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UPDATE: Los Angeles city voters reject Measure A sales tax hike
Measure A, the proposed half-cent increase to the city of Los Angeles sales tax, failed 55 percent to 45 percent.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck argued the tax hike was necessary to avoid serious budget cuts to the police and fire departments.
During the campaign, city officials said the tax hike would address persistent budget deficits. Los Angeles faces a $200 million shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The new tax would have raised about that amount annually.
Like many cities, Los Angeles is struggling to recover from a dramatic drop in revenue since the Great Recession while coping with rising pension and healthcare costs for its employees. Since 2009, L.A. has eliminated more than 5,000 jobs, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said.
LA mayor's race: Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel set for runoff in May (update)
Two politicians who once served together as leaders on the Los Angeles City Council will face one another in the May 21 runoff for mayor.
Early Tuesday, with 100 percent of the votes counted , Eric Garcetti garnered the most votes among the field of eight candidates with 33 percent of the vote. City Controller Wendy Greuel followed close behind with 29 percent. The results mirrored what both poll and fundraising numbers showed for months – the councilman and controller remain neck-and-neck.
RELATED: Eric Garcetti speaks on Take Two about campaigning, LA's biggest issues and his break dancing past
Wendy Greuel on Take Two talking about the mayor race, labor support and education policy
Addressing his supporters at the Avalon club in Hollywood, Garcetti took aim at the independent political action committees that have spent millions of dollars on behalf of Greuel's campaign.
Election day extends far and wide outside Los Angeles city limits
Voters in dozens of municipalities across the Los Angeles region went to the polls Tuesday to vote for mayors, council members and other city offices.
Outside the big contest in Los Angeles, four mayoral seats were up for election, but only one was competitive, in Redondo Beach where Steve Aspel won the office.
Pasadena voters cast ballots in three council districts, but only the Third District in the central part of the city had multiple candidates. In that race, businessman John J. Kennedy outpolled activist Ishmael Trone by 55% to 38%. Kennedy will replace longtime councilman Chris Holden, who won an Assembly seat in November.
West Hollywood voters chose two City Council members from a field of nine candidates, electing incumbents Mayor Jeffrey Prang and Councilman John Duran.
Election live blog: Garcetti, Greuel speeches cause headaches for TV news directors (Updated)
11:15 Garcetti and Greuel continue fight, this time over air time
The two mayoral candidates who have been neck-and-neck in the polls continued their fight to be first by both giving their election night speeches just as the 11 p.m. TV newscasts hit the airwaves.
Garcetti and Greuel surely created a headache for news directors who had to decide where to go first. NBC4 went with Greuel, who thanked all four of her opponents for their efforts and for withstanding 42 debates.
NBC4 then switched to Garcetti in mid-speech, just in time to hear him criticize the independent groups that are spending millions on Greuel's behalf.
— Oscar Garza
11:01 Garcetti party heats up
The Avalon in Hollywood is packed now with Eric Garcetti supporters. Near the stage, a former California Supreme Court justice and playwright are standing near a neighborhood activist from Watts.
Maven's Morning Coffee: Election Day, turnover on Animal Services Commission, LA's NFL hopes on hold
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.
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Today is Tuesday, March 5, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
Today is Election Day in Los Angeles. Find your polling place here.
Despite all of the debates, TV ads and mailers, the Los Angeles Times says the mayoral race is light on details for the city's future. In addition to the top job, Angelenos will vote on controller, city attorney and eight city council seats. "The leadership turnover is the most sweeping since term limits took effect in 2001," writes The Times.