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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.


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)

@ Diane W. If you think that you are appalled @ the $107K office remodel, go back and read the article and see how upset you will be when you find out it is a $707K office remodel! And he's only been in office 1 year. As for the DWP, maybe they should take that money slated for raises and instead fix all of these WATER MAINS that keep exploding throughout their jurisdiction. Talk about wasting MONEY and WATER (which they keep warning us is in short supply).

I don't see why everyone is crying about $170,000 for an office remodel. Considering he hired people to perform the work, he probably kept them out of the unemployment line. Now, the DWP pay raises are another in a line of what we call the "entitlement" group. Since the unions have their hands in everything, they set this up with no regard towards the current economic situation. Yes, it's deplorable, but we let them (DWP, prison guards, utility companies) jack us every chance they get.

Thank you Steve for keeping us informed and for exceptional reporting. Especially thank you for allowing me to share a few comments with other readers.

Yep DWP raises, perhaps they'll use some of the Solid Resource fee's to cover them. Wonder why they call 'em trash/recycling fees guess Solid Resource sounds well more solid.

Yep DWP raises, perhaps they'll use some of the Solid Resource fee's to cover them. Wonder why they call 'em trash/recycling fees guess Solid Resource sounds well more solid.

Ken, it doesn't matter in this case WHY they're getting rasies. What matters is that they ARE getting raises, while every day people in both public and private sectors are being laid off, businesses are failing, and people are losing their homes. Most businesses aren't giving raises - some for the 2nd year in a row, due to the financial reality of the state and country. City and State employees need to take the same hits as the rest of us. This is no time for raises.

"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."

This is a quote from someone else, which I wholeheartedly agree with! You guys are unbelievable! May someone have mercy on your souls, cause it will not be GOD!!!!

I'm not surprised by Mayor Villaraigosa actions. Worst Mayor ever!!!!!

Mr. Mayor,
how can i get into your gang? You run this city like an old fashion mobster. Handing out contracts to the highest bidders with no concerns for common people. At this point, the Taliban would run the city better than you. As a citizen of Los Angeles I am asking for your resignation. We should all get together and see the city's financial books and see what a fraud Villaraigosa is to the citizens of Los Angeles. RECALL
RECALL RECALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why do people think that government workers should not be rewarded for the hard work they do for society.
Are government workers condemed to poverty because most of them are Union Members.
By the way, I hear that there are a few government jobs available. Is there anyone out there who would turn one down right now?


If you're not in the DWP union, put pressure on the people who defend their greed and stupidity:
Bob Cherry - Union Spokesperson (415) 608-9753 | http://heincherryattore.com/about
Brian D'Arcy - Union Head (213) 387-8274 | http://www.ibewlocal18.org/officers.html

We know that these deals will only INCREASE OUR BILLS and OUR TAXES with no accountability and no improvement in service. AND WE ARE SICK OF IT. IBEW and DWP need to show a little humility right now - can't you wait until the economy recovers before asking for raises? Are you guys really that big of jerks?

I think these people are a joke and don't deserve squat. They waste their time on stupid measures thinking they own the air and can control everybody in Los Angeles, while the really important stuff is ignored. No way do they deserve another cent.

Unbelievable. Is further review available? Can those who approved the raises be kicked out of office?

Is there any way for us voters to fire the DWP Board?

Is there any way for us voters to fire all of the council members?

Our mayor "Mr. Snapshot" runs his city the way he ran his marrage....in the ground. If his mouth is moving he's lying! Why do elected officials want the job in the first place. If the pay wasn't good enough then they should not have taken the job. Don't like the pay, go to work somewhere else, IF they can get hired anywhere else! Politicians are like car salesman, if they could get a real job, they would!!!!!!!!!!

I have no idea who started this MALICIOUS RUMOR that Mark Ridley Thomas was getting a $107,000 Office remodel.

The correct amount is $707,000. Almost three-quarters of a million.


You're welcome, Los Angeles!

While I don't condone raises for bureaucrats - I feel like I have to say something here. While many of you may not agree with the "raises" the IBEW members are receiving - please keep in mind that these are the people who who our lights, and our precious internet connections going so that we can post our opinion here. They go to work in every single weather condition, day or night. They are the people you bitch at because they block a lane downtown to pull cable so you can stop and get Starbucks in the morning. spend YEARS as apprentices to learn their trade with more sacrifices than I care to list. They are not money-hungry. They work hard so they can take care of their families. 3.25% is a drop in the bucket for this giant revenue-based business (which so many columnists forget to add to their stories).

They're not trying to blatantly steal money from you as Ridley-Thomas and so many others have done and continue to do.

Councilman Parks pulls in half a million in retirement and salary as it is. Each council member makes at least 178,000. The mayor and the city council are the highest paid in the nation. Do you really think they give two shoots and a darn about what we think. Maybe they should get a 50% pay cut and be put on merit pay and see what happens.

The DWP/union and their apologists are clearly oblivious to how obscene these raises look from the outside. I don't care how important you think your work is; when hospitals beds are disappearing across the county, and classroom sizes are inflated to unmanageable proportions, this entitled attitude is indefensible. In other news, LAUSD announced today that it expects to cut 1,400 more teaching positions, in addition to the 2,000 already cut. But let them eat cake... education is purely a cost-center, not a revenue-base. There's forward-thinking for you!

The DWP does not NEED a raise when everyone else is getting a pay cut. The trash service has gone up over 3.28 % since the mayor has taken office to support his programs. Other people have been fired and DWP gets a rise. We are in slavery thanks to our great leaders making deals we cannot afford. We are working for the state, and the city government. We cannot feed our families as we should, and our families are going without. Our city government officials should take a pay cut also. But our officials will not do that because they think they are too Good for that.

There's a very simple remedy for this kind of thing: elect better people.

Turnout at the Mayoral election in March 2009 was obscenely low.

Over 700,000 people in the City of Los Angeles who had voted in the Presidential election in November 2009 didn't bother to show up for the March election.

I came in second in the Mayoral race. I pointed out that hundreds of millions of dollars of tax money is squandered annually on things like subsidies for billionaire developers, one-dollar-per-year leases of city property to cronies, etc., etc.

This kind of waste is routine. It is easy to fix: elect better people.

I voted for Walter Moore, a hoya


southern california has some of the highest paid misfit bureaucrats i have ever seen!

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