Tough Talk on City Budget
Downtown Councilwoman Talks Bankruptcy, Hiring Freeze
by Anna Scott, Staff Writer
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry said Thursday that Los Angeles faces a real threat of bankruptcy, and that the city should freeze all hiring, including police officers, to address a nearly $200 million budget shortfall.
Perry’s remarks were delivered during a Downtown luncheon hosted by the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum. “I have to laugh when I hear people thinking that it’s not real,” Perry said of the possibility of bankruptcy. Regarding LAPD hiring, she said, “In my mind, you don’t continue hiring people when you have people on furloughs.”
The talk came the same day the Los Angeles Times reported on a letter signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and five City Council members (including Perry) and addressed to City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, calling for the elimination of 1,000 city jobs in the next six months. “I’m very pleased that the letter is out,” said Perry, because now the city’s true financial predicament “is out there.”
Perry, without specifically naming former Community Redevelopment Agency CEO Cecilia Estolano, also criticized Estolano’s tenure at the agency.
“I didn’t like the direction the agency had taken,” she said. “It had taken on the veneer that it had a moral imperative, and if you didn’t share that moral imperative then you were demonized.”
Perry added that she was happy with recent “changes” at the CRA.
Contact Anna Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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