The job of making Los Angeles run more like a business to cope with budget deficits that may exceed $500 million in four years belongs to the son of illegal Mexican immigrants who grew up poor in the city’s suburbs.
A rebounding Southern California economy will increase revenue to Los Angeles by 5.1 percent next year, though locked-in employee costs are growing even faster, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said.
Los Angeles taxpayers spent almost $15 million last year to subsidize the city zoo, enough to pay 300 rookie cops. Expenses included $2,000 to clear up the bladder infection of a guinea pig named Sophia.
The Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the retirement age for new municipal employees to 65 from 55 and to reduce their pension benefits, a move the city’s budget analyst said would save as much as $4.3 billion over 30 years.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa agreed with city unions on ways to save $400 million over the next four years to help close budget deficits, calling it a demonstration that collective bargaining can work.