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Los Angeles' Solution To Failing Government ^ | June 1, 2014 | Bruce Bialosky

Posted on 06/01/2014 6:17:48 AM PDT by Kaslin

Two months ago I wrote a column that addressed the first part of a report on the future of Los Angeles. The commission formed to address the issues facing the residents and their government has now delivered the second part of their report which lists solutions to the problems facing America’s second largest city. The report may be a bigger failure than the city itself.

In the interim period, the Anderson School of Management issued a forecast which stated that Los Angeles has not had positive job growth over the last 23 years. The county has lost more net jobs than any large metropolitan area in the nation from 1990 to 2013, the study stated. The study by the prestigious school added pressure for the commission to come forth with some solid proposals.

The second part of the report is entitled “A Time for Action.” After the usual flowery verbiage to start a report like this the Commission pinpoints five things from the original report; 1. a jobs crisis, 2. chronic budget shortfalls, 3. abundance of poverty, 4. traffic congestion and 5. public education.

The Commission then immediately bows out of dealing with the two most essential aspects of the report – transportation and education. While Los Angelinos twitter away millions of hours moving to and from their jobs there is little planned relief. Going somewhere on a Saturday night can compel one to stay home and watch Netflix. Travelling the Ventura Freeway at noon on a weekday can be demoralizing and it is nothing compared to the San Diego Freeway which is almost always an adventure in time management.

As pointed out in our first column, the single biggest issue facing Los Angeles is the horrible, immense school system. The graduation rate is 13% below the national average and 12% below the state average. Chicago and New York have systems where the mayor can battle the entrenched bureaucracy though de Blasio is attempting to undo Bloomberg’s advances in New York. Los Angeles is left to the whims of the school board which is handpicked by the teachers’ union and serves the teachers first and then the students. A bold move would have been a call for a restructuring of this relationship. L.A. will never improve until its school system does because it continues to drive the best students out of the city and underserve the residual.

The wisest proposal the commission calls for that should be enacted immediately is moving the municipal elections to unify them with the timing of statewide or national elections in November. The elections are held in odd years where no other issues are addressed. It spotlights the municipal elections, but the turnouts are dismal hovering near 20%. The move will force other municipal entities like the school board and county to change the timing of their elections. This will minimize the stranglehold the public unions have over every office as they march their legions to the polls while others barely recognize another election coming. This would provide the residents a chance at electing real leaders who can affect real change.

The commission then descends into naive folly. Their first recommendation and we believe that the first is always what is believed to be most important is to create an independent ‘Office of Transparency and Accountability.’ Really, this is the best you can conceive to change a deeply challenged city? The board of five members would be appointed by the Mayor, the City Council and the City Controller, yet would be wholly immune from politics. This proposal would create another bureaucracy that would ignore the needs of the residents.

In Los Angeles, power and water is delivered by a city department (DWP) that is quasi-independent. The head of the DWP is already appointed by the Mayor, but the commission comes up with another slick solution – form a board to oversee the operations. Otherwise another politically appointed board (mayor gets all these appointments) with new staff. Los Angeles already has nearly the most costly power in the country do to misguided policies like California requiring ‘renewable’ energy sources and the city council banning all fracking in the city limits. This proposal will do zero to limit the outlandish cost of power and water which is driving businesses out of the city and out of the state.

The commission goes on with such blockbusters proposals as a ‘truth in budgeting ordinance’ and suggesting the city becomes honest about the cost of future promises. Toward the end of the report they finally focus on the job environment which has already been hindered by the Commissions omissions and feeble proposals. They suggest we combine the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, focus on economic clusters and establish a regional tourism bureau all of which are fine ideas, but tinker around the edges.

Los Angeles needs bold leadership. Mayor Garcetti has been in office almost a year and yet nothing has been done in that time period that has worked to reverse the decline that continues in the civic stature. The Mayor has been nearly invisible.

Until the major issues, like the educational system, ridiculous city business tax system (which is not even addressed in the report), the cost of water and power, delivery of city services and the transportation challenges are addressed the chances of major employers expanding or moving to Los Angeles are nil. The good intentioned people who participated in the Commission have failed the residents and have lost an opportunity to move Los Angeles out of its morass.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: government; losangeles

1 posted on 06/01/2014 6:17:48 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Bwahahahahahahaha. LIBs strangling themselves.

2 posted on 06/01/2014 6:22:41 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Kaslin

1. a jobs crisis, 2. chronic budget shortfalls, 3. abundance of poverty, 4. traffic congestion and 5. public education.

Amswers: Get rid of illegal immigrants, get water flowing, get cheap energy. Everything else will follow.

Of course none of it will be done, because Democrats control everything here. We are doomed here. Texas is next.

