Friday, February 10, 2012

Mid-Year Financial Status Report

Departmental savings mixed with higher than expected sales and hotel taxes throughout Los Angeles helped the city turn its $72 million deficit into a delicate, $4.2 million surplus this financial year, according to the mid-year financial status report. 

But the city's not out of the woods yet. 

Read it below: Mid-year Financial Status Report

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Krekorian Tapped to Chair Budget Committee

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles City Council organizes itself into new committees next week, with Councilmember Paul Krekorian set to take the helm of the Budget and Finance Committee starting February 6.  

The new committee responsibilities, assigned by the president of the City Council, also reflect a change in leadership on the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, which Councilmember Krekorian had chaired since he took office in 2010. Councilmember Bernard Parks, who led the city's main fiscal committee for eight years, will now lead the Education and Neighborhoods Committee.

"During a time that our City faces unprecedented budget challenges, I accept the responsibility of chairing the Budget & Finance Committee with full awareness that there will be no simple fixes or easy solutions," Councilmember Krekorian said.  

"But with every great challenge there is great opportunity, and we must seize this chance to create a municipal government that effectively and efficiently provides the services our residents need and deserve.  How we respond to this time of crisis will define Los Angeles for years to come, and the work we do now can and must create a firm foundation upon which to build a strong future for our city."

Councilmember Krekorian also praised outgoing chairman Parks for his "dedication, skill and vision." 

"His fiscal discipline has helped keep the City afloat in incredibly stormy seas," Krekorian continued. "All Angelenos are in debt to Bernard Parks for his service as Budget Chair."   

During his tenure as head of the city's Education and Neighborhoods Committee, Krekorian has been a strong and consistent advocate of neighborhood empowerment. His efforts ensured that neighborhood council elections will take place this year, despite budget constraints that nearly led to a two-year delay in selecting new boardmembers. He also initiated a variety of reforms to bring greater engagement and effectiveness to the city's 95 neighborhood councils.

"I am very proud of the record of achievement that we established during my chairmanship of the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, and I am confident that the path forward for neighborhood councils is bright," Councilmember Krekorian said. "While I will no longer chair that committee, I will always be steadfast in my commitment to a stronger neighborhood empowerment movement in this city."

As a result of the new assignments, Councilmember Krekorian will now serve as Vice Chair of the Public Works Committee and Vice-Chair of the Board of Referred Powers Committee. He will continue to sit on the Public Safety Committee and will now serve on the Ad Hoc Committee on Waste Reduction/Recycling.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Statement on Neighborhood Council Elections

Honored at the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, July 2011 | Credit: CD2
During a special meeting on Wednesday November, 30 at 3 p.m., the Arts, Parks, & Neighborhoods committee will hear the City Attorney’s draft ordinance to delay neighborhood council elections until 2014 and automatically extend the terms of neighborhood council board members to 2014. 

In response, Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chairman of the committee, released the following statement: 

“I oppose this draft ordinance because it is clearly contrary to the spirit of democracy that our neighborhood councils represent. Extending neighborhood council board member terms until 2014 is unacceptable and it continues to be my goal to find a mechanism that allows residents to have a democratic process to select their representation on their neighborhood councils in 2012. I will work with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, the neighborhood councils, the Mayor's office, the City Clerk and every other interested party to resolve this issue swiftly, transparently and responsibly.” 

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hundreds of Acres of Open Space Preserved in Lake View Terrace

LOS ANGELES – The City Council today approved a long-awaited historic transfer of nearly 280 acres of open space from the Angeles National Golf Club to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), elating the community that has worked for 15 years to ensure completion of the arrangement.

The 277.5 acres adjacent to the golf course stretch well into the Angeles National Forest and will now be preserved as recreational open space and protected from future development. In addition to the transfer of land, owners of the golf club will spend $42,000 annually for 25 years for trail maintenance, $15,000 for the MCRA to develop signage for the area and $250,000 to create and maintain equestrian trails in the Foothills.

