What Would You Cut?

The Mayor of the City of Los Angeles is threatening to lay-off many workers, the number fluctuates daily. In addition, various Departments like the one On Disability is being threatened with elimination. There have been quite a few posts here about what is going on.

Since the Mayor can’t come up with any ideas other than laying workers off, privatizing municipal institutions, and hiking up parking tickets I think we should come up with our own budget cuts and pass them on to him.

My suggestion is the reduction of the LAPD Air Support.

“The Los Angeles Police Department maintains the largest police aviation unit in the U.S., and they can boast that they have the largest municipal police aviation unit in the world. There are a couple of units larger such as the South African Police Service Air Unit, but they are a state wide vs. a municipal agency.”

Helicopters are annoying and cost a great deal of money. Based on a quick search the City of LA paid approximately 26 million dollars for the 17 helicopters it owns. They could save a few jobs or even a few Departments by selling some of these noise polluting, sleep disturbing, machines here or maybe one of the studios could buy them for filming their aerial shots.

19 thoughts on “What Would You Cut?

  1. I’d get rid of the Department of Environmental Affairs.

    I’d also break up the LADOT, and send the broad planning authority they have over the roadway to the Planning Department. You could save tens of millions by consolidating the planning functions of the LADOT into Planning, and make the transportation engineers subservient to planners.

    Instead of fighting for one-time cash infusions by selling out our interests in parking lots and other publicly held properties, I’d increase parking rates up the yin-yang.

    I’d also eliminate car lanes from major surface streets (non-state controlled highways) – in order to decrease the amount of asphalt required to re-pave them over time. The City has a maintenance liability so large that we can’t come close to keeping up with it, even in years when our coffers are full.

    I’d target these lane closures in older commercial districts in the city, and use paint, planters, lawn chairs and bollards to make them into more pedestrian friendly areas – boosting our retail sales tax income slightly.

    I’d create a development rights bank, allowing people who own land on hillsides and in environmentally sensitive areas to sell their rights to develop that land on an exchange to others desiring to build in areas that allow massive densities (Downtown or Century City) but lack the building rights to build as large as they’d like to. The exchange would generate fees as well as save the city from having to provide schools, roads, fire, police, trash pickup, water and power to rich bastards living on sliding hillsides and other marginal plots of land while demanding a full-service local government despite the massive, un-reimbursed, expenses that force that government to incur on their behalf.

  2. It wouldn’t save much but it’s something. I would eliminate the equestrian unit within LAPD. There are numerous positions involving maintenance, training, and transportation of the horses. It seems silly to have cops riding around on horses in the 21st century. Sure, they MAY be effective for crowd control situations but in my opinion they don’t warrant the cost. In my experience, I’ve mainly seen them used for public relations purposes anyhow. In a severe economic crisis, things like cops riding horses for the benefit of grade-schoolers should go the way of the wagon wheel.

  3. I could totally get behind cutting back on the number of LAPD helicopters. Even just seeing those funds used for something more useful would be a step up – more detectives, more officers in the field, dealing with the backlog on testing rape kits…

    Eliminating the equestrian unit seems like a no brainer to me. I’ve seen them used in crowd control situations and all they do is breed nervousness on the part of the officers who are so scared that the horses will spook that they enter that weird “police riot” state of paranoia that’s no good for anyone.

  4. Yes! Get rid of the LAPD air force and those noisy disrespectful helicopters that fly low over your house all night long, shining those strobe lights in your window, blasting out those loud commands, making the dogs in the neighborhood go crazy!

    And what’s this cost the citizens?

    LAPD Underwater Dive Unit (UDU)

    The UDU is made up of the following personnel:

    1 Lieutenant
    4 Sergeants
    20 Police Officers and Detectives.

    Doesn’t the LA City or County Fire Dept handle the same thing? How many personell does the city or county Fire Dept have on their dive squads?

    Or how about the ACU? “Animal Cruelty Unit”
    2 Lieutenants, 2 Dectectives, 5 officers grade II

    Busting cock fights or cruely to poodles.

    Doesn’t the Animal Control Dept handle this crap?

    It’s a tough time for the city financially so do away with all the PR baloney including the mounted horse patrol.

  5. there’s an interesting page up from the city along these lines: http://labudgetchallenge.lacity.org/budgetchallenge/sim/budget_master.html. it’s not nearly as detailed as what the folks at city hall deal with, but it’s a start.

    horses need homes. unless there are long-term plans for where they go and who takes care of them (the city shelters are not an option btw), getting rid of an equestrian unit is wrong.

    while i would love to see the helicopters go, the overall budget shortfall is projected to be about $212m, so we have another $186m to go. to put that in perspective, the entire budget for libraries in 2008-2009 was $114m.

    as much as the long-term vision of your suggestions may have merit, ubray, i don’t imagine they will balance this year’s budget.

    by far the biggest discretionary city expenditures are police and fire, almost 70% of the total. lafd’s budget is twice any other department and lapd is more than twice that. not a whole lot of impact can be made without addressing those two. while there is certainly room to cut the other $1.11b, i think that’s where most of the programs that most people reading this blog support are (libraries, parks, sanitation, etc).

  6. dq, typically acu’s handle much more sophisticated investigations, busting up dog fighting rings, looking into reports of downed livestock, things of that nature. the enforcement powers and right to carry firearms are necessary for the job function because the people they deal with are no less prepared for them than drug dealers and armed robbers.

    that said, i’m not sure how effective lapd’s acu has been and what kinds of activities they take part in on a day-to-day basis. i find cockfighting abhorrent, so if that’s what they do, i’d rather keep them around. animal control will handle simple poodle cruelty cases, but if anything requires prosecution (doesn’t happen often, but it does happen), someone in the acu will probably need to handle any physical evidence and be called to testify in court.

    though perhaps most important, even if you completely eliminated it, you’ve taken less than $1m out of a $212m hole.

