Tuesday, February 2, 2010

City Budget & Finance Committee Hears The Anger of The People

Public comment during Monday's Budget and Finance Committee meeting cannot have been a comfortable time for Bernard Parks (Chair), Greig Smith, Bill Rosendahl, Jose Huizar, and Paul Koretz.

Faced with an ever increasing budget deficit that looks certain to drive the City into Bankruptcy due to poor leadership, indecision, and a total inability to stand up to organized labor.

One speaker, Ron Kaye, former editor of the L.A. Daily News, who now runs the OurLA blog, said what needed to be said.

Ron's words clearly impressed the City Hall Insider, who transcribed Ron's two minute lesson on the public's perception of the catastrophic failure of the Mayor and the City Council to deal with a problem that's been growing and growing for at least three years , without any meaningful solution.

Here's the transcript:

Thank you for this, and thank you for what you have done, which I think is, fulfilled and impossible dream of mine to ever unite the city. You have brought labor together with the neighborhood activists, you've brought the people with disabilities  and the people who are caring for them, soccer moms and every constituency of this city to the table.
They are all angry. Angry at what I think is really the subtext of the CAO's reports on both parking and the budget, which is a failure of leadership and a failure of management. The proposition that you can possibly fix this city by yourself after years of failure is ridiculous. You need the people, you need all the constituents brought to the table. You need our support, and you have lost the confidence of the people. And that's really the crisis that we're talking about. It's not financial, you can't create jobs in a city that nobody believes in. You can buy jobs, which is what you've been doing, and what is proposed by taking money from the proprietary departments.
These people are just the tip of an iceberg of hundreds of thousands of people who love this city, who want to see it turn around and become a city that respects every element of this city, every type of person, and brings them to the table.
We can't all have everything that we want, but we can sit down at the table and figure out how we really fix this. I have proposed that, if we really got serious, labor might take a step back for two or three years, the public might even agree to a tightly written tax for two or three years just to bail us out of this. You're afraid to tax them because you know that you don't have their trust or faith. You have perpetuated a fiefdom system despite Charter Reform. This is your opportunity to be real leaders and to really save this city, and God willing, you will and the people come together. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much Ron Kaye, for saying what needed to be said, so well.

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