Monday, February 22, 2010

MEMO From L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa: Claims Authority Over City Departments To Make Decisions On Who To Lay Off!?!? (City Attorney Disputes Authority)

[Pictured: Hey Mayor Villaraigosa, make sure you take off your elevator shoes and run them through the security check point at the airport, when you hop on a one-way plane out of town!]

To: All City Department Heads
(except Airports, Harbor, Water & Power, LACERS, and Fire & Police Pensions)

From: Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor
Subject: FY2010-2011 Budget Development Instructions
Date: February 19, 2010

On February 4, 2010, I instructed each of you to immediately begin the willingness and ability to quickly rebalance its budget mid-year has contributed to the negative rating outlook for the city. The report further stated that the City's outlook may improve if "the city successfully implements its three-year budget plan, balancing the current year's general fund budget, rebuilding reserves, and establishing long-term structural budget balance.

There is no greater confirmation of the urgency with which we must act than the recently issued ratings outlook by Moody's Investors Services for the City of Los Angeles. In their report, Moody's Investors Services has stated that the erosion of the city's.

I praise the decision taken by the majority of the City Council in response to these developments. In a decisive step, the majority of the City Council called for an additional 3,000 positions to be eliminated, even if they result in layoffs. They have so called for the identification of these positions by each one of you with a report back to City Council due in 20 days.

As the City's Chief Executive Officer, with management authority over all departments, agencies, and appointed offices of the City, I am instructing you to begin the process of identifying additional General Fund positions for elimination, as requested by the City Council. However, in accordance with my authority under the City Charter to propose the City's budget each fiscal year, your identification of positions to be eliminated shall be under the guidance and direction of my office and in coordination with the City Administrative Officer (CAO). Moreover, my proposed Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget will serve as the comprehensive report detailing the position eliminations requested by the City Council.

The City Charter clearly specifies a process for the development of the City budget. This process provides both the Mayor and the City Council the time to conduct their due diligence in developing, reviewing, amending and adopting the budget. The magnitude of the crisis we face requires that we move to reduce the size and cost of city government with all deliberate speed, but separate and competing processes for developing the proposed reductions would only spread the limited resources of your departments even thinner and make our collective objective to reduce our workforce more difficult to achieve. At this critical juncture, we simply cannot afford to waste time
and resources on duplicative efforts.

My office, with the assistance of the CAO, will immediately initiate a series of in-depth departmental budget reviews with each one of you. You will be presented with a specific General Fund reduction target for your department. Based on this target, you will be provided the opportunity to propose how this reduction target will be achieved, with an emphasis on structural cost reductions or revenue enhancements. My office will work with you to identify specific services we should protect, and those we should eliminate. This review will result in the comprehensive package of position reductions
that will be proposed in my FY 2010-11 budget.

The majority of the City Council and I are working towards the same goal: balancing the budget, strengthening the City's credit ratings and restoring the city's long-term fiscal health and sustainability while maintaining as many critical services as possible. By working under the established and structured process set forth in the City Charter, we will achieve these outcomes in a manner that provides the greatest accountability and opportunity for success.

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