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L.A. Now Live: Discuss L.A. mayor's race, city budget woes

February 25, 2013 |  8:23 am

The Times' City Hall reporter David Zahniser will join L.A. Now Live at 9 a.m. to discuss the upcoming city elections.

Zahniser, along with staff writers Jessica Garrison and Ralph Vartabedian, reported on Sunday that Los Angeles' next mayor -- replacing Antonio Villaraigosa -- will inherit budget problems and face numerous difficult decisions.

Over the past several years, to stay afloat financially, the city cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of everyday services and ongoing maintenance.

The next mayor will have to confront how and whether to restore services and keep police staffing at a historic high. Paying for it all will require either new revenues, or new concessions from city employees, or new approaches to running vital city programs.

Community activists say the next mayor needs to break the cycle of decreasing services and raising fees, fines and taxes to offset rising personnel costs. "What the city has done for the last five years is ... tread water," said San Pedro resident Doug Epperhart, a city commissioner overseeing Los Angeles' network of neighborhood councils.