In a tight economic climate, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is weighing steep budget cuts which could affect social services and public safety. Meanwhile, each supervisor can tap into a $3.4 million discretionary spending fund without additional voting or oversight. Disclosure records show that while some recent expenditures supported communities, others funded pet projects, covered travel expenses or seem to benefit only the supervisor himself. Should the County freeze discretionary accounts to help balance the budget? Or, does discretionary spending get direct assistance to communities in need?
Fully disclosed: discretionary spending data from July 2007-November 2009 (via LA Times Data Desk).
Garrett Therolf, Reporter, Los Angeles Times
Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Third District