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Raises for bureaucrats? Are you kidding me?

Lopez While you're wondering which relatives to snip from your holiday gift list, our intrepid leaders at the L.A. Civic Center refuse to let hard times dampen the spirit of the season.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors ordered a feasibility study on repairing and reopening the earthquake-damaged Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. Lovely, except that I thought they were working on the feasibility of keeping the lights on in buildings that are already open for business. The last estimate on repairs for the Hall of Justice, by the way, was $100 million.

Not to be outdone, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's minions at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have approved a five-year package of raises for employees.

Raises?

Yes. Raises, despite the deepening fiscal apocalypse known to members of the real world, and despite a warning of potential disaster for the utility's retirement system.

They live among us, these people.

Feel free, dear readers, to let them know what you think.

-- Steve Lopez

 
Comments () | Archives (69)

We are in a state of penny pinching, California is extremely poor right now. According to what you guys are telling the people of the State of California. Oh...No... you are not giving yourselves raises. What kind of CRAP is that? You are not above anybody else, get this system that we live in working for the people. You money hungry....Where are your prinicipals? Get with the program.

two ways exist to complete a contract (for pensions):
1)-fullfill the terms
2) tear up the contract and say "sue me".

Alternate two may be cheaper!

Oh, Steve, what about Ridley Thomas' $170,000 office remodel? In times like this? APPALLING! Shameful! Nauseating and Disgusting! Where's the outrage over this asinine event? Where is the sense in this? If the office was literally the dregs, why not a more budget conscious upgrade. All this tells me is that this guy has no regard for taxpayer dollars or anything but his own "creature comforts". Which begs the question how much of his own money was "invested" in this office "remodel"?

I'm for keeping the lights on, keeping people working, even giving people their much needed cost of living increases and providing health care insurance for employees and being reasonable, responsible, and for rationale and prudence when dealing with public funds. Is the next thing on his list of necessities a Chauffer driven Rolls Royce?

Just one question Mr. Mayor... did you know you were going to allow these raises to be approved before you decided to lay off people in other departments? I'm just a lay person, with no real knowledge of how the machinations of politics works, but is this what is known as checks and balances? You balance books and allow raises in one department, while keeping things in check by laying off people in other departments? How smug you must be, and how proud you must feel. Such hubris will have to be rewarded. I am not eloquent enough to bestow such an award on you. Perhaps Mr. Lopez can do the honors.

Wow!!! An 170k office remodel??? I can't even afford to pay that much for a house, and this guy has an OFFICE remodel done for that amount. No wonder he wanted a supervisor's job. 170k?....dude...c'mon...really?

Hey ND, Perhaps Mr. Mayor is not the one to address about anything at all. I never heard what happened over the Mayor's summer water rules violations; i.e. his outside water ran during late night hours EVERY DAY. When questioned by NBC's Joel Grover, he "blew off" the investigative reporter. Talk about do as I say not as I do!!

Thank you Steve!

Why are we shocked? Prison guards in California earn $100,000+. The furlougs are a total scam and they are actually sticking it to us and earning more $$ and getting more time off due to the furlougs Why shouldn't the poor folks over at DWP make about the same amount? As shameful as it is, we have only ourselves to blame. We vote these ridiculous people into office. Too, when we really get down to brass tacks, I think we will find that most Californians are on the taxpayer gravy train, taking a hand out from one agency or another, without giving anything back.

And what?!...DWP is a powerhouse, a monopoly, a cartel. Where else can we get electricity and water...no where!!! And DWP knows this...so they raise their rates to whatever amount they want because they can, because their employees believe they're entitied to over inflated salaries, because they have the city council in their pockets.

WHAT CAN WE DO????!!!! WHO'S ON THE SIDE OF THE CUSTOMERS???!!! WHERE ARE OUR LOBBYISTS???!!!

Lopez, I know people who work for DWP...what am I to say to them? Unless I know the current top dog at DWP, it makes no difference to "let them know what I think." We need a city council with backbone...not these pansies that don't know a balanced budget from a hole in the ground.

Money is the only thing that can affect change...and majority of us don't have enough to buy us a politician or run for office...so what do we do?

All the more reason to kick recall Villarai"grossa" out of office. As for the rest of the city "barnacles" same for them as well. If it's not coming out of their own pockets, they don't care. . . of course, when they're called on the carpet about their disgusting and outrageous spending, they'll defend it, and then accuse the news and the rest of us of a "witch hunt" But it'll never end, no matter who wins an election, we, the taxpayers still lose!

As a City of LA employee, subject to a 12% pay decrease due to forced Furlough Days (2 per month), I am having to put my home up for sale because I just cannot afford my mortgage; despite my frugal existence. To see that DWP is opting for pay raises is very disheartening, to say the least. It is difficult to keep one's morale up while watching my hard-earned assets going down the drain as others are receiving pay raises - especially in a departmetn (DWP) that ensures its own insular survival at any cost, including unfair "hiring" practices.

