Mayor Villaraigosa calls on city to close parks, libraries 2 days a week

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With the city facing the possibility of running out of money by next month, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today called on the city to shut down non-revenue-generating services - such as parks and libraries - for two days a week beginning Monday. The photo is of the Richard Riordan Public Library in downtown Los Angeles.

With the city facing the possibility of running out of money, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today called on the city to shut down non-revenue-generating services - such as parks and libraries - for two days a week beginning Monday.

He said the police and fire departments would not be affected by the closures.

Villaraigosa also called for an emergency meeting of the city's Executive Employee Relations Committee to consider other steps for replenishing the General Fund.

The mayor announced the moves in response to the Department of Water and Power's announcement Monday that it would not be making an anticipated $73.5 million transfer to Los Angeles' general fund.

City Controller Wendy Greuel said that without that transfer, the city's General Fund would be $10 million in the red by May 5 and the city would be unable to meet its payroll.

Greuel sent a memo to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Council members urging the council to immediately transfer $90 million from the city's Reserve Fund to the General Fund so she can "continue to pay the city's bills, and to ensure the fiscal solvency of the city."

On Friday, Greuel sent a letter to DWP Interim General Manager S. David Freeman, telling him the city was counting on the full transfer from the agency's Power Revenue Fund to avoid plummeting deeper into debt.

But in a response sent to Greuel Monday, Freeman said DWP's anticipated $73.5 million transfer to the city's General Fund was contingent on the city's approval of an electricity rate hike. A proposed boost in the DWP's Energy Cost Adjustment Factor was rejected by the council last week.

Fitch Ratings also withdrew the DWP's AA- bond rating, putting the utility in danger of having its rating downgraded, agency officials said.

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