempt at compromise, at the DWP Board’s attempt at compromise, and NO to their own outside, independent fiscal review, we’ve seen the detrimental effects of only saying NO, and it is simply not acceptable for the council leadership to continue this practice.

The facts tell us that the cost of energy and fossil fuels will only continue to rise.

The facts tell us that the DWP gets 44% of its energy from dirty coal.

The facts tell us that the State and Federal governments will soon penalize us because of this over-reliance on coal.

The facts tell us that the DWP has been under-collecting by $6 million per week.

And the facts tell us that the national agencies have withdrawn the DWP’s credit rating because of this under-collection.

The facts don’t lie.

There are no easy decisions or simple ways to solve this budget crisis.But as the CEO of this great city, it is my responsibility to make these difficult, but necessary decisions to steer the city out of this crisis and onto solid financial ground.

As such, today, I am asking the CAO to develop a plan to shut down all General-funded city services – with the exception of public safety and revenue-generating positions – for two days per week beginning the week of April 12.

I am also calling an emergency meeting of the EERC to discuss the next steps to addressing this fiscal crisis and ways to balance our budget.

We can no longer wait. We can no longer keep saying no. We must act now.

For the Mayor’s official press release, click here.

Dear Angelenos,

Yesterday, I made the announcement that City Hall must layoff or transfer 1,000 employees. This is not a decision that I take lightly, however the gravity of the situation we face requires swift action and decisive leadership.

I want to share with you this budget calculator that we created to help people understand the tough choices we face as we try to balance our budget, get our fiscal house in order, and create a sustainable financial future for the City of Los Angeles.

In my mind, when the option is between fully funding our Police and Fire departments or operating golf courses and managing parking structures, there is really no choice to be made – public safety comes first. Most of these decisions are not as straightforward and easy to make, but I refuse to defer them simply because they are difficult. Funding cuts, layoffs and transfers may be unpopular, but we cannot afford to pass on these decisions just because it would be safer politically to do so.

Every day we that put off making a decision, the city loses another $300,000. With a $212 million budget gap to close by the end of this fiscal year, we cannot afford to be driven further into the hole.

I am confident that we can work together to restore fiscal health to our system. It won’t be easy, but it is the right thing to do.

[Take the LA Budget Challenge]

Yours,
Antonio Villariagosa

Woohoo !

The East San Fernando Valley Nature Parkway along with 44 other proposed projects were awarded approximately $350,000. A total of 126 applications were received in 2009.  MHNC made the largest financial commitment/pledge to ensure that this Grant had the best opportunity of being approved.

Within the next couple of months we will be working on the logistics to carry out the planting along Devonshire St., between the Pacoima Spreading Grounds. Thank you very much for all of your support with this beautification venture.

We want to first apologize for the inconvenience you might have experienced for last month’s meeting cancellation due to the rainstorms. Rain or shine, please attend our upcoming committee meeting where we will discuss the following steps to take.

WHEN:  Tuesday, February 16, 2010
TIME:  7:00pm
WHERE:  Mission Area Police Station on 11121 Sepulveda Blvd, The Falco Room

MHNC would like to give a big “thank you” to Beautification Committee Chair, Yolanda Anguiano, for spearheading this project and maintaining patience throughout the tedious process.