Budget Cuts To L.A. Parks

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Tell City Council how Budget
Cuts to L.A. Parks Affect You

WHAT:          City Council hearing on Recreation & Parks budget     

WHEN:          Friday, May 13
                         Starting at 10 a.m.

WHERE:        Los Angeles City Hall
                         200 N. Spring Street, 90012
                         City Council Chambers – 3rd floor

The public deserves transparency in the budget debate, beginning with reliable numbers.

  • The Mayor’s proposal shows $19.7 million in “charge backs,” but RAP’s version of the budget identifies $43.7 million.  
  • Attached charts show “charge-backs” grew from $3.1 million in 2009-’10 to $31 million in 2010-’11 to nearly $44 million in 2011-’12.  
  • How did DWP calculate the $16 million “bill” it sent RAP? Many parks don’t even have water or electricity meters.  
  • The Finance and Budget Committee directed the CAO to study the issue of “charge-backs.” The public needs to see this report.  
  • After factoring in savings from the budget agreement with City unions, how many positions will RAP lose, and how will services be affected?

Treating RAP as a proprietary department is wrong, and reverses 86 years of City Charter mandate.

  • The 1925 City Charter fixed funding for RAP (and libraries) as 0.0325 of assessed value of all City property tax income.  
  • In 1934, the Council rebuffed an attempt by then-Mayor Shaw to strip funding for parks.  
  • Voters reaffirmed the baseline funding system in 1999. 
  • RAP does not generate revenue. Two-thirds of its parks are in poor communities, where few kids can even afford entrance or uniform fees.  
  • For DWP, which generates tremendous revenue, to bill RAP $16 million for water and lights is like “Robin Hood in reverse.”  
  • The $6 million “charge back” for sanitation services could keep Midnight Basketball and other programs.  
  • Why are RAP and the Libraries being billed directly for early-retirement incentives ($4.3 million for RAP) while ERIPs are being financed for all other city departments?

Will these cuts leave us in shape to rebuild when the economy recovers, or are officials selling our crown jewels at fire-sale prices?

  • Does RAP intend to merge senior centers into the Aging Department?  
  • Isn’t that the same as privatizing senior services, given that Aging is most likely going to contract out programs?

Contact Stephanie Taylor at (213) 346-3284 or staylor@greenlacoalition.org

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Increased costs have effectively cut the RAP budget by 25%. RAP has been forced to cut 20% of its staff and programs and services have suffered

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