Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Los Angeles Times Asks LA City Mayoral Candidate Zuma Dogg First Round of Questions For Their Newspaper Election Coverage

ALRIGHT, ZUMA DOGG HAS TO GET ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ALL TYPED UP AND SENT OVER TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. THEY WILL BE PRINTING RESPONSES FROM ALL OF THE CANDIDATES (WHO REPLY) NEXT WEEK. If you would like to weigh in with feedback for Zuma Dogg to read , PUBLIC COMMENT IS NOW OPEN. Just leave a comment and it will be automatically emailed directly to ZD. It will not appear here, until after the submission deadline, so that the other loser candidates can't copy your answers for THEIR reply. Thanks, ZD!

Dear Candidate:

To help voters decide who to support in the March 3 primary election, The Times will be posing three sets of question to all candidates in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.

This note contains the first set, focusing on city finances. Our plan is to publish them during the week of February 9. The other sets, on traffic and development and public safety and schools, will be sent to you next week and the following week.

Please respond to these questions with direct and concise statements. In our print editions, your answers may be edited to fit the available space. However, we will try to run them in full on our website.

Here are this week’s questions:

1) What distinguishes you from the other candidates in the race?

2) Los Angeles likely will face a deficit of $400 million to $500 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, as well as steep shortfalls in the years that follow. If elected, how would you balance the city budget? Specifically, what programs or services would you cut, what taxes or fees would you increase and what other measures would you take?

3) To cut costs, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is considering layoffs or offering early retirement to city employees. Do you support either or both of those alternatives? Given the increased need for government assistance in these bad economic times, is now the right time to reduce the number of city employees or cut hours at libraries and city parks?

4) Do you support Measure B, the city’s proposed solar power initiative? Why? How do you believe it will impact Department of Water and Power rates?

5) Should the City Controller have authority to perform both financial audits and performance audits on programs run by the Mayor or City Attorney?

6) In June, the city’s contracts with police and firefighter unions will expire. Should police officers and firefighters be given raises or increased benefits? If so, how would you pay for those, given the city’s current financial condition?

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Please send your responses to me at bill.nottingham@latimes.com by noon Friday. If we do not receive your response in a timely manner, we will be unable to include you in this presentation.

William Nottingham

Editor, City-County Bureau
Los Angeles Times


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