April 6th, 2010
03:31 PM ET

L.A. mayor looking at shutting city down two days a week

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants a plan to be drawn up to shut the city down for two days a week beginning April 12 because of their budget crisis.

"There are no easy decisions or simple ways to solve this budget crisis,” Mayor Villaraigosa said in a statement. “But as the CEO of this great city, it is my responsibility to make these difficult but necessary decisions to steer the city out of this crisis and onto solid financial ground."

Villaraigosa said he hoped a plan could quickly be developed so they could calculate how much money it would save the city while they hold emergency meetings to try and figure out how to replenish the city's general fund.

"We can no longer wait. We can no longer keep saying no," Villaraigosa said. "We must act now."

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Filed under: Economy • U.S.
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Puablo

    It's amazing how incoherent most of these comments are. The answer is simple and painful: raise taxes, cut services. Or tax marijuana and deal with that controversy. Either way nobody is going to like the solution. Apparently it is far more fun to blame others.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ivorywire33

    Counties and cities in California are already cutting time and pay. This is nothing new. The only thing that makes this newsworthy is the fact that it's happening in the second-largest city in the country. Two days a week? So about eight days a month, if you figure the month has about four weeks. Here in this county, they're already cutting five days a month, only they take a whole week off.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ballistic misanthrope

    I neither side with nor against the mayor; I haven't any stake in the issue and no easy access to the numbers informing his decision. But if the level of reading comprehension demonstrated in these comments is indicative of the national average then it should come as no surprise that we can't compete to the level of our potential in the global marketplace.

    Mail delivery is not a "private enterprise;" it's an independent federal agency. That any person educated in the United States is unaware of this fact should make Benjamin Franklin roll over in his grave. Furthermore, streets, police stations, and private businesses will not have their doors barred by malevolent auditors and curfew gestapo. This is single-digit, white noise thinking.

    Who are these people, and who pays them to do things? Is it any wonder they hang on the words of infotainment pundits – liberal and conservative (like those things even have context anymore) – whose profit model insists upon controversy and obfuscation rather than resolution and clarity? Neither Glenn Beck nor Keith Olbermann stand to gain from a well-informed public with the courage to do their own research, but to their relief, indignant frenzy is the flavor of the age.

    To those who would co-opt the immigration crisis as an outlet for their xenophobia: shame on your weakness. Every legitimate study conducted with accurate estimating methods has concluded that the taxes paid by illegal immigrants outweigh the cost of providing social services to them by more than $25 billion. The flaw lies in that all surplus over expenditures is delivered to the federal government while local governments suffer shortfalls.

    Enough out of me. I should know better than to say anything on the internet these days.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. android1

    WOW.I like this guy....

    April 6, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LivesinCali

    I hate this damn state. Arnold ran it into the ground. He should have stayed an actor. Just because you married into a political family, doesn't mean you can be a politician! This state is a joke and step one is getting all the trash out of here like the damn illegal Mexicans!


    April 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bob

    Wow, the lack of intelligence that's on display here really drives home the fact that our K-12 educational system is in need of a serious overhaul.

    I'm a state employee outside of California and work for the university system because I really enjoy working with students. I recently returned to the university after a 10 year stint in private industry doing exactly the same job as I am now.

    My salary at the private firm was about twice what I'm making as a state employee. I received 25 vacation days a year, 15 holidays, fully paid dental, health and life insurance, and heavily subsidized insurance for my family. My company deposited 5% of my income to my 401k, and if you chose to contribute as well (some chose not to) they would match it up to 10%. I was an exempt employee (salaried for those that don't have a clue); if I had to leave early occasionally or if I had a doctor's appointment I was allowed to leave without using any sick/vacation time. If I had a major project that required extended hours, I worked 'overtime', so in the end it all balanced out.

