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Chief L.A. analyst proposes tweaks that could prevent layoffs

May 15, 2012 |  3:14 pm

Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller (right) and City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana listen as the L.A. City Council votes on budget motions in 2010. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles City Council’s top policy advisor proposed a series of recommendations Tuesday that could allow the city to avoid a round of controversial layoffs.

Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller sent the proposal to the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, which is considering changes to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s budget.

Miller’s report recommended a series of line-by-line changes to the mayor’s budget that would save the city an additional $7.7 million. His report also included an additional $5.8 million in property tax revenue not factored into Villaraigosa’s budget. Miller said the additional revenue projections were tied to news announced by Los Angeles County officials on Tuesday that estimated property tax growth will be higher than expected for the coming fiscal year.

The savings and new revenue would come close to offsetting the 231 layoffs that have been aggressively opposed by labor unions representing city workers over the last month. The bulk of the layoffs proposed by Villaraigosa would hit clerk and secretarial positions in the Los Angeles Police Department.

Miller’s report suggested other changes the committee may choose to make before sending a recommendation on the budget to the full council. He proposed not granting a $6.9-million increase to the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program that Villaraigosa’s budget called for. And he proposed that the city replace a $10 hike in selected parking fines with an across-the-board $5 increase to dozens of other violations.

The mayor’s budget targeted roughly a dozen violations, such as parking in a fire lane, in front of a hydrant or more than 18 inches from the curb. Miller’s proposal would generate an extra $2.4 million by imposing a smaller increase on various other violations, such as cleaning a car or fixing a car in the street.

Villaraigosa’s ticket proposal had drawn the ire of renters’ rights advocates, who zeroed in specifically on the plan to increase the fine on street sweeping day. They said the street sweeping tickets disproportionately target families who live in neighborhoods with huge apartments and scarce parking spaces.

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-- Kate Linthicum and David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller (right) and City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana listen as the L.A. City Council votes on budget motions in 2010. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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