3 posted on 06/01/2014 6:26:29 AM PDT by ecomcon
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To: Kaslin

Cut off water imported from outside the Basin. For the wildlife.

4 posted on 06/01/2014 6:29:14 AM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Kaslin

How much did the commission get paid for a report that’s not worth the paper it’s written on?

They don’t need a commission, they need to make LA friendly to business to attract jobs and build prosperity. Cutting taxes, slashing the bureaucracy, and cutting stupid regulations are the way to go, but they’ll never do it.

Today I’m in Owensboro, KY. They have low taxes, a coal economy, a beautiful waterfront and new convention center. The downtown is safe and clean, packed with independent businesses and lots of pedestrian traffic.

LA won’t change, but plenty of other places are happy to pick up the slack.

5 posted on 06/01/2014 6:36:49 AM PDT by Gunpowder green
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To: Gunpowder green

To paraphrase the late, great David Crockett, ‘You can all go to Hell. I’m headin’ south.’

6 posted on 06/01/2014 6:45:45 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Kaslin

I think the movie “Elysium” did a pretty good job of showing the future of Los Angeles.

7 posted on 06/01/2014 6:49:39 AM PDT by rbg81
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To: Kaslin

It’s all about geography and wealth. The geography of California is stunning. It has a temperate climate with mountains and a huge coastline. It’s a place where people like to live. Millions of people like to live there. Millions of people who screw it up for the limousine liberals. Those millions of people must leave. The limousine liberals don’t want middle class people in California. They want a few poor people around to be their servants, but middle class? They get in the way. Environmentalism for the limousine liberals is a means of driving out the middle class from the more beautiful areas of our country. The biggest status symbol for the limousine liberals is exclusivity. They don’t want riff raff like you and me around them. It’s like Seattle with the drive for the higher minimum wage. That will reduce the number of working people in Seattle. It has nothing to do with fairness or improved living conditions. It’s about driving working people out of a beautiful place.

8 posted on 06/01/2014 6:54:58 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Kaslin
The best solution to fixing the problems with my old home town would be to let Mexico annex Los Angeles.

This might be a problem for the Lakers and the Clippers but not the residents who are nearly 100% fluent in the language of that country. Ballots could be limited to just the Spanish language, schools could be taught in Spanish. The latter would have a huge impact on the graduation rates which would skyrocket and both measures would save huge amounts of money since books in English could be burned for fuel to drive electrical generators. Electricity rates would drop drastically and stay down for at least a week or two.

The downside: The freeways would slowly deteriorate. The streets would remain unswept. Businesses would leave - but, of course, that would not be a big change. Soccer could be established as the primary sport and could be heavily subsidized in hopes of attracting the World Cup to our shores. That would be a losing financial proposition, of course, the local politicians would certainly get re-elected so there would be some benefits.

I could go on ...

9 posted on 06/01/2014 7:06:31 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: onedoug

Amen to that!

10 posted on 06/01/2014 7:25:48 AM PDT by Gunpowder green
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To: Kaslin
Demographics is Destiny.

Los Angeles has a Third world population with Third world ways and Third world problems.

The only way to change Los Angeles is to change its demographics.

11 posted on 06/01/2014 8:20:31 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
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To: Count of Monte Fisto

Lost Angeles

12 posted on 06/01/2014 8:40:37 AM PDT by molson209 (Blank)
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To: Kaslin
Los Angelinos

That's 'Angelenos'.

13 posted on 06/01/2014 9:42:36 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Conservatism is the political disposition of grown-ups.)
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To: blueunicorn6

“It has nothing to do with fairness or improved living conditions. It’s about driving working people out of a beautiful place.”

You make some interesting points. But rather than the LL’s trying to drive out the middle class, it more that they are just a pack of self-indulgent folks who have too much money and too few brains. The thing is that they are being forced into more consolidated communities to maintain their lifestyle. The time is not far off when the illegals in the LA flatlands are going to decide to do some serious damage to the rich liberal enclaves. “We come no longer to mow your lawns, but rather to slit your throats and take your stuff.”

14 posted on 06/01/2014 10:42:40 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: Kaslin

I think we need more light rail and buses and redevelopment zones and low cost section 8 housing and a new stadium and raise gas taxes to fix the roads and sidewalks we haven’t bothered maintaining for decades and get rid of prop 13 and raise property taxes on the rich home owners who are not paying their fair share and more money for schools (pension only payments shh!) and add more ‘temporary’ taxes etc etc.

I might have left off something but this is all you hear in LA and other towns. Nothing ever gets fixed except the politicians and developers bank accounts.

15 posted on 06/01/2014 1:58:18 PM PDT by minnesota_bound
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16 posted on 06/01/2014 2:00:26 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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