Saturday, December 25, 2010

LA TIMES & CBS REPORTS: LA Has Spent Only A Quarter Of Its Federal Stimulus Money

READERS OF L.A. DAILY BLOG FROM TWO YEARS AGO WILL REMEMBER MY UNION CONTACT WHO WAS ALERTING ZD TO THIS PROBLEM OF THE MONEY NOT BEING SPENT -- AND WORKERS SITTING AROUND ON THEIR ASSES WAITING FOR THE CITY TO GET OFF OF THEIRS. APPARENTLY, OTHER MUNICIPALITIES IN THE REGION HAVE BEEN ABLE TO NAVIGATE THE BEAURACRACY. NOT THE LOW-GRADE, UNDER-PERFORMING DUMMIES LIKE GRIEG "MR. PERFECT" SMITH & L.A. CITY CLOWNCIL! (Hey Controller Wendy "Hellen Keller" Greuel. Why not have another press conference then go back to your office and do nothing. As a matter of fact, you'd be the PERFECT "DO NOTHING" mayor to preside over a (clearly) DO-NOTHING L.A. CITY HALL. "L")

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Who said you had to spend money to make money? Apparently this is not the philosophy of Los Angeles city leaders. Of the nearly $630 million in federal stimulus funds the city of Los Angeles has received over the past two years, it has spent only about a quarter of the money, it was reported tonight. (That's because they haven't had time, since all they do is complain about money they don't have.)

Although the city received most of its stimulus money last March, by mid-October, it had completed just eight of 108 projects, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Give 'em a break. It's not like they only completed six or seven projects.)

And according to The Times, other large cities have been spending their stimulus funds faster, indicating that the problem may be with the city’s bureaucracy.

An audit conducted under City Controller Wendy Greuel found that four supposedly “shovel-ready” transportation projects — including 85 left-turn signals and 25 new traffic lights — were not put up for bid for seven months after they were given the go-ahead by state and federal officials in the summer of 2009.

A contract to finish the signal projects was finalized this month and the work is expected to be completed in a year.

Outgoing state Inspector General Laura Chick estimated that only about half of the state’s $50-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds has been spent so far.

She told The times that one problem is that cities like Los Angeles applied for all kinds of stimulus funds, sometimes without specific plans for spending it. (Hey, don't expose the magicians' secrets.)

“You hear this expression `shovel ready projects’ — there is no such thing,” said Chick, whose position was recently cut by Gov.-elect Jerry Brown. “So in terms of judging the impact of the Recovery Act, it’s not over yet.”

Los Angeles officials have said they expect stimulus spending to peak next year.

Among the few projects Los Angeles had completed by the end of September were an $18.3-million program providing summer jobs for 9,416 youths ($18 MILLION!!!...why not just divide the money up and hand it out to the youth...they would make TONS more money), $900,000 of sidewalk and gutter improvements in Tujunga and a $1.8-million rainwater irrigation project in Mar Vista.

Greuel, who is considering running for mayor, said she is disappointed. (Although she was councilmember and controller and appears to be completely helpless and ineffective as a leader for change. If she isn't showing leadership qualities now, she isn't going to change. Leaders are leaders and that's all they CAN do. It's not WAITING for an opportune political moment or the excuse that you can't rock the boat until you're mayor. Then you'll be worried about re-election...and you ain't NOTHING, Greuel. Nothing but a haircut, hiding in your office.)

“Seven months to get out a bid was just criminal to me when we had a 12.5 percent unemployment rate and we were beginning to lay off (city workers),” she said. (How come Wendy can call them criminals, but ZD can't, Dennis Zine?) “We should have looked at this as an opportunity to streamline the process.” (NO WENDY..."YOU" should have...START USING THE WORD, "YOU," WENDY..."YOU" were the councilmember who knew what was up. YOU are the controller. YOU can assume the role of leadership for change. Do I have to show up to your office, hold your hand and take you through the motions?)

City officials said some of the biggest projects, such as a $100-million program to buy foreclosed homes, repair and sell them, are still in the early stages, but that none of the programs are at risk of losing funding.

Rushmore Cervantes, who heads a team in the mayor’s office to cut red tape, told The Times the city has been warned that stimulus spending may get greater scrutiny than any other federal grant program. (BECAUSE OBAMA KNOWS WHAT A BUNCH OF THIEVES YOU AND YOUR CONTRACTOR CRONIES ARE!)

“On the one hand we’re being told that we’re going to be monitored, on the other hand there’s pressure to spend the money,” he said. “We know that, but we also want to do it in a thoughtful manner, and that’s what the city is doing.” (OH NO...can't spend it if you're being monitored...or should I say, WHY spend it, if you're being monitored. RIGHT ANTONIO & CO.?

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