Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council endorses state bill to develop publicly-owned voting systems

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to endorse a state bill that would allow cities and counties to develop their own voting systems. Supporters say moving away from privately-owned systems would create more transparency.

A state bill that would allow California counties to develop their own voting systems was unanimously endorsed Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council. 

SB 360 was introduced by State Sen. Alex Padilla to allow for publicly developed and owned voting systems. 

Los Angeles County is in the process of creating its own voting system and its use "would increase transparency in elections," according to a report from the chief legislative analyst. The city of Los Angeles routinely uses the county's equipment for elections. According to the CLA's report, SB 360 would give the city more flexibility in its elections. 

"This would be a step in the right direction to increase voter engagement, input and hopefully turnout," said Councilwoman Jan Perry. "No new voting systems have been approved in California since 2007. County voting systems in our state are aging rapidly and the process for approving voting systems is doing little to approve new, innovative systems."

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Maven's Morning Coffee: concerns over USC parking deal, LA County gets good financial news, state treasurer retires from politics

LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM

Photo by Rick Samuelson via Flickr Creative Commons

A deal to give USC parking in Exposition Park in addition to control of the Coliseum is being called an unfair, lopsided deal.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Tuesday, June 4, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

A trustee for the California Science Center has asked Gov. Jerry Brown to stop a deal that would give USC parking owned by the state museum, reports the Los Angeles Times. The parking is part of a deal that would allow the private university to control the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Los Angeles County will see its interest rates go down now that the three major rating agencies have given it the highest short-term bond rating, reports the Los Angeles Times.

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LA budget report: fiscal year was a tale of two halves

City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

The Budget and Finance Committee approved a fiscal report Monday that paints a rosier picture for the City of LA.

The 2012-13 fiscal year for the City of Los Angeles was a "tale of two halves," according to a report approved Monday by the Budget and Finance Committee. 

“The first sentence of the report is positively Dickensian,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said in regards to the City Administrative Officer's report.

A year ago, L.A. officials were talking about layoffs and the threatened fiscal cliff. As the city's fiscal year draws to a close at the end of June, the city has seen a boost in property and real estate taxes to the tune of $98 million. Because of a drop in revenue from fees and licenses, the city budget overall saw an $89 million increase in revenues. 

"Due to a combination of continued fiscal discipline and a steady rebound in its General Fund revenues, 2012-13 has proven to be the turning point for the city on its road to recovery. As a result, after four years of fiscal crisis, austerity and sacrifice, the budget for the city of Los Angeles is within reach of structural balance," CAO Miguel Santana wrote in his financial status report. 

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Mayor Villaraigosa to get sendoff in true LA fashion with Ryan Seacrest

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton and TV producer Ryan Seacrest will join Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Friday for a sendoff celebration. One local union has questioned the use of $75,000 worth of city services for the party.

Goodbye and hello seem to be the theme of this year's Celebrate LA party in Grand Park as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets a festive sendoff and Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti is welcomed to his new third floor office at City Hall. 

Former President Bill Clinton, television host and producer Ryan Seacrest, comedian Wanda Sykes, Rev. Chip Murray and Rabbi Don Goor will also be on hand for Friday's party at Grand Park. The free event runs from 5 -10 p.m. and include musical acts and food trucks. 

The party is budgeted for $265,000. Of that, $190,000 was donated by Time Warner Cable, Wells Fargo, Disney, the Bohnett Foundation, LA 2050, the Department of Water and Power and Port of Los Angeles, according to the Mayor's Office. The remaining $75,000 represents the costs of city crews, such as police and street services. And that figure has raised eyebrows with at least one city union. 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Compton elects a new mayor, LA city council members leave, advice for Mayor-elect Garcetti

Voting booth

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Voters in Compton will select their first new mayor in 12 years tomorrow, reports KPCC.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, June 3, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Compton voters will go to the polls tomorrow to select their first new mayor in 12 years, reports KPCC. "Compton's mayor, despite the prestigious title, has no more authority or voting power than the four council members. That means that whoever wins must get the backing of two other council members to turn his or her vision into a new reality for Compton," according to the station.

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, each outgoing council member gets a sendoff, Council President Herb Wesson runs for reelection, and Eric Garcetti returns a piano.

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