  7. Is it just a million for the ACU budget? I would think it’s probably a lot more than that, but no matter, a million could be used a lot more usefully somewhere else. Maybe fertilizing the grass on city parks and paying for mowing them.
    Cockfighting rings? Cruel? Huh? The millions of chickens killed for KFC, Pollo Loco, and Popeyes, would disagree, and most cocks live to stand upright and stiff for another day! They are too valuable to be hauled away as just dead stiffs!
    Maybe cockfighting should be legalized and taxed as a sporting event, and if it’s a million bucks for the LAPD ACU I would rather see that million cut and used for library or park services, if there are going to be cuts we have to start somewhere, and it’s time the poodles learn to protect themselves!
    2 Lieutenants, 2 Detectives, and 5 grade II officers?

  8. The author of this thread suggested cutting police helicopters from the budget, period, not transferring the funds to other aspects of law enforcement. This may come off as radical, but my suggestion would be to cut police from the budget, outright, and allow citizens in each district to vote on which private law enforcement agency will police their district, and what crimes they should emphasize. The constitution would still apply, and with private police the community has the power to fire them, like Donald fucking Trump, and replace them with another police force if they start treating law abiding citizens with disrespect just because they fit a “profile”. No more asshole who sits on a perch in Simi Valley deciding what’s best for Los Angeles. Los Angeles decides what’s best for Los Angeles. Republicans always say that the private sector is more efficient than government. Do they only apply this theory to government agencies and programs that benefit the poor?

  9. Gee Rob and UT, it sounds like you want to start a jobs program for gangsters. They already have guns, and they’re already locally based. How convenient.

  10. You’re part of a small breed, Troll. Most Republicans give you this shit:

    “Law enforcement, military and border patrol are things we’re willing to spend money on..”

    …In other words, government programs that serve their interests, protect what they have. Hypocrites.

  11. With Blackwater, there was no vote. Bush just sort of appointed them under some loophole in the patriot act. If you’re suggesting Bush style privatization of law enforcement, then I would have to say no. But an actual democratic style, where nobody is deputized until the citizens of each community or district vote on it, and where the process to replace an agency for failure to perform or abuse of power would be easy and only require a simple majority vote, is something worth trying.

  12. They should get rid of 1-800 numbers for sanitation and all other city services.

    The Blackwater (now Xe) guys are paid 6-figure salaries. That wouldn’t save any money at all.

  13. I’d cut the salaries of the city council,the mayor,the d.a. at double the percentage they suggested for teachers. I’d sell off all those city owned vehicles they use and make them use their own private cars. The mayor should sell off his city provided residence and live with Lu Parker and when she kicks him out for cheating, he could get to stay at the l.a. mission.

  14. DQ, I will leave you to your misery and sarcasm with this one last thought. Last spring, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) joked that Texas “might succeed” from the United States given the current political landscape in Washington DC. People all across Texas loved it and across the USA media sources like CNN, MSNBC, and even those in LA were appalled that anyone would even suggest such a thing. Truth be known, the Texas nationalist movement is/has gained a lot of ground recently due to events in Washington and out on the left coast (just to name two).

    Perry has now been Governor of Texas for the last 10 years and it appears he will be elected for another term this spring-so he must be doing something right. I cannot say that for the last 5 Governors in California or anyone in LA who has held an elected office for that fact-after all the city and state are now talking bankruptcy (Texas enjoys jobs and growth). In California, you can expect another IOU this spring for your tax return.

    Texas has no personal income tax yet you want to imply that we are just a bunch of brain dead rednecks who just got flush toilets and indoor plumbing-jokes on you DQ. facts are facts-I will not mince words with them of pander to your sarcasm.

    It was been well documented that when people “defect” from California to the Lone Star State, we often become more conservative than native Texans. I know, I have, and probably because we like what we see in Texas and never want to go back to anything remotely close to California. I, like others, would VOTE TODAY, FOR TEXAS TO LEAVE THE UNION AND BECOME OUR OWN COUNTRY- AGAIN. That way we could cut all ties to wasteful states like California and people who want to invoke the failed progressive social agendas and become “nanny states” for their residents-which you clearly embrace. Maybe we could get George Bush to be our President and put his image on our new Texas Dollars? We certainly have some of the best Military bases which are already in Texas so we would have our own army-if all else fails we have the Texas Rangers.

    Remember, California is broke-NOT TEXAS. People in California, like you, are out of touch with the rest of the nation-not the other way around.

    I suspect that the “Tea Party” rallies all across the USA, the recent vote in Massachusetts, the failure to close GITMO, no health care reform and yes, California bankruptcy are looming examples of a badly failed public policy. California is clearly a glaring example of HOW NOT to run a state. I suspect this has many people looking hard at what is going on in Texas right now and why this state is drawing in people from California every year-remember I am a native Californian- I choose to leave that toilet state. Maybe this is why that “stimulus money” came to Texas and NOT California or Los Angeles. No matter how you look at it or berate it-the money is in Texas-not in California. Enjoy your state-California deserves people like you.

  15. People like me? What kind of people would that be Mr Texas Lone Ranger?
    But hey, good luck on the Texas independence movida, y’all are so superior what with your giant windmill farms and cattle breeding that there shouldn’t be any reason for y’all to have to share the wealth with a bunch of poor ass Californians.
    Remember the Alamo! The only good redskin is a dead redskin! Meskins and Nigras use the toilet in the basement! Free the South!

  16. Yeh, if you remember, John, Rick Perry talked all that shit about seceding from the union, until that swine flu scare hit, then he asked the federal government for extra emergency funding. Hugest FAIL ever!!!

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