    At the university I get 14 vacation days and I believe 10 holidays (no, we aren't paid for spring break, etc.). I pay a portion of my health and dental insurance from the same companies my previous employer provided for free. I get a whopping $2,000 life insurance, where my previous employer provided $50,000 at no cost to me. I am forced to contribute 10% of my salary to the retirement system, which is matched by the university. I'm exempt at the university, however if I need to take time off to go to the doctor or leave early for whatever reason, I have to take vacation or sick time or I don't get paid. Or I can use up some of the furlough time I am required to take because of budget issues at the state level.

    Let's compare the actual $$ in retirement benefits many of you think are outrageous. With a salary of 100k at my previous employer, they would contribute $5,000 without any contributions on my own part. If I contributed the maximum, they would contribute $15,000 a year to my $10,000. That's $25,000 a year going into my 401k per year for those of you that are math-challenged. At the university my salary is 50k. I am required to pay $5,000 per year, which the university matches. $10,000 total.

    I don't plan on retiring for another 30 years, and I do intend on remaining at the university. Assuming no pay increases, that's 1.5 million dollars less than I'd have made in private industry. If you factor in pay increases, the differential would probably be greater if the increases were held to a similar ratio. I wouldn't know how the pay raises are at the university as I've not received one in over 2 years. Now back to the comparison. Over that same 30 year period, the total contribution to my 401k at the private sector position is 750k, of which only 300k was out of my pocket. At the university I'd have a grand total of 300k, with 150k out of my pocket. That works out to an additional 300k in compensation over what I receive at the university.

    So over the 30 years, I receive 1.8 million LESS than I would receive working in private industry, and that doesn't even start to take into account the vacation time I lost or the insurance subsidies. Yes, I did this willingly because I believe what I'm doing now is more beneficial to our future than what I was doing previously. That 1.8 million is so much more than I'll ever receive in pension benefits it's not even funny.

    Please realize that not all gov't employees are out to get something for nothing. As you can see, I'm giving a lot and getting very little, but I love what I'm doing.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LivesinCali

    Oh and I agree about the jerkoff actors/actresses. Make them pay higher taxes. They can afford it. And I agree with the girl who said it's ridiculous they even make the kind of money they do. So not necessary!

    BTW, I live in Northern Cali...and I'm so friggin' sick of constantly hearing about what a crisis this state is in. It makes me sick and I can't move!

    April 6, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. foil

    lets all have 7 day weekends...foever

    April 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. had enough!

    take our state back! go to your local home depot load them up and send them home!

    April 6, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PLaw

    Meanwhile, the richest Americans pay only a 15% marginal income tax rate...

    April 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Vince

    There are clearly a number of factors that have contributed to this financial crisis:
    1) unemployment at +10%
    2) business erosion to overseas mfg
    3) loss of real estate tax revenues due to RE bust
    4) overpaid local/City/State/Fed employees
    5) failue of government leaders to be PROACTIVE

    Given that unemployment will likely go higher, businesses will continue to leave Cal, housing market still flat, why should civil servants think of themselves as untouchable. I recently had to take a 10% cut in salary. Was I upset? Sure but I still have a job and pay taxes and my mortgage. Tough times call for tough decisions and actions. TIme for the Mayor to make those tough calls instead of dreaming up how to get more airtime and press. Be the executive you should be Tony not the politician you think you are. For all the civil servants out there, suck it up, you've had it too good for too long.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pierce

    That would be a terrible precedent.

    Then people would discover how really little we need the consultangts and planners and nutritionists and permit issuers and limo drivers and office decorators, ad nauseum.

    Now if only the federal govt. could do the same and cut personnel costs by 2/3, Heaven. and good riddance for many fat bureaucrats.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sunwave

    2 choices – either get used to a declining America – or vote ito power those who will protect your home, your essential gov't services, and our sovereignety – or thjose who promise golden palaces and deliver sip. face up or fade away.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rlmill01

    Way to go Mayor. Can someone call Arnold and see if they can shut down the rest of the state also? Damn hippies anyway!

    April 6, 2010 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. E

    The mayor is not in charge of Federal mail delivery.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
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