Los Angeles

Outgoing LA Mayor Urges Canceling City Employee Raises

Argues doing so would result in budget surprlus


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a $7.7-billion budget Monday that begins to restore funding for tree trimming, sidewalk repairs and other services, offering the most positive financial news for residents since the city was engulfed in a budget crisis five years ago.

Buoyed by an extra $111 million in revenue, Villaraigosa's plan closes the budget deficit without layoffs or furloughs and provides money to add 65 firefighters, purchase 533 new vehicles at the Los Angeles Police Department and trim an additional 35,000 trees.

With less than three months in his term, Villaraigosa called on the two mayoral candidates in the May 21 election—City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti—to eliminate a 5.5% salary increase for civilian city workers that he and the council negotiated, which goes into effect Jan. 1. He also urged the next mayor to show fiscal discipline, saying the city would have a $15-million surplus in 2017 if no raises were given to police officers, firefighters and other city workers during the next mayor's first term.