Last week Miguel Santana, Los Angeles' Chief Administrative Officer (i.e. our city's budget honcho), issued a report about the state of the city's finances. The city currently has a $222 million budget deficit. That number is only expected to increase in the next few years.
The report painted a dismal picture: While revenues have fallen, costs -- specifically costs of paying employees -- have not.
The city has cut close to 5,000 jobs in
recent years, but it is still living beyond its means. The question is
how the city will pay the bills. The report recommends taxes, potential
layoffs, and farming out certain city services (like management of the
zoo and the convention center) to private companies. An unsurprisingly
contentious proposal suggests that we study different ways to provide
for ambulance transport in the city. Read this as meaning different ways
of hiring private companies. Currently the Los Angeles Fire Department
(LAFD) provides such services. Four out of five calls to the LAFD are
for medical emergencies. Would this be a smart economic move or a public
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