Los Angeles faces budget shortfall of $72 million
Official calls for cuts to police, city attorney’s office, street services and elsewhere. The costs of cleaning up after windstorms and the Occupy L.A. encampment could add to the red ink.
Less than six months into its fiscal year, the city of Los Angeles faces a $72-million budget shortfall, raising the prospect of new cuts in services in coming weeks, according to a report released Friday.
City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, budget advisor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council, issued an interim financial status report calling for nearly two dozen city agencies to absorb a combined $21 million in reductions.
Santana warned that the shortfall could grow once city officials calculate the cost of cleanup in the wake of this week’s ferocious windstorms and the two-month encampment outside City Hall by Occupy L.A.
“These are unforeseen problems that we have to pay for one way or the other,” Santana said in an interview. “The timing was not helpful.”
Santana called for reductions of $4 million to the Los Angeles Police Department, $1.7 million to the city attorney’s office and $1.3 million to the Bureau of Street Services, which is charged with maintaining the city’s 6,500-mile network of roads and highways. He also said he needs four more weeks to find an additional $20 million in potential cuts for this year’s budget, which covers the 12-month period ending June 30.
William Carter, chief deputy to City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, voiced dismay about Santana’s report, saying his boss had been trying to set up enough money in his department’s budget to reduce the number of furlough days imposed on his office’s staff.
Right now, most of Trutanich’s employees are taking 36 unpaid days off per year, Carter said.