On a recent national news interview, Mayor Eric Garcetti, said that President Trump is “failing on the basics.” Ironically, Mayor Garcetti was saying this as the city of Los Angeles, which he is supposed to be running, falls further into chaos and turmoil.
The LA budget, arguably one of the most “basic” jobs for the mayor to manage, is in complete disarray. The city, and the mayor, were not prepared for the coronavirus pandemic, and despite being one of the highest taxed cities in the country, the taxes collected were not enough to survive being shut down twice.
On Friday, Mayor Garcetti told city department heads to “begin preparing for a potential layoff scenario.”
Even after hiring freezes and furloughs, the city’s budget is projected to be short $45 million to $400 million. And the budget is likely to get even more difficult to manage, with nearly 100,000 people leaving the city because of the high cost of living and difficulty doing business in the city.
Outside of managing the budget, another “basic” function of the mayor should be to ensure the city is safe. Yet just last weekend, tragically, two sheriff’s deputies were ambushed and shot. Video footage showed that these deputies were just sitting in their car when someone walked up and fired several rounds through the car window.
While the mayor has called this attack “unacceptable” and has condemned the resulting protestors who allegedly stood outside the hospital screaming “let them die,” it is hard to trust Garcetti can ensure the safety of the residents of LA. Especially given his support for the LA City Council’s plan to cut $150 million from the LAPD’s budget.
In addition, the decision by the mayor to shut off power and water to houses throwing parties, was strongly opposed by the city’s police department. The police, unlike the mayor, know that they should not be spending valuable time and resources to shut off Angelenos utilities, particularly given that homicides in the city have increased by 14 percent since last year alone.
This is all in addition to Garcetti’s utter failure at addressing the homelessness epidemic that has ravaged the city. Homelessness has risen dramatically under Garcetti’s watch, and every program he has instituted in the city has been an abject failure.
Project Roomkey, designed to take homeless people off the streets to avoid the coronavirus, only was able to get a fourth of the rooms they had planned to, which would still not be enough to provide adequate housing. And the homeless shelters that were built as an emergency are now being taken down despite the homelessness crisis still raging.
While it is easy for Mayor Garcetti to throw stones, he is living in a glass house, with a crippling budget deficit, civil unrest, and the homelessness epidemic only getting worse. These things would be considered “basic” requirements of a mayor, but Garcetti is failing.
It is clear that Mayor Garcetti has national interests, given his wide array of national news interviews lately, in addition to his appointment as a National Co-Chair of Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. But for the people of LA, Mayor Garcetti should consider doing fewer national TV interviews and spend more time managing the city that elected him to represent them. Or maybe he should give up the job if he doesn’t intend on doing it.
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- Mayor Eric Garcetti is the one ‘Failing on the Basics’ - September 17, 2020
- Tenants and Landlords Hurt by Garcetti’s Failed Housing Policies - August 11, 2020