Politics, government and public life for Southern California

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. 


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



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. 


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:


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.


Compton mayor election pits two-time former mayor Omar Bradley against urban planner Aja Brown

Omar Bradley

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Omar Bradley, who served as Compton's mayor from 1993 to 2001, is on the ballot again for mayor. The election is June 4.

Aja Brown

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Aja Brown, candidate for Compton Mayor at Wilson Park.

Ben Graham at Wilson Park

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Ben Graham, aspiring rapper who has experienced both jail and a gunshot in his 17 years, at Wilson Park in Compton

Compton's voters go to the polls Tuesday to choose their first new mayor in 12 years. The election pits two-time former mayor Omar Bradley against Aja Brown, a community development consultant.

Brown, 31, held city economic development jobs in Compton, Gardena and Inglewood before starting her own firm two years ago. She says many of Compton's basic planning, zoning and strategic plans must be rewritten to attract new investment.

"We see so much mismatch of land uses, but it's because our policies are so outdated that we have no legal mechanism to enforce the type of development that we need," she said.

Brown moved to Compton in 2009 after growing up in Altadena. Her mother had moved the family away from Compton in the early 70s after Brown's grandmother was killed there in a home invasion.


LA mayor-elect Eric Garcetti names transition director

Eric Garcetti Los Angeles Mayor

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti delivers a speech on May 21, 2013.

Eric Garcetti has turned to an old family associate to head his transition team. L.A.'s mayor-elect has chosen Rich Llewellyn, a one-time chief of staff to Garcetti in his city council office and former Special Counsel to Garcetti's father when he served as L.A. County district attorney in the 1990s.

"Rich understands my priorities and has the experience and expertise to help me assemble an administration that is ready for action," Garcetti said in a statement. Llewellyn is a longtime figure at City Hall. He most recently served as chief of staff to Councilman Paul Koretz.

Garcetti's team has established a website for people to learn how to apply for appointments to city commissions — and to offer their ideas on how to improve L.A.

"We want to reach out to a wide array of people for their talent and their ideas," said Garcetti spokesman Yuseff Robb.