“The area surrounding this golf course is among the most scenic open space in all of Los Angeles, and it was imperative to protect it from development,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chairman of the Arts, Parks & Neighborhoods Committee. “Today, I am thrilled that a 15-year journey has finally come to a successful conclusion thanks to the persistent efforts of so many in the community, the MRCA and Angeles National, and I am very proud that my office has pushed hard to get this done. Our collective efforts will leave a permanent legacy of environmental protection, recreational enhancements and an improved quality of life in this area.”

“Big Tujunga Wash in and of itself is its own force of nature, an unparalleled capsule of biodiversity,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Officer of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. “This acquisition will extend the recreational resource value of the Angeles National Forest into the San Fernando Valley.”

Land to be preserved outlined in red:

View Hundreds of Acres of Open Space Preserved in Lake View Terrace in a larger map
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Councilmember Krekorian on KCRW's Good Food

Should Downer Animals Be Allowed in the Food Supply? That is the question Evan Kleiman of KCRW's Good Food asked Paul this weekend. When he was in the Assembly, Paul introduced and passed a bill that banned the slaughter of animals too sick or hurt to stand. That law is now the subject of a Supreme Court case. 

Listen to the segment, which starts a shade before the eight-minute mark:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Krekorian Calls on State Leaders to Oppose Adult Day Healthcare Center Cuts

Sherman Mitchell, Program Director, and Yanette Lewis, the Activity Director of the Valley Village ADHC
Recently, Councilmember Krekorian paid a visit to the Valley Village Adult Day Health Care Center in Sunland where he mingled with guests and spoke with those who help run the center. 

The visit came days before the City Council approved a resolution objecting to a series of cuts proposed by the State Legislature to siphon off funding for ADHCs. The city also asked the Department of Aging to prepare a report detailing how the elimination of Adult Day Health Care center funding will impact the 75 licensed facilities and their patients throughout the city of Los Angeles. 

The report is also slated to provide potential options for assisting persons reliant on ADHC funding. In anticipation of the vote, Councilmember Krekorian wrote to state leaders decrying the proposed cuts. That letter:ADHC provider letter

Thursday, October 20, 2011

City Council Approves Deal for Local Firms Bidding on City Contracts

Signing the ordinance | Credit: Betsy Anna, City of L.A.
LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed an ordinance today that should help local businesses win city contracts fo jobs worth more than $150,000.

The "local preference" ordinance, sponsored by City Councilmen Paul Krekorian and Bernard Parks, shaves 8 percent off the bottom line on bids for city contracts tendered by Los Angeles County-based companies.
To qualify, businesses need an address in Los Angeles County and need to have at least 50 full-time employees, or half of their full-time employees working in Los Angeles County at least 60 percent of the time.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held a signing ceremony today, in part of publicize the program, which is part of larger five-part strategy to create jobs.
"I'm tired of cutting (budgets),'' Villaraigosa said. ``I'm tired of  furloughs, and I'm tired of laying off. We've got to generate jobs, generate revenue, so we're not faced with the daunting task of just cuts.''

He said he hoped the ordinance would be tip the scales for business owners considering a move to Los Angeles. In the fiscal year ended June 30, Villaraigosa said the city spent close
to $2 billion on goods, services and construction, but only a fraction of the
work went to locally based firms.

In fiscal 2008-09, about 15 percent of city contracts, in terms of dollars, were won by L.A.-based firms, Villaraigosa said. More recent comparable figures were unavailable.
Under the new rules, city officials would have to reckon a $1 million bid from a local firm at $920,000. It will also give Los Angeles firms an 8 percent boost on contracts decided on factors other than just price.

The ordinance would not apply to the city's self-supporting city departments, including the airport and port departments, the Department of Water and Power and Community Redevelopment Agency.
Also excluded are the contracts with the Recreation and Parks Department and Library Department, but Villaraigosa said he urged the heads of those departments to approve similar incentives.
Ron Nichols, head of the DWP, said some of services the utility needs are not offered by local firms. He did agree that a "local preference" ordinance might lure some DWP contractors here.   Krekorian said the ordinance should help prop up the local economy.

"It's just unconscionable that ,when this city spends billions of dollars on purchasing goods and contract services, that we treat a business in North Dakota precisely the same way we treat a business in North Hollywood,''he said.

-City News Service