You people will take it and let them do with you what they will. No one stands up anymore. Just bitch bitch bitch on the internet. Go protest next Monday and tell them to justify this frivolous spending of $170,000.00 for an office!!! How do they justify increases in payroll during times of insolvency?? How come they allow prison guards to earn up to $100,000.00 for overtime when it would be cheaper to employ new and more guards?? Overtime is money that you get nothing in return for as it is a higher amount paid for the same output or generation with a diminished quality. Think about it!!!

You don't want to know what I think and you couldn't print it anyway.

**************** outrageous!

Here's a great idea from the DWP. They can hire every unemployed person in the City of LA and give them fat pay checks and pension plans. That way they can solve the unemployment problem and LA's excess money problem all at once.

we deserve what we get because we leep re-electing the current group of clowns. never ever re-elect anybody to anything and see how fast things get fixed. villar as a two term mayor???? are you kidding. We deserve all that happens to us because as they see it, we love them.

Prison guards deserve every penny they earn. They are subjected to the dregs of society physically assaulting, attempting and (at times) succeeding in murdering them, throwing feces, urine, semen and spitting on them...all from inmates that often carry MRSA, Measles, Mumps, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, HIV and various other diseases. Beyond those deserving reasons, they earn a decent salary in order to attract honest employees with integrity and discourage corruption and criminal employees that lower standards and pay would surely bring.

Steve: would be nice to know why they are getting raises. Otherwise you are just fanning the populist flames (and the rest of you are taking the bait).

Mr. Villa-Narcissist pig, can you do us all a favor and leave this beautiful city alone? You have already bankrupted the city by your stupid negotiations with the Unions. Please, please, please, do us all that favor just one time in your life, do something right. I know you like to see yourself on television, and I also know that you feel like you are so important that we can not continue to operate with out you. Well, here is a little secret, you are the worst mayor this city has ever had, and I'm a Latino male who is ashamed of your actions as a husband, father, and just plainly as a human. Stop referring to yourself as a Latino as well. You give us all a very bad name. Please leave you sorry excuse for a drop out law student.

Hey Ramon, don't forget Mr. Mayor's "jet setting" while "Billary" Clinton was running for President. How many trips did he make to NY or D. C. to appear? Not to mention his "good will" globe trotting trips he made to "promote L.A." Oh, pleasssssssssse!

I agree with Jill on the prison guard info. Their life is in danger the entire work shift ..

The city's CAO, Miguel Santana, rationalized the series on increases because they are not a big as what they got in 2008, a 5.9% increase. Incredible!

DWP unions are backing Cristine Essel; guess who is not getting my vote in CD2.

The mayor and city council don't have the back bone to stand up and say "enough already!".

Mr. Mayor, grow a pair.

Well, this contract makes sense. Looks like they get paid for every water main break. Conspiracy theories might afloat that the DWP may have been increasing pressure to create a situation where LA officials are under the impression that DWP is indispensable. I mean, if a couple of traffic engineers from LADOT can hack into the city's computer and create traffic tie-ups, what's to keep DWPers from doing the same? Just sayin'

Also, where's proof of thise $170,000 office remodel?

$100,000,000 on repairs? $170,000 office remodel? Raises at DWP? You must be kidding...These so-called Leaders we have elected have sold us out to the highest bidder! How can they justify spending this money when there isn't enough money to keep our freeways from looking like junkyards in the emergency lanes. Why do our freeways look like crap compared to the freeways in OC? Every time I drive up the 5 from San Diego, leaving Orange County and entering LA, it makes me feel depressed coming back to this filthy run down town. The only things the local politicians really worry about is lining the pockets of their contributors so they can get re-elected...just look around and you can tell where their priorities are. They have turned what once was a great city into a garbage dump that somehow manages to spend twice as much money as it has coming in...and still not really getting anything done! How quickly can we rid ourselves of these carpetbaggers, not soon enough I fear.

I think these jerks are purposely breaking all these water mains to give them job security.

DWP are a bunch of crooks- they wanted the contract to build solar panels and install them without the help of any secondary party/company. The Mayor along with ERIC GARCETTI managed to put that proposition on the ballot in the last election WITHOUT ever addressing this proposal at any council meeting.

I think the DWP needs some competition.

By the way "Dumb Blonde", I'm a prison guard and I don't make 100K/yr. I don't know where you get your facts from.

I agree with Gary: voters and ratepayers deserve it because we vote for the elected officials who approve these outrageous contracts. Forget the mayor, it's the city council who ultimately votes to approve the contract. The elected council members are protected because they only represent 1 vote out of 15; voters consequently lay the blame on the council member who is NOT theirs. Yet, nearly ALL council members have received hefty financial support from the DWP union, IBEW Local 18. Their president, Brian D'Arcy, has unprecedented influence over elected officials who ultimately approve increases to ratepayers.

Steve,
You sound like you are from Orange County! Let the orgy continue-leave it to our kids to sort out.

Alex,
Orange County, CA

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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