Mayor Eric Garcetti has released his first Proposed Budget as Mayor of Los Angeles, stating that he aims to bring long-term sustainability to the city’s finances. Goals include:
To achieve these goals, the Mayor introduced Performance Budgeting, which identifies specific desired results and prioritizes spending to achieve those results, rather than adding or subtracting from last year’s Budget. He also implemented Budget Town Halls, recognizing that public participation is critical for aligning services to what matters most. At a series of five Town Halls around the city, more than 1400 civic leaders and active citizens attended to participate in defining “what matters most” to them and their neighbors. Small group discussions gave participants the opportunity to answer key questions that helped shape the final Budget.
The mayor warns that progress this first year will be modest. Although revenues are on the rise, deferred costs have risen even faster. Personnel costs—including salaries, pensions and health care—have increased by nearly $200 million. Urgent investment is also required to replace long-obsolete technology and to maintain long-neglected critical infrastructure.
This administration’s first budget lays the groundwork for a multi-year plan of fiscal reform to rebuild the capacity to achieve the results that matter most to Angelenos. Bringing long-term balance to the City’s finances requires rigorous re-examination of the entire way we do business. This comprehensive effort will change how we budget; how we measure performance; how we deploy technology; how we handle service requests and complaints from residents; how we procure goods and services; how we process entitlements and permits; how we manage workers compensation claims; how we hire, train, evaluate, promote, motivate and hold accountable our workforce; and how we pursue open data and transparency.
Highlights of the budget include:
This Budget represents a transition year toward a deliberate path of restructuring our city government to live within its means and make Los Angeles more prosperous, more well-run, safer and more livable by rebuilding vital services and investing in our future.
A summary of the 2014-2015 budget can be viewed at: http://cao.lacity.org/budget14-15/2014-15Budget_Summary.pdf.
In response to the new budget, the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates have released a report of their recommendations for improving the financial health of the city and growing a sustainable service culture that will enhance the value of city services in the eyes of the public. The paper outlines their suggestions for principled and fair solutions that preserve financial peace of mind of retirees, limits the burden of taxpayers, and repositions the City of Los Angeles’s finances for success. The purpose of the NCBA is to explore, research, study, seek input, prepare and present the feelings and spirit of the communities of Los Angeles to the Mayor and City Council.