Los Angeles County beach bathrooms may be dirtier due to cutbacks, according to complaints

On the eve of summer, Los Angeles County officials are fielding complaints about dirty bathrooms at beaches after budget-related service cuts.

L.A.’s Department of Beaches and Harbors cut about 30 janitor jobs when federal money for welfare-to-work positions ran out. Since April, fewer workers have been on the job.

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has gone public with the resulting complaints. He said he'd heard from people who described public health concerns that included overflowing trash cans and a lack of cleanliness. Yaroslavsky pointed out that millions of people visit L.A. beaches a year.

Beaches and harbors officials said they watch closely for complaints, and try to fix them fast. A spokeswoman for the department said cleaning still happens, but later in the day than before.

L.A. County's chief executive officer William Fujioka said the cleaning crews were the victims of tough choices about cost cutting. The board of supervisors hasn’t yet acted on the complaints – temporary workers could add costs to the budget, at the expense of other county services. But at their most recent meeting, L.A. County supervisors asked Fujioka to investigate the matter and report back about beach and harbor restrooms next week.

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