9-14-2009, Budget committee sends Julie Butcher and the Coalition back to dig in to there numbers to save the city an additional “50-60 Million” so ERIP can pass committee and be presented to council.
9-15-2009 12 hours later and countless sleepless hours the coalition return to the council ready to share there hard work, after all saving 62.5 million can’t be an easy task but the early retirement plan they have worked on for over a year now with it’s flaws, changes, and modifications ratified by All coalition unions, will finally be voted on and sent to the full city council.
GUESS AGAIN! In a Political showdown for the ages Mayor AntonioVillaraigosa slashed the hopes of the Coalition and it’s membership by simply telling council he would veto ERIP if passed.
Thousands of man hours, countless efforts by the coalition meeting after meeting roadblock after roadblock the coalition has overcome all obstacles to present the council the option of ERIP to prevent furloughs and layoffs for 22,000 hard working members of the coalition, only to be blindsided by political grandstanding and ego trips.
ERIP may not have been the best solution, but it is not as bad as having our elected officials incapable of making a decision on balancing the budget no different then the state legislators they themselves criticized.
It is unfair to dangle the ERIP carrot in front of thousands of employees then snatch it away at the last minute demanding further concessions.
City of Los Angeles should have empowered an actuarial study the minute erip was finalized and before the members of the coalition voted, if SEIU and the coalition had known several months ago that this early retirement program would not have been approved because of cost’s it could have had the opportunity to present to it’s membership alternatives it would have had the time to work with the city council in order to make the budget concessions it needed in order to maintain the current workforce at acceptable levels.
City Council should seriously consider the fact LAFD, LAPD, and civilian employees will no longer tolerate the second class status to proprietary departments and will demand the Council make cut’s to it’s programs and salaries themselves.
We can’t layoff the council, but with there handling of the current situation it would not be surprising to see the start of a recall campaign begin to demonstrate our anger not at the failing of the erip, but that of council to seek solutions to the problems facing us all.
Many council members have worked diligently towards a fair solution while looking out for the city as a whole, Mr. Rosendahl, Mr. Parks, and Mr. Huizar have all stepped up to the plate and worked countless hours toward a resolution.
We are so close to a solution it is time we all come together to determine what can and can not work so that the uncertainty is removed.
Super majority, 12 Members of council are needed to pass ERIP today, we need to move on address the budget issues that got us here, and take steps to prevent these budget shortfalls from causing further devastation to the city it’s constituents, and the employees that serve them.
Coalition leaders can not be blamed for the failing of the ERIP, that would fall squarely on the shoulders of Council and the Mayor they have worked to pass the ERIP for many months and this last second political assault is inexcusable.