Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has signed a $7.1 billion city budget that he says closes a $400 million deficit while preserving public safety and core services.
The spending plan keeps the city’s commitment to putting 1,000 new cops on the streets by 2010 and maintains the city’s investment in police and fire services, the mayor said.
The budget also expands street repair and maintenance and organizes and increases funding for gang prevention and intervention programs.
“The budget I signed (June 4th) reflects my values as mayor and the values of the City Council, because this budget keeps the promises we made to the residents of Los Angeles,” Villaraigosa said. “We have kept our promise by focusing on our priorities and making fiscally responsible decisions in a tough economic environment.”
For the first time since 1999, the mayor’s budget does not call for the transfer of funds out of the city’s reserve fund to balance the city’s books.
Placing public safety as a top priority, the budget allocates funds to hire 780 new police officers, increases funding for the Fire Department and invests more than $24 million in gang prevention, intervention and reentry programs.
“Our central values and central responsibility is to protect public
safety,” Villaraigosa said. “We made a promise to put 1,000 new
officers on the street and this budget keeps this promise.”
The new budget will also expand street resurfacing and maintenance to 735 miles, and keep the city on-track toward filling one million potholes, the mayor said. In an effort to improve mobility and reduce traffic congestion throughout the city, the spending plan aims to synchronize 348 traffic signals and install 147 new left-turn signals.
In a letter to 11th Council District residents, City Councilman Bill Rosendahl noted that the budget maintains funds for homeless services, programs for seniors, sidewalk repair, alley paving, regional planning, local cable programming and enforcement against illegal signs.
But the councilman said the budget does call for some sacrifices, including that more than 700 city staff positions be eliminated and fees be increased for city services, such as parking fines, police impound and recreation and parks programs.
Among the funding allocations for the 11th Council District are for permanent staffing and equipment for Fire Station 67 in Playa Vista; 15 new left-turn signals at the busiest intersections; $50,000 for each Neighborhood Council; and new metered parking lots for Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice.