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There are many changes that need to be made to right the ship of the city but let's start with making is simple and personal.
Let's cut their salaries in half.
That means the Council members' $180,000 salaries would drop to $90,000 more or less when other big cities pay their legislators. Cut in half, the Controller would get roughly $100,000, the City Attorney $110,000 and Mayor $120,000.
On Saturday, participants in the Saving LA Project's Town Hall voted 23-1 to take the lead in organizing the campaign for a half-off sale at City Hall -- something that might send our public servants the message that they have lost the confidence of the people.
To cut our elected officials' salaries in half will only take a slight change in the City Charter's Article II, Section 218 (a) (1):
"Members of the City Council shall be paid a salary equal to that prescribed by law for judges ...The Controller shall be paid a salary that is 10% more than that of a Council member...The City Attorney shall be paid a salary that is 20% more than that of a Council member. The Mayor shall be paid a salary that is 30% more than that of a Council member."
All that we have to do is insert the word "half" after equal and princes and princesses will be brought to the economic earth where the rest of us are trying to make ends meet.
Doug Epperhart of the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council proposed the Charter Amendment and will head the organizing committee to mount what will require a massive public campaign to get the salary reduction measure on the ballot.
Some 240,000 valid signatures on petitions will be needed and we'll have six months to gather them once the Charter Amendment is certified.
There's a lot of things of greater importance in the grand scheme of things that need to be fixed but let's start somewhere that everyone can understand.
O.K., ZD here. At first I blew a gasket when I heard that all of this community effort and energy would be directed toward something that is only a drip in the bucket, budgetary wise; and for all of the things that you could put on the ballot with this energy and focus, although I know it's annoying that these dumb-losers get paid so much to lose such billions and destroy the fabric and character of the city. But if you add up all the savings, it doesn't add up to anything more than a little better than symbolic. (Because you WILL be saving, let's just say $1.5 million. BIG DEAL, they blow that every day on donut sprinklings and other nutty special events and dumb fund-sucking projects before you can say, "Brown Act violation."
BUT, then...ZD DID REMEMBER AN IMPORTANT PART: It would be a HUGE message to City Council and shady-ass, corrupt, arrogant, flippant, pompous, holier-than-thou, coffer-pilfering, dumb, loser politicans across the county, state and country. BUT ESPECAILLY AT THE LOSER DISPLAY OF 15 DISPICABLE CREATURES ROAMING AROUND ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROPE AT CITY HALL ON THE THIRD FLOOR.
So it would be HUGE message and prove the people can organize and make things happen.
So the flip-side is, you wanna make sure you succeed. And who is going to say, "no" to this? I think it would pass 3,999,985 to 15.
So I guess we'll see if those 23 people can get the rest of the people to get out there and get all those signatures. Although the "Spock" in ZD says this is not the most logical, prudent use of resources...it's worth it for the message it would send and testing of the system. BOMBS AWAY!
READER COMMENT: They could make it a ballot measure effective immediately like we just did with the Assembly members pay -- we voted no increases in a deficit but could just as easily have voted to reduce their pay by half.
If we have our new champion Carmen Trutanich lead the charge and offer to be the first to reduce his pay by half he'll embarrass Zine into it (who is getting an 80 thou annual pension anyway and has a house already paid for, no young kids to raise) because Zine does anything Trutanich tells him. Then we have Parks making an indecent $300 THOUSAND A YEAR PENSION ON TOP OF SALARY AND HE'S HEAD OF BUDGET COMMITTEE, WILL HAVE TO FALL INTO LINE. Rosendahl gripes about his 401K losses but just voted with Parks and Smith to reduce cop hiring for budgetary reasons so he'll have to go along. Janice Hahn also does whatever Trutanich tells her. He doesn't need the money he's so successful in private practice all these years he doesn't care about the peanuts in salary loss so he'll do it. And Zuma Dogg has his number literally and figuratively, GO ZUMA DOGG.
[I didn't know Denny and Janice did whatever Carmen tells them to do? GOOD!]