By Ken Alpern, August 28, 2015
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's
indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or
care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of
LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in
November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the
initiative will (like its predecessor Measure J) fail to reach the 2/3
mark and fail. And then you can kiss a 2024 Olympics goodbye.
the City of Los Angeles to be prepared for any 2024 Olympics, we'll
need a "Measure R-2" to ensure enough funds to create the long-sought
LAX/Metro Rail link, as well as any other Measure R project like the
Downtown Connector and the Wilshire Subway, to be expedited and
Sidewalks and roads will need to be repaired, and the county
will have to work together to make this 2024 Olympics tourist-friendly.
this will mean having the constituents--you know, the voters, the
taxpayers, the citizenry--on board with their minds, hearts, and wallets
Hence the slap in the face
to the Neighborhoods Councils' Neighborhood Budget Advocates was either
stupid or calculated on the part of Mayor Garcetti. Not allowing the
Neighborhood Councils access to budgetary issues affecting road repair
and other City services?
And you're going to ask Neighborhood Councils to support a "Measure R-2", Mr. Mayor?
also going to ask Chambers of Commerce to support a "Measure R-2", Mr.
Mayor--especially when City Hall just rammed a minimum wage hike (with a
host of good intentions...but also with a host of horrific unintended
consequences) without proper study down these Chambers' throats, and
against their stated pleas?
say most of the taxpayers view Measure R-2 (which I'd love to support
but which is becoming doggone hard to get behind at this time) as a way
to build more rail and road projects, and to repair LA's
infrastructure...and to prepare for the 2024 Olympics, to boot.
how many City of LA employees view Measure R-2 as a way to fund their
next raise, coming after an obscene decade of giveaways between
2000-2010 for which Angelenos will suffer for decades?
not Mayor Villaraigosa hamstring his own mayoral tenure by throwing out
public sector union giveaways at the start of his first term?
(And isn't Mayor Garcetti now repeating former Mayor Villaraigosa's errors?)
Perhaps Mayor Garcetti and Council President Wesson are sick of hearing fellow CityWatch contributor Jack Humphreville complain
about Downtown leadership shaking down and soaking taxpayers and
ratepayers (but, then again, I repeat myself because ratepayers are just
indirectly paying more taxes...and more taxes...and more taxes
regardless of what they're called).
maybe voters and taxpayers are just too distracted by Donald Trump,
Bernie Sanders, the Kardashians, the Duggars, Caitlyn Jenner, Ashley
Madison, world events, zombie series on TV, and their personal lives.
November 2016 (it's just a little over a year away) will come around
sooner or later, and then City Hall and the Mayor will need to convince
the voters that a "Measure R-2" is a good thing.
A necessary thing. A long-overdue thing.
then it will be evident for all to see whether there are enough
distracted voters who will pay even more for a "Measure R-2" to prepare
for the 2024 Olympics. Maybe they will have been distracted, and will
be ready to vote for more taxes after all that's going on with budgetary
and utility rate-related mischief.
maybe enough weren't distracted, and they won't have that frame of
mind. 2/3 of the voters is a rather high threshold to overcome what's
currently going on with our City's financial decision-making.